What foods and beverages can relieve headaches?

Food and drinks may be a factor in headaches. Water, antioxidant-rich food, and caffeine are some of the foods and drinks that may help with headaches.

Other foods can trigger headaches. People with headaches who are prone to them can work with their doctors to identify the underlying cause and eliminate trigger foods to relieve their headaches.

This article explains how food and drinks can trigger headaches.

Headaches are a form of pain in the head. Doctors classify migraines based on the location and type of pain.

Headaches can be either primary headaches – meaning that they occur independently without any other conditions – or secondary headaches – caused by an underlying condition.

The International Classification of Headache Diseases is a classification system that helps to classify more than 150 primary and secondary headache disorders.

The following are some of the most common headaches:

  • Headache: Migraine: Migraine is characterized by intense, throbbing headaches in one side or area of the head. Other symptoms include nausea, sensitivity to sound and light, and changes in sight.
  • Tension headache: Stress headaches or tension headaches cause mild to moderate dullness. Some people describe the pain as a feeling of a tight band across their heads.
  • Cluster headache A headache cluster is characterized by intense pain on the side of the face or around an eye. It may also accompany other symptoms, such as nasal discharge and tearing eyes.
  • Sinus headache A secondary headache caused by inflammation is called a sinus headache. This headache is usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, like a runny or congested nose, swelling of the face, and itchy eyelids.

The severity and frequency of headaches can vary widely. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeTrusted Source, some people experience mild headaches 1-2 times yearly, while others have headaches for more than 15 days each month.

Eat and drink to relieve headaches.

Food and drink can help reduce headaches by reducing or eliminating the triggers that cause the symptoms.

Water

Drinking enough water for the health of all cells and systems in the body is essential. This can also help prevent headaches and keep a person well-hydrated.

Even mild dehydration can cause headaches. According to a 2015 studyTrusted Source in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, drinking water can help keep your body hydrated while reducing or preventing headaches.

Fruits and vegetables

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are abundant in many fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help fight free radical damage and reduce oxidative stresses in cells.

In the journal Antioxidants, a study 2020Trusted Source notes that oxidative stresses may play a role. Some antioxidants could play a simple part in treating or preventing migraine headaches.

Consuming antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, edible flowers, and supplements is also an option.

Examples of healthy foods include:

  • Leafy greens like kale and spinach
  • Bright-colored vegetables, such as carrots or bell peppers
  • Cayenne peppers are spicy peppers
  • Spices such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic
  • Root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and beets
  • Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are all berries.
  • Mushrooms such as oyster, maitake, and shitake

In a small study trusted Source published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, a 2014 study suggests that consuming only plant-based foods and avoiding fats helped participants relieve their migraine symptoms. Researchers concluded that more research was needed to understand the relationship between food and migraine fully.

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