Ensure you big day is a success by committing to your health
Throughout our lives we will encounter all sorts of stresses. However, planning a wedding might be one of those times when our health can be extremely comprised due to anxiety. Making everyone else happy on your big day can take a lot out on you—both mentally and physically. That’s why good nutrition should be your biggest commitment prior to saying your “I dos.”
And, as an added bonus, over-the-counter Canadian drugs like vitamins and supplements can be used to boost your immunity during times of extreme pressure and stress. The biggest support system that you can put in place for dealing with the stress of a wedding is 3-tired (kind of like your cake). It includes:
- Effective coping skills
- Positive, nurturing self-love
- Committing to a nutritious, balanced diet
These three elements are most vital during times of high anxiety because they are your army of stress fighters. And we all know how much our physical and mental health can diminish during times of prolonged stress. When the body experiences high amounts of stress, our adrenal glands, or our “glands of combat”, feel it first. These tiny pea-sized glands control the body’s “fight or flight” response, meaning they:
- Moderate heart rate and blood pressure
- Control our breathing/oxygen intake
- Control eyesight
- Control the body’s glucose or sugar levels
You can imagine the domino effect! So, to avoid one, here are four essential supplements and nutrients that can help you to ward off the stress associated with wedding planning:
1. Amino Acids
How often have we heard a bride dubbed “Bridezilla” by one of her bridesmaids? Often enough to see the link between stress and mood swings. However, a diet rich in amino acids—the nutrients responsible for healthy brain function and—can help you shrug it off when your mother-in-law insists on wearing white to YOUR wedding. Eat eggs, meat, fish and beans are all great sources of mood-regulating amino acids.
2. B Vitamins
The B vitamins support the adrenal glands—you know, the “glands of combat” that we’ve already discussed. The B’s are also essential nutrients in your fight against stress because they support as well as your body’s entire nervous system and maintain normal blood sugar levels—both of which can be extremely compromised during times of stress. Foods like salmon, beef liver, broccoli, legumes, lentils, corn, soy, citrus fruits, nuts, sunflower seeds and eggs are all high in B vitamins.
3. Vitamin C
The C vitamin can improve immunity, lower cortisol (the stress hormone), reduce blood pressure and blast the negative symptoms of stress on the body due to its antioxidant properties. Fruits in the citrus family, melon, mangoes, tomatoes, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, and other green leafy vegetables will all give you a blast of Vitamin C.
The muscles get all knotted up when we’re stressed out! So magnesium, the essential nutrient for muscle health, regulating heartbeat and sleep can be a big ally for looking and feeling your best on your wedding day. Magnesium-rich foods include dairy products like milk and cheese; meat and veggie proteins like eggs, fish, seafood and tofu; as well as whole grains, leafy greens and nuts.
Foods to avoid during stressful wedding planning
Now that you have a rundown of what your body needs as far as essential nutrients to get you to the alter looking and feeling your best—let’s examine the stress-intensifying foods and habits that you should avoid, such as:
Smoking: Harmful nicotine elevates your heart rate and increases your chances of a broken heart (aka: heart disease). When you experience the stress of a wedding, the worst thing you can do for your health is aggravate that stress by smoking.
Caffeine: Coffee, tea, chocolate and soda all have one thing in common—they contain a lot of caffeine—which increases feelings of anxiety. If you absolutely need a coffee to perk you up in the morning, drink one and switch to decaf coffee or herbal tea for the remainder of the day.
Drinking: Of course you plan to toast with a glass of champagne on your wedding day. But keep in mind that regular drinking will increase stress and disrupt sleep if you use it as a coping mechanism while planning your wedding. Long term alcohol abuse does damage to your mental and physical health, and increases depression. A happy bride or groom is never blue.