Headache is one of the commonest problems that throws us off-guard, be it at home or office. In fact, almost 70 per cent of headache sufferers are women. Most of us face headaches consistently, not even thinking that the immediate cause could be something in our own very daily diets. However, if you have frequent headaches, a lot depends upon your genetic predisposition. The more genetically prone you are, the more likely certain foods can lead to headaches. Sometimes even weather changes, strong odours, perfumes, bright lights and menstrual cycle can trigger a headache. While these are factors beyond your control, what you choose to put into your mouth definitely is in your control.
Avoid eating known causes of headache
- Red wine in excess may cause headache; some might get a headache with just one glass while for others it may take 2-3 glasses to be off-set.
- Eating one chocolate may not give you a headache, but eating 4-5 pieces or may be a whole box may give you a splitting headache.
- Cheese can also cause a headache as it contains vasoactive amines such as tyramine which can constrict the blood vessels.
- Some people get headaches by eating citrus fruits which contain octopamine which could trigger the headache. Others who cannot tolerate acidic fruits, due to toxic overload can also get a headache with citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, lemons, grapefruits.
- Eating or drinking something ice cold can send a cold shock to your mouth, affecting nerve endings and causing a pain in the temple region and behind both the cheeks.
- Artificial sweeteners are sometimes known to cause headache.
Other common headache causing foods are cabbage, brinjal, cured meats, canned fish, and peanuts. Even milk and caffeine are known to trigger headaches. Headache sufferers are usually known to be who internalize job stress. Meditation and practice deep breathing exercises (pranayam) may prove to be of tremendous value to such people.
Foods that help you fight headache
- Ginger, the pain reliever helps control prostaglandins, the hormone like substance that controls pain. Take one teaspoon of pickled ginger or just slice an inch of fresh ginger, squeeze some lemon on it with a dash of black salt and chew it slowly. At the first sign of a headache if you manage to do this you may prevent a full-blown migraine. Ginger works like asprin leading to reduction in pain. Headache sufferers can also consume 2-4 tablespoons of alsiseed powder regularly for 2-3 months to reduce frequency of headaches.
- Alsiseeds contain omega-3 fats, which control prostaglandin synthesis and hence control the pain. Make alsiseed powder by dry roasting them. Add salt and red chilli powder to improve taste and consume it anytime in the day.
- Eating fish 2-3 times a week delivers similar benefits.
Most importantly you must avoid the above mentioned headache triggering foods. You may also need to detoxify your body as an accumulation of toxins precipitates a headache. Detoxification can be done by using specific herbs and vegetables juices. When you detoxify and stop intake of toxins, your body organs begin to function harmoniously to bring you peace and improved health.
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