The Good and The Bad Foods for Headaches

The Good and The Bad Foods for Headaches

Certain foods can cause headaches and some foods will help.

Foods that can help headaches:

Cherries: Cherries are an anti-inflammatory fruit.

Mellons: A lot of headaches are caused by dehydration and mellons are high in liquid.

Peppermint: Peppermint aroma is relaxing and peppermint oil may be as effective as Tylenol.

Hot peppers: Capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers responsible for their spicy flavor, can reduce headaches by depleting Substance P, a neurotransmitter that helps transmit pain impulses.

Fatty Fish: Such as tuna and sardines contain omgea-3, which help reduce inflammation.

Foods that can trigger headaches:

Aged cheese: For people who take monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medications, avoidance of all foods containing tyramine — including aged cheeses, red wine, alcoholic beverages, and some processed meats — is essential.

Alcohol: Blood flow to your brain increases when you drink alcohol. Some scientists blame the headache on impurities in alcohol or by-products produced as your body metabolizes alcohol. Sulfites used as a preservative may also cause headache. The higher the sulfite content, the greater the chance of developing migraine. Alcohol also causes dehydration, which may also cause migraine. Red wine, beer, whiskey, Scotch, and champagne are the most commonly identified headache triggers.

Foods high in food additives such as hot dogs, ham, sausage, bacon and lunch meats. They are high in nitrates. These substances dilate blood vessels, causing headaches in some people.

Cold foods: This condition is caused by eating cold ice cream quickly or gulping ice drinks. It’s more likely to occur if you are over-heated from exercise or hot temperatures.

Caffeine: Found in chocolate and cocoa; beverages such as coffee, tea, and colas; also found in certain medications. Small amounts may improve a migraine, but limit the amount to 200 mg /day or the amount of caffeine in 1 10 oz cup of coffee. Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal can also provoke a headache.

Other foods: These foods have been identified as triggers by some headache sufferers:

  • Peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, and other nuts and seeds
  • Pizza or other tomato-based products
  • Potato chip products
  • Chicken livers and other organ meats, pate
  • Smoked or dried fish
  • Pickled foods (pickles, olives, sauerkraut)
  • Sourdough bread, fresh baked yeast goods (donuts, cakes, homemade breads, and rolls)
  • Brewer’s yeast found in natural supplements
  • Bread, crackers, and desserts containing cheese
  • Most beans including lima, Italian, pole, broad, fava, navy, pinto, snow peas, garbanzo, lentils, and dried beans and peas
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Certain fresh fruits including ripe bananas, citrus fruits, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapple
  • Dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates)
  • Soups made from meat extracts or bouillon (not homemade broth)
  • Cultured dairy products, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt