Between 85% and 90% of Spanish women have cellulite, an accumulation of adipose tissue in the form of dimples and a bulge that occurs especially on the hips, thighs, buttocks and abdomen. These are figures from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV), which indicates that although this condition is present in the entire population, it occurs more frequently in white-skinned women and has a lower incidence in Asian women. Since it is rare in men, the AEDV concludes that hormonal function plays a relevant role in its development.
According to data from the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SEME), 36% of the Spanish population has undergone some aesthetic medicine treatment, with cellulite and body fat being the main concern of the youngest. Despite the fact that aesthetic medicine offers numerous alternatives to improve the appearance of skin with cellulite and even reduce it completely (liposuction, mesotherapy or lymphatic drainage, among other treatments) and that diet and lifestyle can also delay its appearance It is true that, in the case of cellulite, it seems more sensible to accept its existence than to spend our lives fighting against it. This is the opinion of the expert coach in healthy habits, Natàlia Calvet, who urges, first of all, “to stop pursuing a beauty canon that is not real, taking into account that cellulite affects more than 90% of women”.
Cellulite is not directly related to weight
Calvet therefore encourages people to approach the subject of cellulite from another perspective and invites them to work to have healthy skin, which will always be the best way to make it look beautiful. This requires “having good lifestyle habits that include, first of all, exercise and movement, since both improve circulation,” he explains.
Having an active day to day is, therefore, the best gift we can give both to the skin of the face and the body, which must always be accompanied by proper hydration and a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, ideally different colors. Calvet also insists on completely eliminating the consumption of ultra-processed foods, as well as tobacco and alcohol, and recalls that “cellulite is not directly related to weight, since many thin women have it.”
As for food, in the Mediterranean diet we find all the foods necessary to maintain healthy skin and, therefore, with a good appearance, so that “it is not advisable to become obsessed with the consumption of certain foods, but to combine them in a varied and balanced,” he explains. These are some of the ones that cannot be missed:
According to an article published in the magazine ElsevierWhile it is true that regular consumption of green tea has numerous health benefits, given its high antioxidant content, it is also true that “modern scientific studies have provided evidence that destroys much of the myth.” In this sense, he indicates that “in external use, the pulverized drug is used to destroy local adiposities (cellulite) in creams and gels, although this indication has little foundation.” However, the work highlights its anti-inflammatory, lipid-lowering, bronchodilator and ergogenic properties (which increases the ability to perform physical effort). Therefore, introducing green tea into the diet is always beneficial, also thanks to its diuretic properties, but in no case will its consumption, either orally or topically, be conclusive when it comes to preventing cellulite.
Calvet insists on the need to incorporate all kinds of fruits, vegetables and vegetables of different colors into the diet, the better the more varied. “Each color will provide our body with a different type of nutrient, so that we will see all our needs met,” he says. Among the most diuretic, the specialist highlights asparagus or artichoke, which are also light and low in calories, although she indicates that “we should not become obsessed with their consumption.”
Keeping skin well hydrated, both inside and out, is key to improving the appearance of cellulite and, in general, of the entire dermis. “We must listen to our body and be alert to thirst signals, but the reality is that many people do not, ignore their body’s warnings and go too many hours without drinking. In these cases, it is essential to force yourself to drink around a liter and a half of water a day”, explains Calvet. It is convenient to remember that water is naturally present in numerous foods, ranging from soups and creams to vegetables, fruits, infusions or coffee.
Cucumber is a star food that will help us combat fluid retention and keep us properly hydrated, which can be seen in the appearance of cellulite. According to nutritionist Fátima Branco, it is convenient to include it in the diet, since it is also extremely versatile and works in all kinds of salads. “Other fruits and vegetables that have the same function are watermelon, melon, artichokes, eggplant, blueberries or celery, which are also powerful diuretics.”
A good way to keep the appearance of cellulite under control is to increase muscle mass and reduce fat mass. This means that if steps are not taken to replace the lean muscle that is lost over time, the percentage of fat will increase over the years, which can also lead to the appearance of various degrees of cellulite. “In order to maintain good muscle mass, two factors must be present – explains the doctor and nutritionist Núria Monfulleda, from the Loveyourself center in Barcelona -. On the one hand, the consumption of proteins, which function as food for our muscles, and on the other hand, the other the practice of strength physical exercise”. In this sense, Ella Monfulleda recalls that the best food on the market in terms of protein is the egg, since these have a high biological value, “which means that they contain all the essential amino acids,” she points out. In this sense, the doctor urges us to gradually abandon snacks based on bread or carbohydrates, which will make us feel bloated, and bet on protein consumption at all meals, “whether it’s a can of tuna, a few slices ham, chicken, sardines, etc.”.
“Oily fish has healthy fats and proteins, which help us maintain a good skin structure,” explains Calvet. The expert recalls that for a long time there has been a certain demonization of fats, which have been blamed for causing obesity and overweight, and there has been a tendency to reduce them from the diet, when in fact “the wall of our cells is made up of of fat, so we need to eat healthy fats”, such as those present both in oily fish such as sardines, herring, tuna, salmon or mackerel or in foods such as olive oil, avocado and nuts.