With the arrival of the summer season the problem of water retention and cellulite becomes a nuisance for many women, who run for cover seeking quick results to reduce orange peel skin. Let's see how to approach the problem by analyzing why water retention and cellulite is formed and relying on safe and natural solutions to limit its aesthetic impact.
Water retention VS Cellulite
Cellulite and water retention in comparison.
Before talking about potential remedies, it is good to clarify these two often confused issues: cellulite and water retention. Under our skin, we have an adipose layer panniculus supported by a reticular tissue and collagen and vascularized by the microcirculation that provides (or subtracts) energy in the form of fat to the organism, according to its needs. It often happens that the physiological balance is altered by:
- hormonal changes (cause of primary importance),
- unbalanced nutrition,
- liver dysfunction,
- sedentary lifestyle,
- stressful situations,
- use of medications (see birth control pills),
- water retention itself.
In these cases, the cells of the adipose tissue break and release triglycerides in the intercellular spaces, which compress the microcirculation network, strongly altering its efficiency and promoting edema and "orange peel" skin. The circulatory and lymphatic systems also have the task of draining liquids and metabolic waste. An alteration of these systems facilitates the retention of liquids and toxins in the tissues and, therefore, of inflammatory processes in the adipose tissue. Cellulite sufferers often also have peripheral circulatory problems such as venous insufficiency with insufficient lymphatic drainage. Water retention can also affect the presence of cellulite.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite, or edemato-fibro-sclerotic panniculopathy (PEFS), is a skin imperfection that mainly affects the female sex and prefers the white woman with an incidence of around 80% - 90%. Cellulite is caused by the alteration processes of the subcutaneous adipose panniculus. It manifests itself with the appearance of those small holes or depressions commonly identified as orange peel skin at the level of the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and/or hips.
Certainly there is a genetic predisposition (hereditary) but also obesity and overweight are considered by many to be a strong element of risk and, in fact, even if thin women are not exempt from this pathology, they still have more limited manifestations. In particular, we are talking about swollen and painful legs where the accumulated liquids cannot rise upwards and stagnate in the lower limbs.
What is water retention?
Talking about water retention is not synonymous with cellulite, but it is certainly a condition that can favor its appearance. Water retention is an imbalance between the venous and lymphatic systems and is characterized by the presence of generalized subcutaneous edema, due to an insufficient drainage of liquids, favored by the tendency of cells to retain liquids, toxins and mineral salts.
Usually, water retention is caused by an imbalance between two specific mineral salts, potassium and sodium, which aggravate the bad efficiency of the lymphatic system in its activity, also affecting the upper limbs and the abdominal area. The causes that determine the onset of water retention are usually related to poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle. In the event that, in addition to microcirculation problems, real cellulite is added, it is a sign that other factors may also be at stake:
- hormonal imbalances (such as excess estrogen),
- taking medications (such as birth control pills),
- periods of severe stress and nervousness.
How to avoid the appearance of water retention - the basics
Both water retention and cellulite are disorders that, when present, accompany the subject throughout the year and deserve a much more constant approach. There is no escaping: lifestyle and healthy habits are fundamental. We must intervene with the synergy of:
- Healthy physical activity, which promotes circulation and metabolism.
- Targeted and balanced diet
- Really effective supplements and natural solutions
- Draining massages and application of specific creams
All this for a much longer period of a week before the "costume test"!
Water retention and nutrition
Nutrition plays a fundamental role in this imbalance, both as a cause factor and as a possible remedy. It is therefore important to establish whether edematous swelling is linked to bad eating habits and / or being overweight in order to intervene. For example, excess sodium increases water retention, as well as excessive introduction of calories. They are also to be reduced:
- refined flours and carbohydrates,
- dairy product,
- excess of saturated and trans fats.
From a food point of view, it is good to get help from a competent food specialist in establishing the real caloric balance and the choice of an adequate food approach to support microcirculation, the reduction of the inflammatory state and an efficient metabolism.
8 Phytoextracts that help reduce water retention
There are phytoextracts formulated to help counteract water retention and promote drainage thanks to better activity of the lymphatic system. These supplements use a pool of natural elements with a strong draining, detoxifying, and diuretic activity as their active ingredient. Here is a list of the best purifying and draining herbs that are commercially available in the form of food supplements:
- Bromelain. The precious proteolytic enzyme extract contained in the pineapple stem has a fibrinolytic action that acts on the blood vessels, reducing vasodilation and excessive permeability of the capillaries. Bromelain helps to alleviate localized inflammations or pains and gives the pineapple an anti-edema, antiplatelet and modulating coagulation activity in venous insufficiency with a tendency to clot and thrombi formation. It is also effective in the case of water retention and cellulite, thanks to its diuretic action due to the presence of organic acids, capable of stimulating the elimination of excess liquids.
- Dandelion. An officinal herb known since ancient times for its beneficial properties in the liver and as a diuretic, the dandelion is also used in the kitchen to season salads but offers the best of itself as a natural draining and anti-inflammatory adjuvant.
- Birch. Famous for its natural diuretic and lymphatic draining action, birch helps to increase the emission of urine, facilitating the elimination of excess fluids. With liquids, too much substances accumulated in the body such as cholesterol and uric acids go away.
- Pilosella. An effective natural element that helps to counteract water retention and eliminate the waste present in the body. It has a draining and diuretic function that binds very well synergistically to the other elements we have indicated. Excellent natural adjuvant for cellulite, the hawkweed stands out for its ability to reduce uric acids (typical of those who consume too much meat) thanks to the high content of flavonoids and to stimulate the production of bile, providing help for the welfare of the liver.
- Orthosiphon. It is another element produced by nature that boasts excellent diuretic properties, since it facilitates the elimination of sodium chloride and increases the urinary excretion of nitrogen compounds such as uric acid. It is used not only for water retention problems, but also to counteract the formation and promote the elimination of kidney, phosphaturia and nephrolithiasis. These characteristics emerge thanks to the presence of active ingredients such as: saponins, flavonoids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, tannins, resins, mucilages that give the plant a purifying and diuretic action. Its diuretic and purifying action makes it useful in the presence of water retention, cellulite imperfections, gout and hyperuricemia.
- Bitter orange. Thanks to the presence in particular of synephrine, it stimulates the beta-3 adrenergic receptors, mainly present in the adipose tissue and in the liver, which are responsible for the processes of demolition of fats (lipolysis). Bitter orange acts on the lymphatic system, which makes it an useful extract in water retention.
- Rusco. It helps to counter vasodilation and performs phlebotonic activity due to the action of ruscogenin, a substance that makes the wall of blood vessels more elastic, avoiding lymphatic stagnation. Thanks to these properties, butcher's broom is a good natural anti-edema remedy and is particularly suitable for relieving chronic venous insufficiency and the related microcirculation disorders such as: night cramps, itching, heaviness of the legs, swelling, tiredness, and pain limbs.
- Golden rod. It is a plant with a purifying and anti-inflammatory action on the urogenital system. It is characterized by a significant diuretic effect, which makes it a valid adjuvant in the treatment of urinary tract diseases and in the prevention of kidney stones. The Goldenrod can be considered a purifying support for the blood thanks to its property of increasing the volume of urine and eliminating nitrogen waste and uric acids.
Combined with physical activity and a targeted diet, these phytoextracts are a valid support to improve the appearance of water retention and cellulite. Seeing is believing!
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