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From Banana To Milk, Ginger To Water: Foods That Help Get Rid Of Headaches Quickly

Headaches are one of the most common disorders affecting the nervous system, where studies point out that almost half of the global adult population is affected by headache. Be it a sudden throb or a constant pain; headaches can be quite agonizing and make it difficult for you to function normally.

Headaches can be caused by various reasons including diet, level of hydration, work and home environments, as well as your overall health. The most common types of headaches are migraines, tension headaches and sinus headaches.

Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Ice Cream, Eggs And Other Foods That Cause Headaches

In most cases, headaches are relatively harmless; however, in some cases, it can be an indication of severe health problems such as stroke, brain tumour or aneurysm [1]. Headaches can be managed and eased in many ways, from yoga and foods to exercise to sleep. Today, we will look at one such quick and effective way to soothe headaches, without the fear of any severe side effects - and that is, foods that help ease headaches. Let's take a look at the foods for headaches.


1. Banana

The most common and easy solution for a headache is bananas. As this fruit is rich in potassium and magnesium, bananas help keep a good balance of the electrolytes in your body, releasing blood vessels and reducing headache [2][3].


2. Coffee (In Small Amounts)

A food that bats for both the teams, coffee always has a confusing spot in the world of headaches. Because, for some people drinking coffee can trigger headaches, whereas, for some coffee can provide immediate relief from the throbbing pain [4]. Java coffee in small moderation will help with your headache, as it can help reduce the size of the blood vessels, providing relief [5]. As coffee is a diuretic, when consumed in large quantities, it will cause dehydration and may increase headache [6]. The key is to know the amount of coffee intake.

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3. Almonds

Almonds are one of the healthy foods for headaches. Rich in magnesium, almonds can help soothe headaches by relaxing the blood vessels. This is especially good for those who are suffering from migraine [7]. Try eating three to four almonds every day.

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4. Baked Potato

This is one of the best foods to soothe headaches, especially if the pain is due to alcohol consumption [8]. Alcohol is a diuretic that causes dehydration and loss of electrolytes like potassium, resulting in a headache, termed as the hangover headache. Therefore, eating potassium-rich foods such as baked potato is one of the ways to help relieve your headache.


5. Spinach

The leafy green vegetable is a rich source of magnesium, which is effective for curing migraine headaches [9]. Studies point out that magnesium has powerful migraine-relieving properties, which can be utilized by eating a cup of boiled spinach when you feel that throbbing pain in your head.

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6. Flaxseed

A commonly used cure for headache, flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3s, which can help reduce the pain linked with migraines [10]. As many headaches just result from inflammation, having a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help soothe your headaches.

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7. Broccoli

The green vegetable is not only a healthy green vegetable in general but also a low-allergen and a rich source of magnesium. Have boiled or steamed broccoli with a pinch of cayenne pepper to get rid of the migraine headache [11].


8. Low-fat Milk

Consider this as one of the best foods that help to reduce headache. If dehydration is the cause of headache, then low-fat milk can help you the best. Not only that but skimmed milk also contains calcium and potassium which control the effects of sodium and keep your blood pressure levels under control, preventing the onset of headaches [12].


9. Fatty Fish

Salmon and tuna are two of the best foods that can help reduce your headaches [13]. Due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins like B6 and B12, these fishes can work well on a pounding headache and provide you with some relief. Also, seafood is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that helps reduce brain inflammation [14]. So the next time you have a headache, eat different kinds of seafood.


10. Whole-grain Toast

Consuming too little carbohydrates might bring on a headache because your brain and body do not get enough glycogen and end up, resulting in a headache [15]. Keep the balance of carbs in your body by having whole-grain toasts. A healthy boost of carbs may also improve your mood.

Also, having fibrous whole grains will not only give you lots of dietary fibres, but help reduce headaches during your periods. Whole grains present in bread, brown rice, etc., are the best foods for headaches that trouble you during your periods [16].


11. Ginger

The root of ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties, which can help cure that throbbing pain in your head, especially if it is caused by a common cold [17]. You can chew on a piece of ginger to get some immediate relief from the headache.


12. Sesame Seed

Sesame seeds are rich in vitamin E and magnesium, which may help to stabilize oestrogen levels and prevent headaches, especially the ones during your period [18]. Consuming sesame seeds can also help improve circulation, which helps prevent headaches. You can sprinkle some on a salad, in your soup or just add it to that lunch sandwich.


13. Yoghurt

In some cases, the headache might be caused due to a calcium-deficiency, causing your brain to trigger a headache. Consuming calcium-rich foods, like fat-free plain Greek yoghurt with no added sugars and beneficial probiotics for your gut is a good and effective option to soothe your headache pain [19].

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14. Spicy Salsa

A traditional Mexican side-dish, spicy salsa can help cure headaches. They may be raw or cooked. The tangy and spicy mix of tomato, chilly, lemon juice, garlic, onion, coriander leaves and salt make the side-dish one of the best foods to soothe headaches. Spicy foods should only be consumed for relief if the headache is caused by sinus congestion. Because spicy foods may help to decrease congestion and open the airways, helping to reduce the pressure and the headache [20].


15. Olive Oil

An effective solution for headaches caused by periods or due to PMS, olive oil can help balance the hormonal levels and improve blood circulation [21]. Vitamin E rich foods cure headaches instantly., making olive oil a go-to for periods-related headaches.


16. Water

The most apparent cause of a headache is dehydration. We are required to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, and most of us drink just about half of that amount, paving the way for dehydration and a ringing kind of headache [22]. Drinking water can help provide immediate relief, and also prevent the headache from developing in the first place [23]. Add electrolytes like salt, sugar and lemon to your glass of water to cure your headache faster.


17. Watermelon

One of the main reasons for headaches is dehydration. So instead of popping a pill, you can consider watermelons; one of the healthy foods for headaches. A water-rich fruit like watermelon can boost your energy levels, as well as supply you with a good amount of potassium and magnesium [24].


18. Cantaloupe

Suppose low blood sugar is the reason for your headache. In that case, the magnesium in cantaloupe will help maintain the balance of your sugar level and give you instant relief [25]. Eat a bowl of this water-rich fruit for some immediate relief.

Some of the other foods that can help provide relief from headaches are as follows:

  • Rice, especially brown rice
  • Dried or cooked fruits, particularly non-citrus ones
  • Salt crackers
  • White bread
  • Chocolate with a good magnesium content
  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pecans and Brazil nuts

On A Final Note…

There are various ways to prevent headache. Taking a pain reliever, drinking plenty of water, having a cup of coffee, cold compress, massaging your scalp and practising relaxation techniques are a few of the ways to treat primary headaches. But, secondary headaches can be treated only with proper medical attention to get a good prognosis.

For most of us, an occasional headache is nothing more than a temporary speed bump in the course of a busy day. However, it is crucial that you seek medical advice if you have constant bouts of headaches, and adopt a healthy lifestyle, incorporating a healthy diet and exercise.

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