By Kelsey Damrad
The biggest mood killer for any glowing bride is thinking about the foods she should and should not eat before her wedding day. The last thing you want to feel when you are strutting your stuff down the aisle is bloated. You may also be surprised to know that eating the right foods does more than just keep a tummy tight; it works to keep your mood in check. Don’t let your diet get lost in the shuffle among the many other preparations on your checklist. The foods you put into your body can either help or hinder you on your big day.
Oatmeal. We have heard it again and again, so what’s one more time? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if your day includes getting hitched and entertaining everyone you’ve ever met. Oatmeal contains fiber that will steady your blood sugar and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Other snacks for long-term satisfaction: eggs, fish and apples.
Asparagus. With their diuretic-like properties, these nutrient-packed stalks flush out any excess fluid your body may be retaining. Munch on asparagus to keep your body from filling out your custom-fit dress in all of the wrong places. If you aren’t a fan, opt for other diuretic greens such as cucumbers or green tea. Other bloat beaters: pineapple, yogurt, oatmeal, water with lemon.
Coconut Water. Not only will this magical juice give you a crystal-clear complexion, it is chock-full of potassium and will expel unwanted sodium from the body. Replace sugary soda with this refreshing beverage to avoid the bloating induced by carbonation and sweeteners. Other complexion-clearing food: avocado, herbal tea and chia seeds.
Oysters. Thinking ahead to the wedding night? Oysters don’t get their blush-inducing reputation for nothing. High in zinc to aid testosterone production, oysters also improve dopamine levels in men and women. This translates into an enhanced libido for both of you. Other love drugs: watermelon, chocolate and garlic.
Dark chocolate. There is a reason we turn to chocolate during stressful times. A small amount of dark chocolate can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as hormones known as catecholamines, which give us the “fight-or-flight” feeling. Indulge in your stress-induced cravings! Other stress-relievers: red peppers, sunflower seeds and spinach.
Artificial sweeteners. Don’t be fooled by the zero-calorie label. You aren’t doing your body a service by swapping out real sugar for fake. Sorbitol and sugar alcohol, commonly found in diet drinks, gum and other “sugar-free” snacks, could be the reason for your extra bulge. Cut these out and you will feel lighter and less fatigued.
Coffee. The offensive odor caused by coffee is due to its dehydrating effects, which is something no bride wants to endure. If your morning caffeine is non-negotiable, swap out coffee for green tea for a more rewarding burst of energy filled with antioxidants.
Salt. You want to exude radiance on your wedding day and sodium is the least effective way to do it. Excess salt will cause your body to retain unwanted water and leave you feeling uncomfortable. Avoid foods such as bread, salted nuts and canned soup.
Cheese. Though nothing goes better with a cracker, spare yourself the nausea that comes with a greasy pizza or late-night grilled cheese. Dairy contains a protein called casein, which can curdle in the stomach and cause indigestion. This will only further irritate the nausea from your wedding day jitters.
Cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables (any green associated with the mustard family) contain a carbohydrate called raffinose that is difficult for the human body to break down and digest. To avoid the bloat, make sure to first cook these particular greens which will help break down the compound.