Firstly, let’s define cellulite. Cellulite shows up predominantly on the legs, butt, stomach, and back of the arms, and gives kind of a cottage cheese-like appearance to the skin. What’s happening there is that you have globules of fat under the skin pushing up against the connective tissue and creating that lumpy look that many of us battle. Causes of cellulite include fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat. Some of our sources listed below say it can involve the actual breakdown of collagen and the build up of heavy metals and toxins in fat cells.

Cellulite is, for most, a natural phenomenon that simply must be dealt with, but there are things you can do to cut the appearance of it. We’ll start with food. According to Dr. Josh Axe, a Functional Medicine MD, the top foods to help reduce cellulite are as follows:

  • High fiber foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries
  • Clean protein sources like organic, free range eggs & meats, wild caught fish, and organic protein powders as well
  • Potassium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, avocados, and coconut
  • Bone broth-contains the amino acids that make up collagen which can strengthen the tissue
  • Flax seeds modulate estrogen and also increase collagen production
  • Clean filtered or spring water, about half your weight in oz. daily

Things to avoid:

  • Sugar (duh)
  • Excess sodium increases fluid retention
  • Refined flour and refined grains (duh)
  • Food allergens (we can help you identify these if you are unsure)
  • Trans and hydrogenated fats

In addition, you can perform dry brushing on a regular basis over the cellulite-infected areas to improve circulation and rejuvenate the skin. It will also activate waste removal via your lymphatic system. Dr. Mercola says that dry skin brushing may help soften hard fat deposits while distributing them more evenly which may help diminish the appearance of cellulite. New York Times best seller, Kimberly Snyder, C.N., author or Radical Beauty, notes that Vitamin A has been proven to thicken the uppermost skin-cell layer, thereby reducing the lumpy appearance (however, not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing…it is also one of the vitamins that should be taken particularly only under the supervision of a health care practitioner). She also writes that used topically, Caffeine can actually improve blood flow and also reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Finally, there are some natural remedies and herbs that can be used to combat cellulite.

  • Gotu Kola, sometimes referred to as natural Botox in a bottle, helps increase formation of new collagen, improves circulation, and reduces fluid retention.
  • Dandelion contains potassium to keep electrolytes balanced.
  • Ginkgo Biloba has been said to increase blood flow.

So, there you have it, folks. We carry these herbs at the clinic if you would like to see if they are right for you. You can also try any of the other suggestions listed here. Exercise of course increases circulation. The best way to go is applying a combination approach: treating from within using herbs and nutrition while adding exercises targeted at cellulite-affected areas may give you the results you desire!


Written by Laura Bautista, Holistic Health Coach & Patient Advocate