1. Antioxidants: Maximizing your intake of antioxidants is an important part of the anti-cellulite program. The main way to do this is with food: researchers are pretty sure that antioxidants need other, undetermined ingredients in fruits and vegetables to work to their full advantage. However, if your diet is good, supplementing will only enhance the effects. The best anti-cellulite nutrients (and those safe in high levels) are vitamin C and vitamin E. What to take: Take 3 g of vitamin C (the most your body can store) in three equal doses each day. Take 400iu of vitamin E each day.
2. Gotu kola: Scientifically known as Centella asiatica, this herb is traditionally used to help wounds heal faster. In clinical trials it has been shown to increase the formation of new collagen, good news for cellulite sufferers wanting to keep their septa strong. Italian researchers have also found that doses of the herb can improve circulation and reduce fluid retention in people suffering from weak veins. Take 30 mg three times each day.
3. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Commonly found in meat and dairy products, this fatty acid has now been shown by four independent studies to increase the amount of body fat burnt during diet and exercise - and to increase the amount of lean muscle mass (which will help disguise cellulite) in the system. In one trial carried out by Swedish researchers at the University of Uppsala, patients taking CLA for 14 weeks lost 3.8 per cent of their body fat. If you need to lose body fat, take two 500 mg capsules of CLA three times each day with meals.
4. Ginkgo biloba: This was one of the major components of the "Cellulite Miracle Pill," and is also an extremely common ingredient in many anti-cellulite creams. The reason is that it increases the rate of blood flow around the body, by up to 57 per cent according to one German study. Ginkgo also has antioxidant properties. It's good if you have poor circulation, if you are often cold when others are warm or can feel particularly cold patches within your areas of cellulite. If you need to improve your circulation, take 170 mg a day. If you get headaches, reduce your dose by half until symptoms stop.
5 Green tea: As well as being an antioxidant, green tea has been shown to increase the rate at which we burn calories. Drinking three cups a day will help you burn an extra 80 calories in the next 24 hours. That adds up to a weight loss of 2.8 kg (6 lb) a year. Green tea may also reduce weight by stopping the production of fat-absorbing enzymes. According to French researchers, you could lose 30 per cent of your fat calories a day simply by drinking more. What to take: If you're trying to lose weight, add two green tea pills or at least three cups of green tea to your daily diet (remember herbal teas can replace glasses of water in your daily allowance).
6. Dandelion: If fluid plays a part in your cellulite, this diuretic herb will help release trapped fluid in the system - but safely. Many diuretics cause the body to leach vital potassium stores from the body, which upsets fluid balance and, more seriously, is bad for your heart. Dandelion is the exception to this as it actually contains high levels of potassium and therefore helps fight fluid retention without causing serious side-effects. Dandelion is also high in antioxidants. Dandelion supplements can be found in health stores and are thought by most people to be the most palatable way to use the herb. If you like bitter tastes, you can also add fresh dandelion leaves to an ordinary salad or drink the tea. Aim for three cups each day.
7. Calcium: If you're cutting out dairy products as part of your diet, it's vital that you supplement with calcium. High levels of calcium are essential for women in their twenties and thirties to help them build bone, and vital for women older than this to help prevent bone loss. On top of this, studies at the University of Tennessee have shown calcium to be a vital fat-fighting nutrient - in trials it was found that increasing calcium levels in the diet increases fat loss by 60 per cent. If you're cutting down on dairy, supplement with 1,000 mg of calcium each day.
Excerpted with permission from the new book, "Cellulite Solutions" by Helen Foster (Octopus/Hamlyn, London; distributed by Sterling Publishing; 2007; www.sterlingpub.com). "Cellulite Solutions" is an excellent guide to helping you get ride of cellulite from the inside out - from the best exercise routines, to healthy recipes, to the most effective herb and vitamin supplements to take, to things to avoid (saturated fats, refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine) and some of the best foods for fighting cellulite (beans, nuts, bran and oats, avocados, bananas, berries, pineapple, pears, watermelon; these are the top ten - there are 10 additional anti-cellulite foods).