CELLULITE: What Causes it and how to deal with it.
Your skin is not a simple organ but a complex structure that performs multiple functions: defense from external agents to thermal regulation, up to the sensory function.
Cellulite is an “aesthetic disorder” that affects millions of women around the world and presents itself as aesthetically imperfections (the so-called orange peel skin), a feeling of heaviness in the legs and, at times, greater tenderness to palpation and compression of the affected areas.
Perhaps not everyone knows that parts of the subcutaneous tissue is the reason why cellulite is an almost exclusively female problem; yes, in this the males have an advantage.
Cellulite originates in the hypodermis, a subcutaneous tissue rich in fat cells that plays an active role metabolism: it dissolves fats when the caloric balance is negative or stores them when the caloric balance is in excess; a first cause for cellulite can therefore be a high-calorie and unhealthy diet combined with little or no physical activity.
Other causes are to be found in a genetic predisposition to greater hormonal activity, poor circulation and water retention, as well as alterations to the micro-circulation, high levels of stress and inflammation.
CELLULITE A BIT OF HISTORY:
In past centuries cellulite was not considered a problem, nor was it considered a pathology, but an aspect of female physiology; The ideal of the time wanted the plump woman with rounded forms.
To coin the term cellulite were, in 1922, two French doctors described it as an anomaly of the subcutaneous connective tissue, without being able to explain the causes.
Over the years, however, new aesthetic standards have been imposed which made cellulite the main reason of concern for women.
A PROBLEM THAT IF LOOKED OUT CAN LESS IT.
If cellulite is neglected it tends to worsen and it could progress into four stages depending on the gravity:
The first stage is the easiest to deal with and is characterized by a modest venous stasis; Orange peel skin is detectable only after manual compression.
In the second stage the structure of the dermis becomes more inhomogeneous and the skin with orange peel and the nodules are clearly visible; at this point it is still possible to intervene to restore the appearance of the skin to an optimal level but it is necessary to take actions promptly.
In the third stage the appearance of the skin worsens considerably, some areas are colder to the touch because blood isn’t circulating correctly, the nodules are numerous and slightly painful to the touch. In this case, much can still be done to improve the situation but the aesthetic damage is normally irreversible.
The fourth stage occurs when the nodules become large, there is an increase in fibrous tissue due to an inflammatory state, the skin is almost cold to the touch, with a striking orange-peel appearance and painful to the touch. The fourth stage is mostly irreversible and one can only act to avoid futher deterioration.
CELLULITE: PREVENT IS BETTER.
As with many health-related problems, prevention would be the best way to avoid the onset of cellulite.
First of all, to combat cellulite it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight, following a balanced diet low in sodium and refined carbohydrates. In case of obesity it is advisable to gradually reduce weight to avoid excessive tissue relaxation.
aid COMES FROM THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.
Regular physical activity is recommended and it has been shown that aerobic workouts are best suited to achieving a correct shape. Experts recommend long brisk walks, trekking, swimming, water aerobics, step, Pilates, dancing and group training with small weights.
Also useful are all the activities that stimulate the microcirculation, such as the path calidarium / frigidarium at the spa.
Intensive and demanding workouts are not a good idea since they can worsen a possible inflammatory state already in place.
Lymphatic drainage massage and self-massage with specific products can also be useful.
We already mentioned that healthy nutrition can help fight cellulite. In addition to following a diet low in sodium and refined carbohydrates, let’s see what foods can be useful. Fish is rich in omega 3, good fats that provide an intensive anti-inflammatory action.
Dried fruit, rich in mineral salts, helps decongest adipose tissue and is also rich in beneficial fats.
Fruit, and red fruits in particular, contain vitamin C and other substances useful for strengthening the walls of blood vessels.
Whole grains give a greater sense of satiety and limit blood sugar, helping to better control caloric intake.
Green tea helps diuresis, supporting the elimination of excess fluids. Furthermore, it helps thermogenesis.
Apple vinegar is preferable to wine in cooking, as it fights water retention and is an excellent source of minerals.
And then, of course, water! Let’s not forget to drink at least a liter and a half of water with a low sodium content per day divided over the course of the day.
CELLULITE: A GREAT HELP COMES FROM NATURE.
Would you have imagined that medicinal mushrooms can also help you solve the problem of cellulite?
Almost all medicinal mushrooms carry out an anti-inflammatory effect to some extent; Poria cocos can be useful for its draining effect on excess liquids and Grifola frondosa is useful for controlling weight and blood sugar.
But the main mushroom to fight cellulite is Polyporus umbellatus; this mushroom, in particular, has a strong activity of contrasting water retention. This mushroom is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to combat edema and increase diuresis (see here), this extraordinary mushroom facilitates the elimination of toxins, fights inflammation and cellulite without causing the loss of precious mineral salts such as potassium.
Finally, it carries out an interesting Antiaging action.
One more reason, if any were needed, to look in nature for the answer to the thousands of big and small annoyances that plague us every day.