People who have chronic and severe headaches and migraines are often bedridden due to pain. Though a variety of medicines are present in the market to treat the headache; they do not decrease the severity of the pain in some sufferers. There are some alternative treatments available including stress management, lifestyle changes and dietary changes. Headaches can easily be caused due to improper nutrition. Several foods that help headaches and make you feel good in no time are described in the following article.
Foods that Can Work Wonders to Relieve Your Headache
Foods Rich in Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
Migraines are the headaches in which usually one side of the head hurts and sensitivity to light is increased. It may also be accompanied by nausea. According to research, the incidence of migraine headaches can be reduced by up to 50% by riboflavin. The energy metabolism of the brain and its muscle cells is improved by this vitamin. It helps protect the muscle cells of the brain and maintain energy. It is recommended that you should get at least 400 mg of riboflavin in your diet. Foods such as crimini mushrooms, quinoa and asparagus are good source of riboflavin, thereby examples of foods that help headaches. Even a glass full of low fat milk is around 30% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of riboflavin.
Foods Rich in CoenzymeQ10 or CoQ10
CoQ10 is important for maintaining health of blood vessels and is a major source of production of energy in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant and supports mitochondria which may be implicated sometimes in tension headaches. Your body cells are also protected from stress-induced free radicals by CoQ10. It is recommended to take 100 mg thrice daily. Foods rich in CoQ10 are eggs, tuna, cauliflower and broccoli.
Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium rich foods are useful to control hormonal headaches which are usually caused due to estrogen, the reason females suffer more from migraines than males and also why females have headaches before or during menses when there is a drop in estrogen levels. Magnesium helps in calming your overexcited nerves. You should get at least 450 mg of magnesium per day from foods such as Swiss chard and spinach, which can provide around 40% of your RDA. Other foods rich in magnesium are bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, all examples of foods that help headaches.
A Variety of Fruits
For headaches due to a cold or flu it is recommended to have fruits rich in water such as strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit and pineapples.
Foods rich in vitamin B such as B12, B6, and folic acid are found to help in reducing the amount of headaches. Therefore, adding tuna and salmon are great in beating headache. Fatty fish are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.
Cantaloupe is rich in both potassium and water, therefore, it counterbalances headaches triggered due to dehydration and high sodium. It is also a rich source of magnesium. According to some studies, magnesium helps in stabilizing levels of insulin in non-diabetic individuals. Since, a big trigger of headache is low blood sugar; more magnesium can help in regulating levels of blood sugar and relieve any headaches in future.
Navy beans are also a rich source of magnesium, which helps in headache as it has a role in muscle contraction including the blood vessels due to which headaches are caused.
Potatoes help in treating headaches as they are a rich source of potassium. One potato along with the skin contains 25% of the RDA, plus it also has vitamins B6, A and C. You can either bake it or steam to make mash potato.
Though eating any kind of fruit is helpful in relieving headache due to dehydration, cherries are especially helpful as they have compounds that convert to nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide protects against headaches.
Water and Coffee
One of the most important things that can be done to treat and prevent headaches is to remain hydrated as dehydration is a major cause of headache.
Coffee can help a pounding headache if taken in moderation. Caffeine causes vasoconstriction, thereby, reducing the size of blood vessels, easing migraines. Coffee is very helpful if your headache is due to seasonal allergies, as it decreases the release of compound histamine in blood, which helps in relieving allergic reactions. This power of coffee comes from the high amount of antioxidants present in coffee.
Painful headaches can occur due to low levels of calcium, therefore, it is recommended to consume daily recommended doses of this nutrient. Yogurt is one such food that can give a delicious boost to your calcium levels and is a perfect example of foods that help headaches.
If your headache is caused due to flu or seasonal allergies, you can try eating spicy foods. Eating spicy foods relieves congestion, thereby reducing sinus pressure and opening up your airways. Chili powder is also a rich source of vitamin E, which relaxes blood pressure, thereby relieving a headache.
Bread made from whole grain provides great relief to people suffering from migraines. Carbohydrates are slowly released by unprocessed grains, thereby, replenishing your physical energy. If you have just begun a new diet, you can commonly get headaches. It is important to eat healthy carbohydrates for complete nutrition. In a study done at Hospital for Sick Children, in London in the year 1983, the effects of an elimination diet was monitored on 88 children who suffered from chronic and severe migraine headaches. The diet included brown rice in it. According to findings, after the completion of the diet, in 78 children migraines no longer happened and 4 children in the group showed substantial improvement.