Food & Recipes

6 Foods That Help Naturally Fight Headaches

If you frequently get headaches, try eating these foods to help relieve the pain.

If you’re someone who constantly gets debilitating headaches, you likely reach for an Advil or two when the head pain strikes.

Although painkillers can definitely relieve your headache, no one wants to have to rely on medication, and sometimes it can be more helpful to try to work through your ailments in a more natural way.

Luckily, some remedies to head pain can be found in your diet, and switching up what you eat might be able to help relieve that throbbing in your temples.

1. Ginger

Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy, and for good reason. The root has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help fight headaches as well as nausea-inducing migraines.

Add some ginger to your smoothies, shave it in salads, or brew some tea to help combat your headaches.

ginger photo
Photo by Veganbaking.net

2. Cayenne Pepper

Turning up the heat can help turn down the pain. 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.

You can even take this remedy up a notch by applying (very!) diluted capsaicin directly to the nose.

cayenne pepper photo
Photo by blumenbiene

3. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. Studies show that these fatty acids lead to decreased frequency, duration and severity of migraine headaches.

salmon photo
Photo by jansokoly

4. Peppermint

Peppermint is one of the most common treatments of headaches, although it is most effective when it used topically around the temples or forehead versus ingested. Either way, the aroma of peppermint can be relaxing, and some say using peppermint oil can be as effective as taking a Tylenol for head pain.

mint leaves photo
Photo by iriskh

5. Melons

Many headaches stem from dehydration, so eating a fruit with a high water content can help keep you hydrated and reduce your head pain. Cantaloupe especially is high in potassium and magnesium, which can both help with headache prevention.

cantaloupe photo
Photo by News21 – National

6. Cherries

Cherries are also an anti-inflammatory food, and they contain compounds such as anthocyanin and bioflavonoids that act similarly to aspirin and ibuprofen. Since cherries are a fruit, they’re also hydrating, which can help relieve pain.

cherries photo
Photo by bm.iphone

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In addition to these foods, remember to drink a lot of water, which can help prevent any headaches or migraines to begin with, as dehydration can trigger them.

Adobe
Photo by andrewmalone

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