Whilst planning a wedding is extremely exciting, it can also be a highly stressful job. It’s important that you’re looking after yourself properly. Jenna Hope, a nutritionist registered with the Association For Nutrition; has a masters (MSc) degree in nutrition and a first class honours degree (BSc) in nutrition and exercise is extremely passionate what she does and educating people in the best way to utilise food and change their lifestyle in order to improve their quality of life.
When it comes to the big day, all eyes will be on the bride, so obviously you want to look your picture-perfect best; one of the best ways to achieve this is ensuring the the lead up to the wedding is as stress-free as possible, and taking care of your health from the inside out.
Here, Jenna shares her top tips for keep stress at bay to achieve the bridal glow...
Swap your coffee for green tea
Coffee is a natural laxative which can cause dehydrated and inflamed skin. The inflammation may contribute to impaired collagen production which is essential for maintaining the elasticity of the skin. Excess coffee can also stimulate constant energy rollercoasters which can leave you feeling jittery and anxious. Try swapping your coffee for green tea as this contains L-theanine which slows down the release of caffeine and promotes the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA which exerts a calming effect on the brain and can help to reduce anxiety. Green tea is also rich in antioxidants to help remove free radicals which can contribute to dulled skin.
Pack in the Omega-3
Omega-3 is crucial for helping to reduce inflammation and promote collagen production.
During times of high stress and anxiety the brain can become inflamed as a result consuming foods rich in Omega-3 can help to reduce the inflammation in the brain and the effects of stress and anxiety. Food sources include oily fish, chia seeds and flaxseeds (although the plant based sources have to be converted into a usable source before they can be utilised).
We hear it all the time but water really is essential to maintain that healthy glow. Dehydrated skin cannot produce the oils required for the healthy glow and therefore it's essential that we feed it accordingly.
Consume foods rich in tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid which plays a role in the production of serotonin also known as the happy hormone. Research has shown a link between low serotonin and stress, anxiety and depression. Foods rich in tryptophan include: turkey, cheese, spinach, nuts and tofu.
B-vitamins are absolutely essential as they help to extract nutrients found in our foods. In simple terms they convert our food into our fuel. They also play a key role in maintaining healthy skin and hormone production. Ensure you're loading up on your B-vitamins by eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, beans, meat, fish, eggs and whole grains.
Eat your healthy fats
Healthy fats are essential for collagen production and maintaining elasticity in the skin. They're also really vital to help absorb certain nutrients including Vitamins A,D, E and K. Whilst these are a really important part of your diet it is important not to over consume on them. One portion of healthy fats includes a small handful of almonds, a thumb size of oil, a tablespoon of nut butter or a third of an avocado.
Focus on sleep aids
Sleep is often forgotten about when we talk about glowing skin however, it is important for the rejuvination and regeneration of skin cells. Stress and anxiety during this time can often stop you from sleeping. Research suggests that tart cherry juice in the evenings may help to stimulate melatonin production which is the hormone required for a good night sleep.
It's also worth noting that consuming caffeine after 2pm may also be contributing to your sleep issues so try to ensure you're last caffeinated drink is at 2pm (this includes green tea).
Finally on the topic of sleep make sure you're consuming foods rich in magnesium as this can help with muscle and nerve relaxation. Foods rich in magnesium include: almonds, green leafy vegetables, black beans and dark chocolate. Alternatively you can bathe in an Epsom salt bath where the magnesium is absorbed through the skin.
Look after your gut
Recent research suggests that gut health plays so much more of a role in our overall health than just our digestive system. It may also be affecting our skin health and the effects of stress. During stressful times you may become bloated and gassy as cortisol (the stress hormone) is released in the gut. Ensure you're consuming at least 30g of fibre a day to support your gut. It's important to increase this slowly otherwise the drastic hike in fibre intake may cause a shock to the gut and contribute to bloating. High fibre foods include: fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, pulses and legumes.
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