A headache can strike anytime and make your day a terrible one. No matter how much you have eaten or drank to ward off dehydration – one of the most common triggers of headache – there is no guarantee that headache would not visit you suddenly. Knowing your trigger factors is one sure-shot way to avoid unwanted headaches especially you have an important event ahead. One such way is to eat the right food. Foods generally control the trigger factors of headache and hence prevent them. For example, decrease in estrogen levels is a potential factor for headaches in women especially when their menstrual cycle is about to start. Foods rich in magnesium relieve such headaches by calming the nerves. Here is a list of some of the fabulous foods that prevent headache.
Headaches caused by migraines are pretty common among people. Pop in a few cherries in your breakfast or just eat them as a pastime snack to get relief from or even prevent headaches. Cherries contain quercetin that has amazing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties. Quercetin slows down prostaglandin production in the body. The chemical messenger prostaglandin transports the feelings of inflammation as well as pain and quercetin blocks this very chemical messenger thereby relieving headache. 20 tart cherries or a glass of cherry juice does the wonders.
When it comes to naming one superfood that has powers to combat headaches, the unanimous answer would be spinach. Rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), spinach relaxes the brain and hence relieves headache. It eases pain caused by headache. Riboflavin produces energy at the cell’s level and it would certainly help those people who find it difficult to maintain cell energy levels due to genetic problems. Other potential sources of vitamin B2 are broccoli, low-fat milk, mushroom, etc. Besides, there are other more visible advantages of eating spinach – beautiful skin and healthy hair. Also, spinach is also rich in magnesium that relieves migraine headaches caused during the menstrual period in women.
Magnesium deficiency is one of the prime reasons of headaches. Millets are good sources of magnesium. Although the exact effect of magnesium on migraine headaches is yet to be scientifically proved, it is known that serotonin levels increase in people with magnesium deficiency. When serotonin levels increase the person tends to experience vascular spasms that in return reduce blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Magnesium deficiency also results in increase of other chemicals such as prostaglandin and substance P – a neuropeptide – that produce pain. Hence, supplementing your diet with millets can actually prevent migraine headaches.
These tiny seeds can truly be called nutritional powerhouses and contain an essential vitamin that prevents headaches. Vitamin E present in sesame seeds prevent migraine headaches that attack women during their periods. This is done by stabilizing estrogen levels. Besides, sesame seeds improves blood circulation to the brain and hence prevent headache. Also, sesame seeds contain magnesium which has already been proved as a potent killer of headaches. These also contain tryptophan that release serotonin hormone and hence reduce occurrence of headaches.
Salmon and other food sources rich in omega-3 fatty acids have proven to cure migraine headaches. Salmon not only reduces the frequency of migraine headache but also brings down its severity. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and hence fight headache. These fatty acids restrict the very hormones that cause pain as well as inflammation. Salmon can be supplemented with other omega-3 foods such as olive oil and eggs rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to increase brain functioning.
Rich in vitamin B3, corn relieves headache by improving the way blood vessels function thereby inducing calm nerves. A lot of people experience headache due to stress and a diet rich in vitamin B3 can combat such headaches effectively. Vitamin B3 or niacin aids in producing steroidal hormones.
Niacin also assists in repair of DNA. However, the prominent characteristic of vitamin B3 directly related to headache relief is vasodilation in which the diameter of tiny blood vessels like capillaries increases thereby inducing greater blood flow. This proves to be a boon for frequent migraine sufferers. However, high doses of niacin are to be avoided as it may result in more terrible headaches if blood flow to the brain increases manifold.
The most common cause of headache is dehydration and that is why you should rely on foods with high content of water to stave off headaches. Besides, watermelon is rich in potassium and magnesium that are equally good in preventing headaches. Other good water-rich fruits for headache prevention are cucumber, apples and pineapple. The enzyme bromelain in pineapple helps in reducing headache caused due to inflammation.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 that staves off headaches efficiently. Vitamin B6 increases serotonin levels in the brain and hence acts as antidepressant. Hence, bananas reduce the pain caused by headaches. Vitamin B6 also reduces mental fatigue – a potential trigger of headaches. Besides, eating a banana maintains blood sugar levels and is better to eat during hunger pangs than those sugary and processed snacks that end up giving you a terrible headache. Be sure to remove those stringy inner peels as they contain tyramine and may be headache triggers for some.
Fat-free yogurt is a good combat food against headaches. Yogurt is rich in calcium that improves brain functioning and hence prevent headache. Besides yogurt is also good for your digestive health because of the presence of probiotics. Calcium is known to relieve headaches that is one of the chief PMS symptoms.
Spicy salsa dips are not only good as a side dish but also have immense powers of treating a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can be relieved by spicy foods like salsa or hot peppers. Salsa decreases congestion in nasal vessels and open airways thereby helping the person breathe properly. This would reduce pressure and associated headache.
A potential antihistamine, ginger prevents swelling in the blood vessels and reduce blood pressure as soon as a migraine headache strikes. Ginger blocks prostaglandin which are inflammatory substances and hence reduce headaches. It also cures nausea which often accompanies headaches. You can simply crush a slice of ginger for instant relief from headache. Crushing would release the potential pain killing oils in ginger.