The days leading up to your wedding are bound to be some of the most exciting — and stressful — days of your life. From choosing the most Pinterest-worthy wedding bouquet and the absolute perfect dress to worrying about tripping down the aisle or forgetting your vows, there are a million things to worry about when it comes to your big day. And that means a few things may fall by the wayside. But there's one thing that can't afford to lose your attention: your health. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to boost your immunity and keep sickness at bay. Here, we asked top wellness experts to reveal their five best tricks.
Put Down the Processed Foods
Beyond helping you fit into your wedding dress, a nutritious diet can also increase the odds you'll feel great while wearing it. NYC-based registered dietitian Laura Iu notes that while there is no "one size fits all" diet, "the key to staying healthy is to avoid processed foods, most of which will decrease your immune function." Instead, Iu recommends focusing on whole foods high in antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Get Your Beauty Rest
You hear this advice all the time, but let's be honest: How many of us are really getting the recommended eight hours of sleep on the reg? Celebrated author and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC (Gwyneth Paltrow and Arianna Huffington are fans) Dr. Lipman confirms what we all know deep down: "Sleep is essential. People think they can catch up on sleep on the weekend but sleep is a rhythm and it's important to go to sleep and wake up around the same time daily for optimum health."
See More: Curing a Case of Pre-Wedding Insomnia
Commit to Fit[ness]
Fitness is obviously an important part of looking great — but it can also keep you healthy! Laura Kraber, one of the Eleven Eleven wellness coaches, explains: "Although exercising while you're sick is not recommended, regular exercise increases your overall immunity by boosting your bacteria-fighting immune system cells, making you more resistant to colds and flus."
"Since most of your immune system is in the gut," Dr. Lipman explains, "Probiotics are a great way to create gut health, and therefore more resilience in the body." Iu agrees, "Probiotics are like the housekeeping in your digestive tract, where they help break down food and absorb nutrients, plus they keep harmful bacteria from multiplying and making you sick." While it's possible to reap the benefits in pill form, Iu suggests getting your fix with food: "Fermented foods like kefir, kombucha tea and kimchi are all great sources of probiotics."
Loosen Up a Little
We know there's a lot on your mind, but don't forget to enjoy the journey! Try to find the humor in any small-scale problems that arise — turns out it could actually be good for you! Iu explains, "One of the most surprising things you can do to boost your immunity is simply to laugh. Not only does laughter release endorphins, neurotransmitters that make you feel happier, but research shows [it] can improve blood flow, decrease stress hormones, boost your immune system and lead to improved moods!"
And if you're already feeling a bit under the weather? Dr. Lipman has your remedy: "At the first sign of sickness start taking andrographis (an herb that boosts immunity), S-Acetyl glutathione (an antioxidant which helps the body detoxify), cut way back on sugar since it causes inflammation in the body and is food for bacteria, and drink lots of water."