Saturday, June 3, 2023

What Foods Help With Headaches

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Kale Might Help Migraineurs

6 Foods That Help Fight Headaches

Related to cabbage and broccoli , kale is also packed with magnesium about 32 milligrams in one cup of chopped leaves. Kale is tougher than spinach and more of an acquired taste. Its also high in fiber, which is essential for an overall healthy diet.

If you prefer eating your greens raw but dont like kales toughness, chop the leaves fine, squeeze with lemon juice, and let sit for an hour to soften the leaves a bit. Check out this Greek kale salad recipe for inspiration . You can then toss the kale in salad or a quick stir-fry. You can saute kale like spinach, add it to pasta dishes, or roast it to make crispy kale chips.

Instead Of: Ice Cream Or Frozen Yogurt

Nothing says summer like a big bowl full of ice cream or frozen yogurt, but dairy and sugar can trigger and increase migraine pain exponentially. Is it really worth it?

Try: Mango berry nice cream

Most of the dairy-free nice cream circulating around the web these days feature bananas and coconut milk, two foods to skip on a migraine diet. This mango berry nice cream is rich and sweet with no added sugar. Berries are at their very best in the summer. To take advantage of this treat year-round, freeze them first on cookie sheets. Then put them in pre-measured bags for a quick frozen treat whenever the urge strikes!

If you need more directed help with your migraine headaches, talk to a pain doctor today to learn about treatment options that could help you. Click here to contact one of our pain specialists.

Best Foods For Headaches


So its not technically a food, but theres a reason water tastes so good when youre not feeling your best. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches in general, so it makes sense that getting your eight glasses a day may help. In one study looking at water intake and headache incidence, water was significantly associated with a reduction in headache intensity and duration.

Another study found that 47 percent of headaches were improved simply by drinking up, compared with 25 percent of sufferers in a control group who did not. We suggest carrying a full bottle of water around and listening to your body for those early signs of thirst before it gets to an extreme.

You can also help meet your hydration needs by fitting plenty of fruits and veggies with a high water content into your diet. Cucumbers, spinach, watermelon, and berries can all help quench your thirst and supply a range of important vitamins and minerals to keep headaches at bay, says Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, and author of Eat Dirt.

Low-Sodium Foods

While research on salt and headache incidence is in its infancy, one study analyzing the effect of a low-sodium diet found that the likelihood of having a headache was lower when consuming less salt. One easy way to cut back? Avoid those processed foods and meats, which are also rich in those potentially problematic nitrates.

Leafy Greens



Small Amounts of Coffee

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What Happens If You Eat Too Much Sodium

But too much sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also cause calcium losses, some of which may be pulled from bone. Most Americans consume at least 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, or about 3400 mg of sodium, which contains far more than our bodies need.

What Foods And Drinks Can Help Relieve A Headache

How to stop headaches

Headaches are a common form of pain. There are many types of headaches, and they may be temporary or come and go for longer periods of time.

Food and drink may play a role in headaches. Some food and drinks may be especially helpful for headaches, such as water, antioxidant-rich foods, and ingredients such as caffeine.

Other foods may trigger headaches. People who deal with regular headaches can work with their doctor to help identify any underlying causes, including identifying and eliminating trigger foods, to help relieve their headaches.

In this article, we look at how different foods affect headaches, and explain how to identify food and drink related headache triggers.

Headaches are a type of pain that affects the head. Doctors classify headaches by the type of pain and location of the pain.

Headaches may be primary headaches, meaning they appear on their own and have no related conditions, or secondary headaches, which appear due to an underlying condition.

The International Classification of Headache Disorders helps classify over 150 types of primary and secondary headache disorders.

Some of the more familiar headaches include:

The frequency and severity of headache pain can vary greatly. The

The general idea behind using food and drinks to help relieve headaches is to help eliminate or reduce the triggers causing the symptoms.

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Dont Forget The Riboflavin

Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin has been shown to combat migraine incidents. Research shows that it can reduce migraines up to 50% when taking 400mg daily. B2 is also essential for metabolic energy production, so adding more of it can boost energy levels. Adding foods that are high in vitamin B2 like quinoa or asparagus can help you reach that 400mg mark.

Smoked Or Processed Meats

If you’re eating meats or vegan meats that are processed, they likely contain additives, such as nitrates and nitrites, which can dilate blood vessels and cause headaches in some people. Plus, these meats also have tyramine, says Rizzo, which might lead to the onset of head pain. You’re better off grilling or roasting a plain piece of unprocessed meat and pairing it with fresh veggies instead of pickled or fermented ones.

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Can Sodium Help Headaches

People who eat a lot of salt report having fewer migraines and severe headaches the first evidence that dietary sodium may affect the condition.

Why does salt help my headaches?

