Dear Martina, I am in my twenties and although healthy, have a sluggish circulation with advanced cellulite covering my thighs and bottom.

I used to be overweight but now eat a balanced diet and exercise consistently every day.

I am trying to get rid of the cellulite, not only because I think my legs would look much better but because I am really worried it makes my circulation even worse and I will end up with varicose veins.

About a month ago, I started to dry brush my legs from toes to hips once a day to try and help my circulation.

What else can I do?

Are there any particular foods I should avoid and are there others that would help?

Yours faithfully, Corrie.

Dear Corrie, Famous baroque paintings by Rubens suggest cellulite was already an issue in the 16th Century, although it was regarded as an asset rather than a liability.

However, you don't need to be overweight to develop lumpy "orange-peel" skin and, as you have gathered, cellulite isn't always reduced by weight-loss strategies.

Cellulite is caused by enlarged fat cells pushing out against the support structure of the skin, creating those annoying little dimples all women hate.

Once cellulite has arrived, it is hard to send back so try not to gain excess weight by sticking to a diet high in vegetables, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids (linseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) and lean protein - and drink plenty of water.

The body stores toxins such as pesticide residues in fat cells to keep them away from vital organs. Eating fresh rather than processed or packaged foods speeds toxin removal from cells and makes them softer.

Apples and carrots are particularly good at helping to detox. Also cut down on saturated or hydrogenated fats, sugar, salt and any preventable toxins (alcohol, caffeine, nicotine).

If you find this regime difficult, consult a nutritionist who will show you how to stabilise your blood sugar level and banish cravings.

There are specific nutrients which reduce the break down of connective tissue resulting in cellulite and varicose veins.

Flavonoid-rich cherries, bilberries, hawthorn berries and blackberries strengthen capillary walls as well as the intercellular substance in between blood vessels.

Also take extra Vitamin C because it is needed to make collagen, the main constituent of connective tissue: Without Vitamin C, your skin would literally fall apart.

Exercise is all-important to further toughen up the supportive matrix of your skin.

Try walking, cycling, swimming or rebounding on a mini-trampoline.

Dry skin brushing certainly kick-starts a sluggish circulation. Start with the soles of your feet and brush gently towards the heart with upward, circular movements.

If you dare, follow a warm bath or shower with a cold shower (feet first).

You will have to be patient for it takes time to see results but, by now, you should be feeling so good, you can say: "Love me, love my cellulite."

Martina is a qualified
nutritionist at the Crescent Clinic of Complementary Medicine, 37 Vernon Terrace, Brighton. Tel: 01273 202221 or e-mail: