There are various causes of headache with each and every cause producing a headache in different magnitudes. Headaches are symptoms of a number of physical and mental imbalances. Just as there are foods that can make you get headaches, there are foods that can help make them disappear. Here are some of those foods which will help you with your headache:
- Potato: Hangover-related headaches are caused not only due to dehydration but also because of loss of electrolyte such as potassium. Eating potassium-rich foods can help alleviate such headaches by replacing lost potassium. Potatoes contain large amounts of potassium – 100 gm of baked potato (with skin) can contain up to 600 mg of potassium.
- Banana: Bananas are not only high in potassium (a medium banana contains 467 mg of potassium), but also high in magnesium (a medium banana contains 10% of your recommended daily intake). Potassium can help you with hangover-related headaches and the magnesium can help you with migraines and tension headaches. A large number of studies have established a link between magnesium deficiency and migraine headaches. Studies show that around half of all the people who suffer from migraine headaches have a low amount of ionized magnesium in their blood. Magnesium, found in bananas, may protect your body from the brunt of a headache by relaxing blood vessels. Also, magnesium is very calming, which can be helpful for tension headaches. Other foods rich in magnesium include dried apricots, avocados, almonds, cashews, brown rice, legumes and seeds.
- Coffee: Caffeine in coffee can be both beneficial and harmful for a headache sufferer. Caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache medications as it can make pain relievers 40% more effective in treating headaches. Caffeine also helps the body absorb headache drugs more quickly, bringing faster relief. It can be a very effective headache reducer, especially migraines, but it can also cause rebound headache if you rely on it too much. So, do not have more than 2 or 3 cups of coffee per day.
- Whole grains: When you follow a low carbohydrate diet, you begin to deplete you main source of energy to the brain, the glycogen stores. This also causes an increase in fluid losses from the body (as lots of fluid is bound up in the body’s carbohydrate stores that are depleted), leading to dehydration. This dehydration along with reduced energy to the brain can trigger headaches. When you include healthy carbs (whole grains such as whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals, oatmeal and fruits) in your diet, you not only keep headaches at bay, but also improve your mood.
- Watermelon/Water: Dehydration is a common cause of headaches. Consider drinking more water or eating lot of water-rich foods (such as watermelon) to prevent headaches. The water-rich foods also contain many essential minerals, like magnesium, in their water that are key in headache prevention. You can also try an electrolyte sports drink if you tend to get headaches after long durations of exercise due to loss of minerals.
- Fish: Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna and mackerel) act as a cure for migraine headaches because they are rich in essential fatty acids, omega-3. Omega 3 fatty acids can inhibit inflammation that often triggers migraine headaches. Take fish oil supplements if you can’t eat fish everyday. You can also add foods like flaxseeds, walnuts, tofu and soybeans to your diet for additional omega-3s.
- Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are high in vitamin E, which can help stabilize estrogen levels and prevent migraines during your periods. These seeds are also rich in magnesium, which further adds to their headache-preventing power. Other foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, olive oil, dandelion, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.
- Ginger: Apart from being a cure for nausea, ginger’s anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties can also be beneficial in fighting headaches. It can be cooked or combined with different beverages and drinks like tea.
Adding some or all of the above foods to your diet will help you prevent the recurrence of headache.