Why Himalayan Sea Salt ?

It raises the serotonin levels in blood, thus has an instant effect on relieving migraine headaches. It is an amazing ingredient and has been known to treat many diseases. It is known to contain as high as 84 minerals, elements and electrolytes.

Can low sodium cause headaches?

Hyponatremia is a condition characterized by low levels of sodium in the blood. Its symptoms are similar to those caused by dehydration. In severe cases, the brain may swell, which can lead to headaches, seizures, coma, and even death .

Does salt make headaches worse?

Salty foods. Salty foods especially salty processed foods that may contain harmful preservatives may trigger migraine in some people. Consuming high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure, causing headaches or migraine attacks.

What gets rid of a headache fast?

In this Article

  • Practice Relaxation.

What Type Of Food Causes Migraines

Best Foods for Migraines | Dr. Neal Barnard

The type of food you eat could also cause migraines to happen. Some of the biggest migraine triggers are:


Preserved meat

Fermented food

While they vary in how and why they cause migraines, most of the time its because these foods cause your blood vessels to dilate. Many of these items also contain high amounts of tyramine which can adjust your brain chemicals and lead to migraines.

Read Also: How To Naturally Get Rid Of Migraine

Berries May Relieve Sinus Pressure

Eating things that are high in antioxidants can help to relieve sinus pressure over time, says Brown. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all good choices.

Smaller fruits tend to have more exposure to pesticides, and so Brown recommends getting organic berries whenever possible.

What Foods Are Good For Headache Relief

People ask how to cure migraines permanently. Unfortunately, and essentially because medical researchers have not yet pinpointed the specific cause of migraine headaches, there is no permanent cure. However, they have identified specific nutritional vitamins, minerals, and other elements that can bring headache relief from migraines and other types of headaches.

Though instant migraine relief is difficult to achieve, some foods can work rapidly, like ginger and nuts. Following are some foods that fight migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, caffeine headaches, and headaches in general.

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Remedies To Get Rid Of Headaches Naturally

Headaches are a common condition that many people deal with on a daily basis.

Ranging from uncomfortable to downright unbearable, they can disrupt your day-to-day life.

Several types of headaches exist, with tension headaches being the most common. Cluster headaches are painful and happen in groups or clusters, while migraines are a moderate-to-severe type of headache.

Although many medications are targeted at relieving headache symptoms, a number of effective, natural treatments also exist.

Here are 18 effective home remedies to naturally get rid of headaches.

A Juicy Slice Of Watermelon Can Head Off Dehydration Which Is Often A Factor In Headaches And Migraine Attacks

Spicy Food Headache

If youre living with migraine, you probably know that certain foods and drinks can trigger an attack. But even though its important to know what to avoid, focusing on the foods to add to your diet matters, too: It may help reduce the number or severity of migraine attacks or other types of headaches.

Food really is the first medicine, says Wynne Brown, MD, the medical director of integrative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. When youre trying to manage migraine, what you eat and when you eat can make all the difference, she says.

Being open to change in your diet is a good start, says Dr. Brown. Often, we can get in a rut and eat the same things over and over. By adding different fresh fruits and vegetables to our diet, we can reap benefits in terms of water content as well as vitamins and minerals, she says.

A diet with a variety of good foods will make a big difference both in migraine management and overall health and may improve imbalances that contribute to headaches, says Brown.

If youre looking for ways to change your diet to better manage your migraine, here are some expert tips on the foods and drinks to help you on your journey.

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Which Diets Are Recommended For Migraine

Beyond individual foods, following a specific diet can also be a viable way to avoid migraine triggers. While eating âhealthyâ is subjective, choosing wholesome, fresh food while avoiding processed and packaged goods is one way to avoid triggering a headache. Additionally, research shows that a plant-based diet can reduce migraine pain.

âSome people benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets, even in the absence of celiac disease, and similarly, some people find relief from eliminating dairy,â Dr. Crystal says.

For those looking to avoid tyramine and other food triggers, Dr. Crystal recommends the National Headache Foundation helpful handout regarding the low tyramine diet.

Migraines Vs Regular Headaches

Many often confuse migraines for regular headaches and vice versa. While all headaches might seem the same, there is a big difference between a migraine and a regular one. A regular headache usually causes a feeling of pressure in your head, especially near your temples. These often form because of tension or sinus problems.

Migraines are usually much more severe. Sometimes they can be so excruciating that medical help is needed. There are two main types of migraines: aura and non-aura. An aura migraine occurs when a person gets a strange sensation in their body, such as a lack of smell or taste, a few minutes before the migraine strikes. Sometimes these sensations might even occur a few days before the migraine actually happens.

On the other hand, a non-aura migraine doesnt involve these sensations. However, these are usually rare because most people experience aura migraines.

