We all experience headaches of varying intensities from time to time. For some, headaches occur regularly and interrupt daily life. But before you reach for that bottle of Excedrin Migraine or other doctor-prescribed remedy, consider how the foods and drinks you consume might be affecting your headaches. A few simple dietary changes may hold the answer.
Drink plenty of water and incorporate water-rich foods such as raw fruits and vegetables into your diet. Drinking the recommended 64 ounces of water per day can ward off dehydration, which can contribute to headaches. Increasing your water and water-rich food intake can also help relieve constipation, another cause of headaches. Grab your favorite water bottle, and keep it with you throughout the day. Aim to refill it at least twice, depending on its capacity.
Eat more Omega-3s
Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, walnuts and olive oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation, a cause of tough headaches. Inflammation causes the blood vessels in your head to constrict, which can in turn bring on major migraines. Shoot for two to three servings of fish such as salmon per week, use olive oil instead of butter or other oils in cooking, and pack a serving of nuts to snack on in the afternoon when energy typically wanes.
Magnesium and potassium
Eat foods rich in magnesium and potassium. These essential vitamins help your nervous system operate at peak performance. When nerves are firing properly, you tend to be calmer and more relaxed, which can in turn beat another common cause of headaches: anxiety. Magnesium-rich foods include brown rice, spinach, garlic, apples, leafy vegetables and cantaloupe. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, yogurt, avocados, lima beans and raisins.
Try eating foods rich in Vitamin E to combat headaches related to menstrual periods. Foods rich in Vitamin E, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes and legumes, help stabilize estrogen levels in the body and thus possibly prevent period-related headaches.