Published: Thursday | September 8, 20110 Comments
Heather Little-White, PhD, Contributor
Whether headaches come as migraine or are triggered by stress, the foods you eat or allergies, they are something that no one wants to get. A headache is a central nervous system disorder and may result in mild or severe pain.
Foods may contain ingredients that trigger headaches. Certain foods contain chemicals that cause the blood vessels to either constrict or swell, causing pain. However, there are foods that can provide relief for those nagging headaches.
It might be said that a banana a day keeps a headache away. If you suffer from constant headaches, you should include a banana in your breakfast every day. High magnesium concentration in bananas will help to successfully cure headaches.
When you are hot and dehydrated and get a headache, water-rich foods can help, instead of using a pain-killer. Watermelon is an excellent water-based product. It contains natural water which carries essential minerals like magnesium, which is critical to headache prevention. Other foods with high water content include berries, cucumber, soups, tomatoes and lettuce.
You may not have an appetite and only feel like having a hydrating liquid meal. Here is an excellent liquid meal.
2 cups seeded watermelon chunks
1 cup cracked ice
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
A drizzle of honey
1/2tsp grated ginger
Blend with ice. Note: The ginger can help ease headache-induced nausea symptoms.
You may have had too much alcohol to drink the night before and you are totally dehydrated. Potassium-rich foods can help to alleviate hangover-related headaches. A potato baked with the skin on is loaded with impressive sources of potassium, containing 721 mg compared to 467 mg in a banana.
Comic-book character Popeye ate a lot of spinach and certainly did not suffer from headaches. Spinach is known to decrease blood pressure, prevent hangovers and may help to alleviate headaches. Spinach is great for salads and is an easy addition to stir-fried vegetables.
Sesame seeds are convenient as they can be sprinkled on salads, cereals, soups and stir-fries. Sesame seeds are highly nutritious as they are rich in vitamin E which is important to help stabilise oestrogen levels and prevent migraine headaches for menstruating women. Sesame seeds also improve circulation of the blood, which helps prevent headaches. Sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium, which is helpful in preventing headaches.
Spicy foods Cayenne (capsaicin)
You may want to add cayenne pepper (capsaicin) to your salsas, and entrées. The ingredient called capsaicin, raises the pain threshold and can lessen you headaches, including awful migraines.
Headaches may mean that your body needs calcium which helps the brain to function efficiently. Yoghurt is a calcium-rich food which you can find in fat-free and sugar-free forms. Yoghurt is also beneficial to your gut because of the probiotics they contain. Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called 'friendly bacteria' or 'good bacteria'.
A low carbohydrate diet may induce headaches as a result of the depletion of glycogen stores, the main source of energy to the brain. By reducing energy to the brain and causing dehydration, low-carbohydrate diets can trigger headaches. Use healthy carbohydrates, such as those found in wholewheat bread, yams, sweet potato, fruit or yoghurt. Healthy carbohydrates help the body release serotonin, the feel-good hormone.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” Buddha[/color][/i]