It's no secret that wedding planning can be stressful, but did you know what you eat can affect anxiety? While greasy fries may feel like the answer (and taste really good), they may be making you feel worse, according to Registered Dietician Julie Upton. She recommends reaching for these six healthy foods when the big day has you bugging out.
Blood pressure rises when you're stressed. Other than making you feel anxious, chronic high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems. So take a break from obsessing over that seating chart and reach for foods that are high in potassium, like dairy products, to control blood pressure, according to Upton. If you have a dairy sensitivity, try potatoes, bananas or avocados.
Eating nuts in the shell is a great way to slow you down and make you eat less, but cracking is great for stress too. Upton says, "the act of opening up the shell can help you relax." She prefers pistachios, which are also rich in heart healthy nutrients.
As if we needed it, here's your excuse to eat chocolate. "A one-ounce piece of dark chocolate or a hot cocoa made with real dark chocolate can also help relax blood vessels to alleviate stress," says Upton. Doctor's orders...
Feeling stuck on those vows you've been meaning to write? Upton recommends sipping a cup of tea to reboot your mind. "Tea has been shown to help activate areas of the brain that help you focus and organize your thinking to accomplish tasks better, " she says.
On the border of a tiff with your bridesmaid? Take your aggression out on some crunchy vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, Jicama. "Whatever veggie you like, munch on it when you're starting to feel the anxiety rise," Upton says. The crunchier, the better.
Besides being great for your weight loss, seafood is also a great to combat anxiety. DHA/EPA, found in seafood, keeps your stress levels balanced, according to Upton. Grill up some salmon for yourself and the groom the week of the wedding to relax.
And while there are foods you should stock up on in preparation of your big day, there are, of course, some snacks you should avoid at all costs. Fried foods, potato chips and sugary sodas may seem like comfort food, but they'll only make your bad day worse. "Studies show eating low-quality 'junk' food simply adds to feelings of depression and may make your stress worse in the long run," Upton says. Stay away from too much caffeine if it makes you feel jittery. Happy bride, happy wedding.