7 Foods that Naturally Fight Headaches
Headaches are one of the most common ailments, and almost everyone has them occasionally. While unusually painful or highly localized headaches can be signs of serious neurological illness or injury, a reassuring 90% of headaches are benign. These are usually tension headaches, which can stem from a number of causes. Psychological stress, hunger, sleeping positions, sleep deprivation, dehydration, and eye strain can lead you to develop a headache.
If you’re suffering from frequent tension headaches, it helps to identify the underlying cause. The most common cause is nerve pressure in the spine. (Shameless Plug: At Intero Chiropractic, we have the unique technology to accurately detect this)
!) It could be because of work stress or relationship issues, an irregular sleep schedule, or inadequate nutrition. Certain foods may actually help prevent headaches from occurring, largely by counteracting nutrition and hydration issues that might be contributing to the problem.
These 7 foods help you fight headaches naturally, reducing the need for analgesics that can be damaging if taken too frequently.
1) Lettuce-based salads.
Dehydration is a common cause of tension headaches. Along with drinking enough water, eating foods with a high water content helps your body maintain its osmolytic balance. Lettuce, spinach, and other leafy vegetables are high in both water and fiber, as well as being rich sources of many important micronutrients.
As you probably know, too much caffeine can actually give you a headache. But in moderate doses, the caffeine in coffee, green tea, and other healthy beverages acts as a vasoconstrictor, reducing the size of blood vessels. This is especially helpful for managing pain caused by migraines, a common type of headache with a neurological origin.
Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium. Magnesium can act as a vasodilator, relaxing your blood vessels to soothe tension headaches. Their potassium content helps your body maintain its balance of electrolytes. This is especially helpful for headaches caused by drinking excess alcohol the night before.
4) Spicy foods
If your headache is caused by sinus congestion, foods with heat and pungency can help relieve the pressure. Many ethnic foods, like Thai, Szechuan, and Indian cuisines, make use of ingredients containing piperine, capsaicin, and other spicy substances.
Yogurt and other dairy products are a rich source of calcium, which helps combat the inflammatory processes underlying tension headaches. For people who have trouble digesting dairy, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are also a source of calcium.
6) Salmon, Tuna, and Other Oily Fish
There are two main types of fish meat: “white fish,” like cod and pollock, and “oily fish,” like tuna and salmon. Oily fish flesh contains a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. For migraine patients, a diet high in omega-3 compounds has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
7) Liver and Kidney
Both liver and kidneys are high in niacin, also known as vitamin B3. Niacin deficiencies can trigger both migraines and tension headaches. If you’re vegetarian, or you just don’t like offal, beets and sunflower seeds are also good sources of niacin.
Good Health and Nutrition Can Help Prevent Headaches
Whether you’re a migraine patient or you suffer from tension headaches, a healthy diet rich in micronutrients, along with proper hydration, can help reduce the frequency and pain of your headaches. If you’re getting frequent headaches, especially tension headaches, it’s also wise to get the root cause accurately diagnosed by a specially trained chiropractor. At Intero Chiropractic, we have the advanced technology to detect the root cause and provide you with a strategic plan to keep you headache