Your wedding day has to be the ultimate motivator for getting into your best shape ever. If you’ve made it to the end of January with your food resolutions intact, don’t stop now. Carry on the New Year, New You promise you made to yourself – that dream dress has got to be worth the extra effort.
We already know that what we eat affects how we look, but did you know it can influence how you feel too? Basically, switching from a frazzled fiancee drowning in wedmin into a calm, beautiful bride-to-be who feels completely on top of her game (or seating plan) is as easy as making a few adjustments to your weekly shopping list. So, fancy being a feel-good foodie? Nutritionist Vidhi Patel selects the best super-foods for when….
Hic! Too many engagement celebrations left you feeling sluggish? Try
Beetroot: fresh beets from the veg aisle are great natural cleansers for the liver and kidneys plus help fight radiance-scuppering free radicals. Try them juiced with carrots, apples and coconut water.
Kale: still perched upon it’s super-food throne, this shrivelled-looking leafy green veg is naturally high in fibre making it the ultimate intestinal cleanser and glow-bestower. Whizz up in a smoothie along with apples and bananas.
Lemons: packing a mighty punch of Vitamin C, lemons are an amazing liver detoxifier. They also help chase away other toxins like pollution, cigarette smoke and cellular damage. Start every morning with a squeeze of lemon in hot water.
Flaxseeds: an effective way to clean up your act, flaxseeds are bursting with fibre to help keep you regular (ahem), cleansing your body of toxins, cholesterol and other nasties in the process. Sprinkle some over yoghurt or fruit or mix into batters when baking.
Have family dramas arguing over your final guest list left you feeling like chewed string? Try
Quinoa: this gluten-free grain is not only super-healthy, but bursting with protein and amino acids to boost energy and aid muscle repair post-exercise. Mix it in a super-food salad with beetroot, blood orange and chunks of avocado.
Banana: low potassium is often associated with a low mood. Bananas are loaded with potassium and B vitamins to provide a slow release of mood-boosting energy. A carb fix also helps you feel fuller. Pile slices onto a thin bagel smeared with peanut butter (another slow-releasing energy supplier.)
Nuts: walnuts, almonds, cashews and hazelnuts are all naturally high sources of magnesium, a mineral that protects against exhaustion and anxiety. Keep a bag in your bag and chomp a handful to rev up your inner engine.
Lentils: energy-boosting B proteins along with soluble fibre give lentils a double wake-up-whammy. Sip them in a soup mixed with vegetable stock, spinach and sweet potatoes before you put in a long stint of invitation writing.
So much to do and so little time….?. Try
Honey: a great de-stresser, thanks to high levels of tryptophan and potassium, it’s also anti-bacterial so will help ward off bugs and cold sores. Try a spoonful of organic honey stirred into porridge.
Milk: warm milk also contains tryptophan, something that can also be spotted in serotonin, which is known for helping bring about much-needed beauty sleep. Sip a calming mug before hitting the duvet.
Dark chocolate: score! Chocolate is good for you! And it’s all thanks to serotonin again, aka the happy hormone that helps reduce stress. Try dipping a couple of squares in warm milk. I said a couple….
Green Tea: a great source of L-Theanine, a mug of green tea will help soothe away frustrations, stress and suppressed anger. Sounds like a bumper-sized box of teabags may make a worthwhile investment over the coming weeks and months!
Come the big day, all eyes will be on you so you want to look your most beautiful. Try
Tomatoes: containing Lycopene, tomatoes are credited with helping to clear up acne and protecting against UV damage. Try to incorporate tomato-based foods a few times a week. Ketchup, which is high in sugar doesn’t count by the way….
Berries: packing a powerful punch of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, dark coloured berries like blueberries, blackcurrants and cherries help produce collagen, the protein responsible for your skin’s strength and elasticity. Try chucking a handful of each into a smoothie with milk or yoghurt.
Carrots: a great glow-getter, carrots boast beta carotene, which gets converted to wrinkle-busting Vitamin A within the body. Make like Bugs Bunny and nibble some every day.
Seeds: shiny, swingy, shampoo-ad hair will be more achievable if you add seeds to your diet. Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are all packed with protein. Sprinkle them over salads or add to smoothies.
The easiest way to eat good mood food? In a smoothie. And these are Vidhi’s top super-foods for 2016. Pick ‘n mix kale, banana, kefir, dates, matcha, seaweed and alfalfa sprouts. The dress! Remember the dress! Now drink up!
So there you have it. Proof (if any was needed) that chocolate does soothe a bad mood. Thanks Vidhi! And thanks Minerva Research labs (and Gold Collagen) who put her in touch with me. So, apart from a bar of choccy, have you found any foods that have a positive impact on your mood? I’d love to know. Now, where did I leave my bag of kale….?