There are many different kinds of headaches and many triggers that can set them off. Some of the most common causes include your diet, hormones, allergens, viruses, stress, lack of sleep, or exposure to loud noises.
It may come as a surprise that certain foods can provoke headaches, while others help treat mild forms of headaches. This means that you may not need to turn to medication for relief. Next time you feel the throbbing set in, try some of these natural pain relievers.
1. Russet potato: One of the main triggers of headaches is dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Most times, when your body is in need of hydration, it’s also in need of other electrolytes, like potassium. Per serving, russet potatoes deliver more potassium than bananas, which helps to balance electrolytes. And since a potato is about 75% water, it’s super hydrating as well!
2. Salmon: Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be anti-inflammatory and have nerve-protecting properties. Aside from being rich in omega-3, salmon is also high in B vitamins, including vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which has been shown to help manage headaches.
3. Spinach: This leafy green contains large amounts of magnesium, otherwise known as the “relaxation mineral.” Magnesium has been found to have powerful headache-relieving properties by decreasing the release of pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain. One of the easiest ways to eat spinach is to add it to a smoothie.
4. Ginger: This powerful spice has a natural oil containing chemical compounds that reduce inflammation, nausea, and vomiting, helping to alleviate any discomfort or pain. Ginger has also been found to increase the release of serotonin, which helps to restrict blood vessels in the brain. Steep sliced ginger in hot water for a fresh ginger tea that soothes and calms a headache.
5. Coffee: During a headache, blood vessels swell, causing an increase in blood flow around the brain. Drinking just one cup of coffee provides enough caffeine to release its vasoconstrictive properties. This means that blood vessels narrow to restrict blood flow, helping to relieve head pain. However, be aware that having too much caffeine can have the opposite effect and can cause a headache, or worse, a migraine.
In addition to the recommendations above, remember to drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, set a consistent sleep schedule, and minimize your stress levels.
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