There are many different types of headaches, from tension to cluster to hormonal to sinus-related. But they all share one thing in common: they’re extremely annoying! Along with identifying triggers to your headaches, which may include diet, allergens, hormones, weather changes and viruses, you can help stop a headache in its tracks by focusing on specific nutrients found in tasty, whole foods. Next time a mild headache comes along, try some naturally delicious pain relief with these 20 healthy foods and recipes.
Dehydration is a major headache trigger due to reduced potassium levels. Per serving, sweet potatoes deliver more potassium than bananas, helping to balance electrolytes — including potassium — for a natural headache calmer.
Though too much coffee and caffeine can dehydrate you and in turn, increase a headache, one cup can be an effective soother by decreasing the size of blood vessels. Take coffee beyond the cup, giving rich depth of flavour as a headache-busting taco recipe.
Reducing natural sugars, like those found in melons, can spike headaches. Melon, be that watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew, also contain a large amount of water to combat headache triggering dehydration.
Complex carbohydrates, like the ones found in whole grain quinoa, increase glycogen stores in the brain, for headache-reducing action. Enjoy more quinoa throughout the week as a quick lunch or dinner side. The best part? A batch cooks up in well under 30 minutes.
This everyday superfood works to soothe a headache by slightly reducing blood pressure, a common culprit of headaches. Its mild taste can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways for headache control. Enjoy spinach in smoothies, soups, stews, as a salad or on a sandwich.
During cold and flu season, sinus pressure and congestion can be a headache culprit that’s tough to get rid of. Spicy peppers work to alleviate headache-causing sinus pressure so you can breathe easy and feel better fast.
Salmon is brain food, rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which have been studied for their ability to reduce headache frequency and pain. Skip smoked salmon as some brands contain preservatives that make headaches worse and opt for fresh fillets instead.
For dehydration related headaches, reach for potatoes. Baking (russet) potatoes are an incredible source of headache-reducing potassium, an electrolyte that ensures proper hydration.
Both dried and fresh apricots contain a large amount of relaxing magnesium which may help to reduce the frequency and duration of tension headaches. Enjoy this sticky, sweet treat in baked goods, on top of oatmeal, as a pleasantly tart addition to homemade trail mix and more.
For those who are frequent migraine sufferers, adding more mushrooms to your diet may help. Mushrooms are rich in riboflavin, showing promise in reducing the incidence of migraines by supporting the brain’s energy metabolism.
Like oranges, limes and lemons, grapefruit is a water-packed citrus fruit that soothes a headache by delivering healthy hydration to the brain and body. Grapefruit also contains a small amount of magnesium, another headache helper, as well as vitamin C to keep away colds and therefore, sinus headaches.