Headache again? Before swallowing another portion of painkillers and antispasmodics, let’s go to the kitchen and see what we have there (to eat). Food is not just fuel for the body. Each product is a chemical laboratory. Some food products definitely have something that can help us with headaches.
But first, let’s decide what kind of headache bothers you. It has a great variety of reasons, and not all of them are harmless (this is why you should see a doctor). The most common causes are lack of oxygen in the brain cells, dehydration, spasms of the vessels of the brain and muscles around the head. In these cases, the situation can be corrected not with drugs, but with the help of more harmless means. Depending on why (and how) your headaches, you can choose your own lifesaving product.
Magnesium has been shown to relieve headache attacks associated with vasoconstriction. Magnesium has a relaxing effect on blood vessels, which improves blood circulation in the brain and, as a result, saturates the brain cells with oxygen. If drugs like drotaverine are usually helpful for headaches, try eating foods high in magnesium.
First of all, these include cashews, buckwheat, pine nuts, almonds, dried apricots, bananas, avocados, sunflower seeds, and brown rice.
Potassium is one of the first things that are deficient if your body is dehydrated. Moreover, if you are accustomed to drinking little water, you may not understand that your body and your brain (and your head as well) suffer from chronic dehydration and, as a result, a lack of potassium in the blood and lymph.
If you drink less than one and a half liters of water per day and you often have headaches, look for the reason for the lack of water in the body. However, the most severe headache associated with dehydration is after a great evening with a glass (more than one, in fact), or when we have a cold with a fever or without it (doctors necessarily recommend “drinking plenty of fluids” in addition to medicines). This is when foods high in potassium can come in handy.
These are mainly baked potatoes (including the skins). It is believed that two medium jacket potatoes will be enough to relieve hangover headaches.
To relieve a headache related to drinking too little water, you should eat an orange and drink a glass of water. However, it can work on the condition that you then reconsider your water regime.
Black tea with sugar
This drink is worthy of a separate chapter in our article because it is generally a universal remedy for headaches. Even if you don’t drink tea with sugar in general, a sore head is a powerful argument to break this rule.
The thing is that adding sugar to tea helps release catechins from it. These substances have a pronounced analgesic and antimicrobial effect. By the way, it is for this reason that strong sweet tea helps better with headaches. If the headache is related to dehydration, tea with sugar is twice as good.
It is not so rare that a headache originates not from the processes inside the cranium, but from the muscles surrounding it. These are the so-called “tension pains”. It seems to you that “the whole head hurts”, but you are just experiencing a muscle spasm: there is an illusion of the impossibility to relax the forehead (for example) and other painful sensations that intensify when you are trying to move.
Such pains are usually associated with a lack of calcium in the body. A deficiency of this trace element leads to disorders of neuromuscular excitability and, as a result, to muscle spasms. By the way, a drop in the level of calcium in the blood is one of the causes of headaches in women before the onset of menstruation.
To relieve such a headache, you will need milk, low-fat cottage cheese, and yogurt. It is believed that a couple of calcium pills can help faster than anything else, but we are not talking about drugs here. It is all about food that can (and should) replace them.
Notes for women
Frequent headaches, “meteorological dependence”, migraines in women can be associated with a drop in the level of the hormone estrogen. Of course, this is a reason to go to an endocrinologist. But the foods rich in estrogen, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E are a quick fix for pain relief.
First of all, these are flax seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans and products from it, beans, salmon, olive oil. Apples are good sources of phytoestrogens. It is better to consume these foods with sufficient regularity.