The 3 Pillars of Health: Fitness, Food, Sleep

10 Foods for Headache Relief

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Headaches are horrible. It doesn’t matter if you’re suffering from a migraine or a tension headache, you want it to end fast.

And if you’re suffering through one right now, I wish you speedy headache relief.

There are, of course, many medications that are FDA approved for migraine headache treatment. For many people these pills give them the headache relief they need.

migraine and tension headache relief

But what if you don’t want to pop a pill every time you have a headache?

Then you could try some of the home headache remedies.

The better way to get migraine or tension headache relief is to stop the headache from ever starting.

Some of the lifestyle changes you can try for headache prevention are

  • have a consistent sleep time
  • get regular exercise
  • eat regular meals
  • drink plenty of water
  • eat the foods that may prevent a headache

This article focuses on the foods that can help prevent migraine and tension headaches.

Researchers have found that many people who suffer from headaches are lacking in certain key nutrients, such as:

  • vitamin A
  • B vitamins
  • vitamin E
  • magnesium
  • potassium

Of course, there are no guarantees that these foods will work for you.

Your best bet is to experiment. Try adding these foods into your meals and snacks and see if they help you avoid migraine and tension headaches.

Here we go, 10 common foods that have a track record of helping men and women prevent headaches and get quick relief if they get a headache.

Almonds

almonds can help prevent headaches
Almonds are a great source of B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.

1 ounce is only 167 calories, so you don’t have to worry about a few almonds throwing you off your diet. Besides, if it helps you prevent a headache, it’s a great trade-off.

Try eating a handful every day and see what they do for you.

Asparagus

asparagus for headache relief
Asparagus contains lots of vitamins A and C and various B vitamins. It also provides good amounts of magnesium and potassium.

You can include cooked asparagus as a vegetable side dish. It can also be eaten raw and included in your healthy green salads.

If you have a green thumb you might want to try growing your own asparagus.

I remember visiting a friend who grew asparagus in her back yard. Every morning she would harvest what had grown the day before and we would enjoy super fresh asparagus with our meals.

Beans

beans are a great food to help prevent headaches
Beans are very high in magnesium and potassium and a great source of B vitamins.

For example, a one-cup serving of black beans gives you 30% of your daily magnesium and 17% of your potassium.

Or you could try the ever popular kidney beans. These contain 19% of the magnesium you need and 20% of your potassium.

There are many, many more bean varieties you can add into your meals so you won’t feel like you’re eating the same thing all of the time.

Broccoli

broccoli great cooked or in a salad
One cup of cooked broccoli is 6% of your daily needs of magnesium and 7% of your potassium.

It also gives you 37% of your vitamin A, 123% of vitamin C, and good amounts of B vitamins.

Small pieces of raw broccoli make a nice addition to your healthy green salads.

Mushrooms

mushrooms - an overlooked nutrient powerhouse
We don’t often think about the nutritional value of mushrooms. And it’s true they don’t provide a lot of value when it comes to calcium, iron, or vitamin A.

But, the lowly mushroom is packed with B vitamins and potassium. One cup is a mere 15 calories with 17% of your needs for riboflavin (B2), 13% of your niacin (B3), 4% of vitamin B6, and 6% of your potassium.

The above numbers are for white mushrooms eaten raw, for example, in a salad. Cooked mushrooms are still great – the cooking does not destroy their nutrient value.

And don’t forget to experiment with more exotic varieties such as portabello and shiitake.

Potatoes

potatoes for headache relief
1 medium baked potato with its skin gives you 28% of your vitamin C, 27% of vitamin B6, and good amounts of riboflavin and niacin.

It’s a big winner when it comes to potassium supplying 26% of your daily needs and also 12% of your magnesium.

It does all of this for a mere 161 calories.

Keep it healthy by being careful with any toppings you add to your potato. I like topping mine with homemade salsa.

Quinoa

quinoa is a great alternative to rice
A small one cup serving of quinoa provides generous amounts of the following B vitamins:

  • B1 (thiamine) – 13%
  • B2 (riboflavin) – 12%
  • B3 (niacin) – 4%
  • B6 – 11%
  • B9 (folate) – 19%

Quinoa is also a champ when it comes to magnesium (30%) and potassium (9%).

If you’re not already including quinoa in your meal plans, it’s time to start! Quinoa is easy to cook on the stove top or even in the microwave. You can use it as a substitute for rice when you feel like a change.

Red Peppers

Sweet Red Peppers

sweet red peppers may help prevent headaches
A small one ounce serving of sweet red peppers is packed with 18% of the vitamin A you need each day and a whopping 60% of your vitamin C.

That same serving also contains small amounts of B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

try red hot peppers for headache relief
If you like your food extra spicy, try adding a small red hot chili pepper into your meals. These hot guys are loaded with vitamin C (108% of your daily needs) and also contribute vitamin A (9%) and some B vitamins. They contain small amounts of magnesium and potassium.

Tomatoes

red tomatoes for headache relief
1 medium tomato is packed with vitamins A and C and fair amounts of B vitamins.

It’s also a good source of magnesium and potassium.

In addition, you’ll get 116 grams of water into your system. This is an easy way to get more liquid into your system if you’re dehydrated.

Watermelon

watermelon is a summer treat with lots of nutrition
This favorite summer treat has lots of vitamins A and C.

It’s also a good source of magnesium and potassium.

1 cup of watermelon contains 139 grams of water. This makes watermelon an easy way to get more water into your system along with some good nutrition.

Be Careful With These Foods

almonds - avocados, bananas - coffee do they help or not?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, researchers have found evidence that low levels of vitamins A, E, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium can lead to headaches.

That’s why I’ve written about common foods that contain high levels of these nutrients.

There is also evidence that some foods can trigger headaches. The actual trigger appears to be a substance called tyramine.

Here are four foods that contain fairly high levels of tyramine.

  • almonds
  • avocado
  • bananas
  • coffee

But here’s where it gets strange: while these foods can trigger headaches, there are also many people who find headache relief by eating these foods.

For example, bananas are well-known as an excellent source of potassium which is helpful against headaches.

Similarly, almonds are helpful to so many people that I featured them in the beginning of this article as a food that can prevent headaches.

What’s the lesson? Be your own researcher and keep track of which foods seems to trigger your headaches and which foods give you headache prevention and relief.

Picture credit: Photl.com, Pixabay.com, Morgue File, Photl.com, Pixabay.com, Deposit Photos

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