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Instead Of: Products With Wheat Flour

For some people with migraine, wheat-based foods may trigger or worsen migraine headaches. Wheat can also cause gastrointestinal problems for those who are sensitive to it. Thats the last thing you want if one of your migraine symptoms is nausea.

Try: Rice- or oat-based products

Gluten-free foods have come a long way in the last decade. Gone are the crumbly breads, hard crackers, mushy pastas, and dry muffins of the past. Rice-based pastas are especially well-tolerated for those with migraine, potentially due to the high magnesium and niacin content. Brown rice is also a staple part of the elimination diet that is often suggested to migraine sufferers in order to diagnose triggers.

Oat flour and oats in general are also an excellent, mild food for upset stomachs that can come with migraines. A migraine diet that includes oats for breakfast is a great start to the day.

Can Food Help Migraine Headaches

Worst Foods to Eat with Migraines (Dietary Triggers)

The overall recommendation from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is to eat food that is usually known not to contribute to headaches in many people. An easy diet during the aggravation period can often bring relief. The following, in particular, might be safest to consume:

  • Well-cooked green, orange, and yellow vegetables
  • Dried or cooked non-citrus fruits, like cherries and cranberries

Maintain a headache journal. Everybody reacts differently to diet-based remedies. If you write down everything you have eaten before and after your headache occurs, your list can help you understand what might be triggering the pain, along with treatments that work best. With that in mind, consider the following:

  • Russet potato: One of the most common causes of headaches is dehydration. And often, as soon as your body needs a bit of water, it is also in need of electrolytes like potassium. As soon as you feed your body the nutrition it needs, the pain will probably subside. So, the next time you feel a headache coming, bake a russet potato and enjoy it. One large tater packs over three times the amount of potassium for a banana, the strongest source.
  • Cucumber: Made up of 97% water, the mighty cucumber is another vegetable that may keep you hydrated and headache-free. Slice up some bread and enjoy it with hummus or blend the cabbage with a few tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and black pepper for an easy summer salad.

Eliminating your dietary offenders

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Watch What You Drink Too

You may have heard that red wine causes migraines, but other alcoholic drinks like beer, champagne, and hard liquor can also make your head pound. Certain ingredients in alcohol cause chemicals and blood vessels in your brain to act in an unusual way. You donât need to spend all night at a bar for this to happen. For some people, one boozy drink can be enough to trigger a headache.

Caffeine can cause headaches. But it isnât wise to go cold turkey on your favorite drinks. That could lead to a withdrawal headache. Instead, you may need to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams a day. Thatâs about one small cup of coffee. Remember, it isnât just hot drinks and some sodas that have caffeine. Chocolate has some, too.

Instead Of: Soy Products

As a migraine sufferer, you have probably tried a plant-based diet to help ease the symptoms of migraine. But you find that soy triggers migraine just as much as a big, juicy burger. So what do you do for protein?

Try: Beans and nuts of all kinds

If your migraines are triggered by fluctuating hormones, soy products can exacerbate that and cause headaches. Soy products are also processed so much as to be unhealthy in general. Instead of focusing on soy for your protein needs, look towards a wide array of beans. Beans such as navy beans, pinto beans, lima beans, and kidney beans, and nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, and almonds contain protein and magnesium, a migraine-fighting mineral that many in the U.S. are deficient in.

Beans are affordable, versatile, and delicious, with a seemingly endless array of recipe options. You wont miss meat or soy.

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Dietary Supplements For Migraine Prevention

A majority of patients with migraine have tried using minerals, herbs, and vitamins to treat their headaches. Patients have different reasons for using supplements, including the idea that they are more natural or do not require a prescription. Because these complementary and alternative treatments can affect pain pathways and other body functions similar to prescription medications, it is important to be aware of the nature of these supplements, including potential side effects and the quality of evidence supporting their use for migraine prevention.

Eat More Healthy Fats

10 Foods That Fight with Headaches

Some people still think fat is a bad word, but there are some major benefits to adding certain ones to your migraine diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, mainly found in fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon, can really help with migraines. Olive oil is also another great source of healthy fat. The monounsaturated fats can be just as beneficial as omega-3s and they can be a healthy substitute in most recipes. Research has shown that they help reduce the frequency, pain level, and duration of migraines. Make sure you add in a healthy dose a few times a week to start seeing some positive changes.

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Food And Drink Additives

Food and drinks today have many additives. There are flavorings to enhance the flavor of foods and preservatives to extend shelf life and sugar substitutes to replace real sugar. The various chemicals, including artificial sweeteners like aspartame, can produce headaches.

Though monosodium glutamate is not used as much as it once was, it is still found in products like soy sauce, packaged foods and meat tenderizers. Other additives triggering headaches include substances like phenylalanine and nitrites.

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