Start managing that nagging, or sometimes debilitating, pain now by combining your knowledge about foods and headaches. What better time to be more mindful than during the holidays – when you are more likely to sleep less, drink more alcohol and coffee and less water and eat less healthy – together a recipe for headaches or worse?
The worst foods – the ones that welcome headaches
- Wine contains sulfites, tannins and histamines.
- Beer contains grains and sulfites.
- Spirits contain grains.
Many alcoholic beverages may also contain preservatives or added artificial colors, which could be a trigger for you. Stick to beverages and quantities that do not induce symptoms for you.
2 The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas, particularly aspartame, are known to trigger migraines, too.
3 Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can cause headaches. MSG lurks in many food places – chips, dressings, sauces and other proceeds foods, including cured deli meats.
4 The nitrates found in deli meats, bacon, ham and sausage can cause headaches.
5 Foods with an amine called tyramine can trigger headaches. You may be tyramine-intolerant if bananas, avocados, fermented foods, aged cheeses or cured or smoked meats trigger headaches.
Foods and headaches combined – pain relief naturally
Once a headache starts to take over, enlist foods, instead of medicines, for pain relief because many prescription and over-the-counter medicines can damage your body over the long term.
You won’t always know what’s triggering your headache, but if you look for patterns and experiment with these foods, you may find a common thread leading to your culprit – as well as its counterpart.
|For headaches from lack of:||try eating:|
|hydration||spinach*, lettuce, watermelon, cucumber|
|B2 (riboflavin)||spinach*, mushrooms, broccoli, eggs|
|B3 (niacin)||beef liver, beets, salmon, sunflower seeds|
|magnesium||Swiss chard, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, quinoa, bananas*, almonds*|
|omega-3s||salmon, olive oils, avocado*|
|gut stability (you have nausea)||fresh ginger|
|endurance (time of day pattern)||cherries, beetroot|
*Only eat these foods if you are not sensitive to them as they can be headache triggers, too, due to the amines.
If your headaches seem hormone-related, incorporating enough magnesium in your diet may help prevent headaches.
Headaches present another great reason to make leafy greens a major part of your diet. Greens help hydrate while providing magnesium and other minerals and vitamins that are essential to your health. So, during the holidays, when temptations are, well, tempting you, add healthy, headache-preventing foods to help balance out your spontaneous, not-so-healthy eating.
For a deeper look at foods and headaches, read “Migraine detail – how to manage those unbearable headaches and find true migraine relief”.
*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.