Planning a wedding can be a very stressful time. If you're feeling rundown and tired you could be turning to unhealthy foods to comfort you, but that’s not the answer. Nutritionist and body coach Emma Bond, aka The Bridal Body Coach is on hand with her top healthy foods to beat that pre-wedding day stress.
1. Dark Chocolate
Finally – permission to munch on chocolate. Emma advises that "consuming dark chocolate with 70% plus cacao has been shown to reduce levels of stress" so you've got the green light to raid that chocolate box – as long as it's dark. "Dark chocolate increases the amount of serotonin and endorphins in the brain, while reducing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol," explains Emma.
2. Organic Turkey
"Turkey contains an amino acid called Tryptophan, which promotes good sleep," Emma reveals – so cooking up a turkey dinner the night before the wedding could be the perfect idea to get a restful night. Getting a good night's sleep will not only make you feel better, you’ll look glowing too!
These little berries aren't known as a superfood for nothing – Emma explains that they "contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that bind to stress-related free radicals in the body to prevent them from damaging your cells." Forget bridezilla – you’ll be bride-chilla in no time!
4. Oily fish
It’s the biggest day of your life, so it's understandable that you might be feeling just a little bit anxious (as well as super-excited), but simply adding in more fish to your diet could be the key to channeling your inner zen. Emma recommends eating salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna as these are all rich in good omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety.
5. Dark leafy veg
When you are feeling stressed it can be tempting to reach for sugary foods, but this pleasure will be short lived and will leave you with mood swings, cravings, irritability and bad skin. To stay calm and happy for longer, Emma advises cranking up your dark leafy greens intake – pile up veg such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce, as these contain folate which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical.
6. Fermented foods
Emma reveals that "the secret of emotional wellbeing in the countdown to your wedding lies in your gut. Healthy gut bacteria has a direct effect on your brain activity and can reduce feelings of anxiety by reducing level of stress hormones." Fermented foods that are high in probiotics not only improve your mood, but also aid digestion, boost immunity and help you stay leaner. Emma’s favourite fermented foods are kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, live-culture yoghurt and miso.
7. Organic free-range eggs
Kick-start your wedding day with a healthy boost of feel-good serotonin by eating tryptophan-rich eggs for breakfast. "This high protein food will also help regulate blood sugar levels to avoid cravings and mood swings," says Emma.
You can’t scroll through Instagram for five minutes without seeing at least 10 images of avo on toast – but as well as being a great photo opportunity, this amazing green gem is packed full of goodness. Emma is a big fan because "avocados contain vitamin E for beautiful bridal skin, folate to keep your mood boosted and B vitamins to keep your nervous system functioning."