Is Food Effective in Treating Headaches?
There’s a notion that one of the finest remedies is eating. As science has shown, it is true. Experts agree that eating a variety of meals may assist with headaches. They do, however, mention that other meals may cause similar headaches. But, before we look at these items, it’s essential to understand that headaches come in various forms.
What is headache and types of headaches?
There are many kinds of headaches, each with its own set of causes. A headache is a discomfort that is felt in the nerves and muscles of the head and neck. Because your brain can’t feel pain, it’s a pain someplace surrounding your head that’s being picked up by nerve endings in your head.
Irritation of the meninges and blood vessels is a common cause of headaches. Nociceptors (pain receptors) may be activated other than head injuries or tumors, resulting in headaches. Stress dilated blood vessels, and muscle tension is only a few of them. When a nociceptor is activated, it sends a message along the nerve fiber length to the brain’s nerve cells, indicating that a portion of the body aches and produces headache pain.
Migraine headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches are all frequent kinds of headaches.
Reduced blood flow to different regions of the cerebral cortex may induce migraine headaches. The precise mechanism of the head discomfort that happens during a migraine, on the other hand, remains unclear. Some evidence suggests that central nervous system structures (such as the brainstem and diencephalon) have a significant function. At the same time, further research indicates that peripheral activation plays a role (via the sensory nerves that surround blood vessels of the head and neck).
Tension headaches are caused by muscle strains in the head and neck and mental stress. In contrast, cluster headaches occur on one side of the head, are concentrated around the eye, and frequently recur over weeks. The causes of cluster headaches are unclear, although they may be linked to blood flow abnormalities.
Sinus headaches occur when your sinuses (nasal mucous membranes) become enlarged or blocked. Your sinuses are surrounded by a membrane that keeps them wet and generates mucus, similar to the one that lines the inside of your nose. When bacteria settle and increase on this surface, it swells and produces an excessive amount of mucus. The headache is caused by the pressure created by the swelling within your sinuses.
Food and drinks that help with headaches
There are many items that you may include in your diet to assist in alleviating headaches. Take a look at some of the most popular natural headache remedies.
Water: While the International Headache Society does not classify a dehydration headache as a distinct condition, water restriction has been described as a headache cause. According to research published in the journal Headache, drinking water generally alleviates discomfort within the first 30 minutes if you are dehydrated. It is preferable to drink water rather than sugary drinks or juices. If you’re tired of plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime or indulging in flavored sparkling water.
Banana: Bananas are one of the finest fruits to consume to help alleviate or prevent headaches. These straightforward and readily available fruits are great dietary choices, even more so if you suffer from migraines.
According to specialists, they contain a significant amount of magnesium and are a great source of energy recovery. Not to be forgotten, they also have a high water content, which aids in the battle against dehydration, another cause of headaches.
Leafy greens: One of the most often repeated pieces of health advice is to “consume dark, leafy greens,” which is entirely appropriate. Spinach, kale, amaranth leaves, arugula, beet greens, and lettuce are just a few of the gardens linked with a decreased risk of developing various chronic illnesses, including migraines.
Spinach is particularly rich in vitamins B2 and B6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have been shown to decrease migraines. Vitamin B2 (also called riboflavin) helps reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headaches. When choosing the ideal green, remember that the deeper the color, the more nutritious content.
Caffeine: Many individuals question if they should drink a hot cup of coffee if they are suffering from a headache. The solution is not as straightforward as one would believe—caffeine poses a perplexing problem in treating headaches. Although caffeine is often used to alleviate tension-type headaches and migraines, chronic migraines and rebound headaches have been related to regular caffeine use. Additionally, going without coffee in the morning may result in a caffeine withdrawal headache.
Nuts: When a headache strikes, go for a handful of your favorite nuts. Cluster headaches and migraine sufferers have lower magnesium levels than individuals who do not. Magnesium supplementation decreased the frequency of migraine attacks by more than 41% in one trial. For a magnesium-rich snack, munch on almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and walnuts.
Bread: Bear in mind that carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. As a result, it would be beneficial if you had the power to engage in everyday activities such as walking, mowing. It turns out that you need carbohydrates. Experts suggest focusing on bland carbs such as toast to boost your energy, normalize your blood sugar levels, and alleviate nausea. Bread is simple to include in your diet plan since you may eat it with some hot tea in the morning.
Meat: The National Headache Foundation advises avoiding aged, dried, fermented, pickled, salted, or smoked meats since they may cause headaches. According to experts, stick to fresh chicken, beef, lamb, fish, veal, or turkey. Red meat is high in CoQ10, a substance that occurs naturally in the body and vitamin B2.
See a nutrition specialist for more information on other foods that may assist with headaches, migraines, and tension-type headaches.