Foods and drinks that help calm a headache

Everyone has a headache at times, and although it can be a truly uncomfortable feeling, it rarely responds to a serious cause.

In most cases, this discomfort can be solved by modifying your lifestyle, including your diet. Here we will see which foods are the best to relieve headaches.

Headaches can occur in any region of the head, on one or both sides, focus on one area or spread, be severe or mild and continuous, and develop gradually or suddenly. It can be classified into two large groups:

  • Primary headaches: are those that are due to problems in the structures of the head sensitive to pain. Examples of these pains are headaches or migraines. It is important to clarify that they are not the symptom of an underlying disease.
  • Secondary headaches: these are symptoms of a disease that activates pain-sensitive nerves in the head. Its causes can be sinusitis, aneurysm, tumors, poisoning, dehydration, concussions or malformations.

Headache Relief Foods

Certain foods can help relieve muscle tension in the shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw that causes headaches, thanks to their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and relaxing properties:

Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids

A diet with a good amount of Omega 3 fatty acids seems to reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. There is even scientific evidence comparing the effect of Omega 3 with ibuprofen.

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  • How to tell if it’s a headache or migraine

You can add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet by consuming olive oil, avocado, nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts, oily fish, such as tuna, salmon or sardines, seeds, such as flax or chia, and leafy vegetables green, such as chard, spinach, or lettuce.

Foods rich in water

Dehydration is a common cause of headaches. This is because our organs need an adequate amount of fluid to function properly or else they begin to decay.

In the specific case of the brain, the blood vessels can dilate, that is, they become inflamed and that causes the well-known migraines.

To prevent this and other problems related to dehydration, experts advise drinking between 1 ½ and 2 liters of water a day. You can also opt for fruits and vegetables rich in water to hydrate you, such as cucumber, spinach, watermelon, melon, peaches, apples, pineapple, or strawberries, among others.

Many of these options are also rich in nutrients that help calm headaches, since they favor the transport of oxygen in the body, combat nervousness, anxiety or stress (risk factors for headaches) and regulate production. hormonal.

Herbs and infusions

There are different herbs with analgesic properties that can be drunk in infusions to calm headaches:

  • Lavender: its infusion has been linked to the relief of a large number of inflammatory conditions or injuries, including headaches, thanks to the fact that it contains substances capable of counteracting oxidative stress caused by inflammation.
  • Chamomile: The evidence on its effects on headaches is scarce, although it does seem to be useful for treating some of the risk factors, such as generalized anxiety, thanks to its relaxing effects.
  • Passionflower: it is rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and oxygenation-promoting nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and C, or magnesium. For this reason, it has been used for centuries to relieve headaches.
  • Rosemary: its infusion is characterized by having sedative properties, stimulating blood supply and acting as a natural vasodilator, which is why it is recommended from natural medicine to relieve headaches.
  • Linden: its infusion helps reduce tension, headaches and even arthritis, as it has anti-inflammatory properties capable of relieving muscle and joint pain.
  • Valerian: there is scientific evidence that indicates that its components inhibit the degradation of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain and induce sedation and a decrease in the activity of the central nervous system. While this is especially helpful in facilitating sleep, experts believe it can help fight headaches.
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Headaches can also be caused by abuse of pain relievers, alcohol, or coffee, having poor posture, experiencing stress, hormonal changes, or sleep problems, and being exposed to bright lights, odors, or loud noises.

Therefore, it is advisable to supplement the consumption of foods previously developed with solutions for these triggers.

Also, if your headaches are accompanied by confusion, high fever (over 102 ° F or 39 ° C), trouble seeing, understanding speech or walking, nausea or vomiting, and fainting, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. before.

To remind:

Until there is significant scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should exercise extreme caution.

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Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.

Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.

Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, US Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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