9 foods that can help reduce cellulite

Cellulite. Even the word sucks. And if you are one of the 73.6 percent of American adults who are overweight (a BMI or BMI of 25 or greater) or clinically diagnosed with obesity (defined as a BMI of 30 or greater), you may have these dimples and unwanted body fat in places you wish you didn’t have, such as your hips, thighs and/or buttocks. These annoying pockets of fat seem to indicate the presence of extra pounds that tend to stick.

Everyone has fat, or «adipose tissue,» which makes up about 10-25% of our total body weight. The total amount of fatty tissue in the body naturally varies with gender, age, genetics, and other factors. Cellulite, on the other hand, isn’t actually fat; it is the normal physiological response to fat accumulation that occurs when the collagen fibers that connect fat to the skin stretch, break, or pull, thereby allowing the fat cells or «adipocytes» to swell.

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Today’s market is filled with supplements, lotions, and other skin applications that claim to reduce or treat cellulite, but have minimal evidence of their effectiveness. These products might temporarily tighten the outermost layer of skin, but they do little to address the underlying problem. Instead, a focus on healthy behaviors like weight management, healthy eating, hydration, and adequate physical activity (aka the classics!) appears to provide more support in controlling the presence of cellulite over the long term.

A winning strategy for minimizing cellulite is to determine which ways you can lose body fat and gain muscle mass. Extra weight can make cellulite more visible. This likely means focusing on creating a calorie deficit where it makes sense in your lifestyle, such as controlled portions, fewer added oils, or reduced added sugars in your diet. It could also result in broadening your exercise routine to include an extra day of cardiovascular activity or resistance training.

Here we have compiled a list of foods that are being studied for their role in possible cellulite reduction. Read on, and to learn more, don’t miss The 30 Healthiest Foods To Eat Every Day.

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There is no lack of support that eating fruit, including blueberries and greens is associated with lower body weight. This critical review of the European Journal of Nutrition it also draws a compelling connection between consuming fruits and vegetables and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure.

RELATED: 7 Benefits of Blueberries Backed by Science

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Lentils and other «legumes» (edible legume seeds) such as black beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans, are excellent sources of fiber. They have also been found to create modest weight loss for people who consume them regularly, which was explored in this systematic review in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Pears are one of the most fibrous fruits in the supermarket. Coming in at around 6 grams of fiber per medium fruit, you’ll likely feel satisfied with less if this food comes at snack or mealtime, thus compensating for larger portions elsewhere. Consider cutting up for a salad, dipping in peanut butter, or mixing into your next oatmeal.

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In a 2014 cross-sectional study Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have lower visceral fat than non-consumers.

RELATED: Top 6 Leafy Greens You Should Be Eating Every Day, Dietitians Say

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Although avocados are higher in calories than most other produce, they can help stimulate weight loss. Women who regularly consumed fruits and vegetables, including avocados, saw greater weight loss over a four-year period than those who didn’t eat these foods, according to this journal publication. Nutrients.

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Mushrooms are the meat of the plant kingdom. Inducing a rich, savory flavor wherever they are found, mushrooms end up in meat dishes where they are mixed with chicken or beef to extend both flavor and nutrition. This is a simple hack to reduce the calories of your next hamburger patty or Bolognese sauce within your desired calorie limits.

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While it’s a drink, not a food, water or any low-calorie version like seltzers, water-enhanced drinks, or fruit-infused waters not only helps you stay hydrated, but drinking it also helps you avoid cellulite. Aim to drink 11.5 cups of water total each day for women and 15.5 cups per day for men.

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Bananas are commonly recognized as a source of potassium, a mineral associated with bloating control as it has an inverse relationship with sodium. Water retention from a high dietary salt intake can lead to bloating which can increase the appearance of cellulite.

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If you’re looking for a starchy vegetable, sweet potatoes are a great choice, providing some of the most robust health benefits, including excellent vitamin A content. They’re also high in potassium, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite associated with a excessive sodium intake.

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian. Read more about Molly

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