Wellness Wednesdays by Nurse Fiona – Natural ways to manage cellulite
Cellulite is a condition in which the skin has a dimpled, lumpy appearance. It usually affects the buttocks and thighs but can also occur in other areas such as the lower abdomen or back of the arms. Cellulite occurs when fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin. It is more common in women, with studies estimating that 80-90% of females will experience cellulite at some point in their lives.
What are the causes of Cellulite?
The appearance of cellulite can be caused by a deterioration in the skin’s dermis, whereby the integrity of the blood vessels and capillaries that create a complex transport network throughout the skin slowly begins to break down. Some of the factors that contribute to this condition are:
- Hormone changes
Hormones control the structure and function of your skin. Too little oestrogen (commonly seen in menopause) can reduce the production of collagen & elastin fibres, which can increase the dimpling appearance of cellulite. Too much oestrogen (otherwise known as oestrogen dominance) can cause excess fat to accumulate leading to the appearance of cellulite.
- Toxin exposure
Toxins such as BPA, phthalates, pesticides or heavy metals are stored in fat cells. This can cause fat cells to swell, leading them to protrude into connective tissue.
- Decreased circulation
Blood and lymph stagnation can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, low thyroid activity or a nutrient deficiency such as B12 and Iron.
Natural ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite
- Get moving
Physical activity will help reduce fat cell size in areas where cellulite is present. Exercise will also improve blood and lymph circulation to the skin. High intensity intermittent exercise has been shown to be effective at reducing cellulite appearance.
- Consume flaxseeds
Flaxseeds help support healthy oestrogen levels and collagen growth. Add 2 tbsp of flaxseed daily to porridge, yoghurt, smoothies or consume alone.
- Book in for an infrared sauna
Infrared saunas are thought to aid the removal of toxins stored in fat cells. Infrared saunas also helps to improve lymphatic drainage, which reduces swelling and naturally improves the appearance of cellulite.
- Ensure adequate iron levels
Iron is an essential nutrient required for haemoglobin, which helps transport blood throughout the body. Eating iron rich foods such as red meat, spinach or beans can improve circulation to your fat cells and surrounding connective tissue.
- Avoid refined and processed foods
Foods such as breads, cereals, sugar and trans fats cause inflammation within our bodies and an increase in fat cell size and cellulite. Replace these foods with whole foods such as plants, nuts, seeds and organic meat and fish.
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