5 Foods To Relieve A Headache Or Migraine

There’s nothing worse than a strong headache, especially if it doesn’t respond to Panadol -- or worse, if you’re allergic to ibuprofen or paracetamol. The good news is, there are certain foods you can eat to help keep your headaches and migraines at bay.

Woman with a headache

Potatoes

We’re often told to exclude potatoes frm our diet due to their high starch content, but if you suffer from headaches caused by dehydration, a meal with potassium-rich potatoes could be just what the doctor ordered. A baked potato with skin contains up to 600 milligrams of potassium, which is around 20 percent of an average woman’s daily potassium requirement.

Bananas

As well as being loaded with potassium, bananas are a great source of magnesium, with the average banana containing around 10 percent of your recommended daily intake. Studies have linked magnesium deficiency with migraine headaches, so it is thought that magnesium can help to relieve migraine and headache symptoms such as those caused by stress. As an added bonus, magnesium has a calming effect, so it is useful to relieve tension headaches. It’s no wonder that nutritionists say that the best way to start your day is with a banana!

Dried fruits and nuts

Alcohol intake, stress and menstruation can all contribute to the onset of migraines and headaches, because they force your body to use up its stores of magnesium. Therefore, increasing your intake of magnesium will help to alleviate these aches and pains. Dried apricots, almonds, cashews, brown rice, nuts and seeds are all different foods that are rich in magnesium, and they make great snacks. Keep in mind that your daily magnesium intake should be around 250-350 milligrams, as any doses higher than this can result in stomach problems and diarrhoea.

Spinach

Magnesium is not just beneficial for getting rid of headaches: it also plays a vital role in keeping your heart healthy, and helps with the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Adding dark green, leafy vegetables to your diet, such as versatile spinach -- it’s great in salads and sandwiches, and can also be used in stir-fries and pasta dishes -- helps to replenish magnesium and restores your body's natural balance, thereby alleviating your headache pain.

Ginger

Headaches and migraines are a source of inflammation, and one food that helps to combat that is ginger. It is considered one of the most effective headache remedies, and it’s an easy, flavoursome ingredient to add to meals. For an instant hit of ginger, try drinking it on its own as a ginger tea. You can make a weak ginger tea by peeling and cutting fresh ginger into slices and adding one tablespoon to hot water, along with your preferred regular tea. Something simple like English Breakfast works best.

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