Tuesday Ten: Foods That Fight Headaches

We’ve all been there before: It’s been a long day and as the mid-afternoon slump starts to roll around, you begin to feel a little pressure in between your temples. Soon pressure turns to pain and before you know it you have a splitting, downright awful headache. You think you ate enough and drank plenty of water, so you’re not sure how to find a cure that will get you through the rest of your busy day. That’s where I come in…

This scenario has happened to me more times than I would like. There are few things more frustrating than a headache that won’t go away. When I feel a migraine come along, I make sure to drink an entire glass of water to rule out dehydration. When that doesn’t help, I rely on 10 foods that help to relieve the pain.

Without further ado, here are 10 foods that fight headaches…Tuesday Ten: Foods That Fight Headaches

1. Cherries

I had always heard about cherries having headache-fighting properties and apparently it’s true. After doing a little research I discovered that this fruit has a compound called quercetin, which has strong anti-oxidant, anti-allergy, and anti-inflammatory properties. This compound helps your body to put up a shield that blocks sensitivity and pain. All you night to calm a headache or migraine are 20 tart cherries. You can also reap the benefits by sipping on a glass of cherry juice.

2. Coffee

You wouldn’t think your favorite vice could help headaches, but the caffeine in coffee helps to constrict blood vessels which provides headache relief, according to Livestrong. Just be careful—too much coffee can dehydrate you and make your headache worse.

3. Salmon
Lean protein like salmon will discourage a hunger headache because it gives you lasting energy throughout the day and stabilizes your blood sugar. Salmon comes chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the frequency, duration and severity of headaches, according to Joy Bauer. In fact, eating a high-sodium, processed meat like pepperoni or salami can actually make you dehydrated, thus making your headache worse. Load up on your B vitamins and reap the benefits of increased brain functioning by eating salmon twice a week.

4.  Whole Grains

FitSugar says that whole grains like millet and oatmeal contain magnesium and B vitamins, both of which will stop a headache in its tracks. I love making this vegetable millet recipe for lunch or dinner, and eating up the rest of the leftovers throughout the week.

5. Spinach
If you didn’t already know, spinach is a major super food and one of the best leafy greens you can put in your body. Not only does it clear up your skin and make your hair shiny, it battles headaches too. According to WebMD, vitamin B2 has a relaxing effect on your brain, which will ease any pain your body is going through. Make a spinach salad for lunch for a headache-free day.

6. Spicy Salsa

Spicy foods like salsa, hot peppers and siracha can help ease the pain of a sinus headache. The spiciness will clear your sinuse,s which will open your airways. This will alleviate pressure and calm your headache, according to Women’s Day. Who knew chips and salsa could be so helpful?

7. Corn

Healthy Living says that corn and other foods that are rich in vitamin B3- support blood vessel function and calm nerves. In turn, not having enough vitamin B3 in your diet can result in stress-related headaches. If you don’t like corn, try munching on beans, tomatoes, or potatoes.

8. Bananas

Let’s come full circle and talk about all the B vitamins. Vitamin B6 (just like B3 and B2) is a headache-fighting powerhouse. It is found in bananas, and it will help to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain, which acts as an anti-depressant. This will then lower the amount of pain your body is feeling. Studies have even shown that vitamin B6 fights mental fatigue too, so eat up!

9. Watermelon

Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of headaches.  The next time you’re hungry and have a headache, snack on a slice of watermelon before you pop a tylenol. Watermelon is a water-rich food, so it will immediately help to rehydrate your body. You can also blend this fruit into a smoothie or make a fruit salad with other hydrating fruits such as berries, cucumber and melon. (Women’s Day)

10. Flaxseed

Flaxseed are associated with many different health benefits because of their omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help to fight migraines, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties (FitSugar). Add a scoop of flaxseed to your overnight oats, or bake it into healthy treats like banana bread or flax carrot apple muffins…yum.

Before you stock up on these headache-fighting foods, it’s also important to know which foods may actually trigger headaches. Cheese, artificial sweeteners, processed meats and caffeine (if you’re not used to it or if you drink too much) are all foods that WebMD cites as headache triggers. So now that you know what to eat and what to avoid, I want to know…

Do you have any tricks for banishing headaches? (Advil doesn’t count!)

XO Lauren

Photos: Behavioral, Precision Nutrition, Tastebook, Answers, The Telegraph, Pachd, Six Pack Smackdown, Dole Food Service, Shutter Stock, American Spice
Sources: FitSugar, WebMD, Healthy Living, LiveStrong, Woman’s Day, Bringing You Fitness, Livestrong, Joy Bauer
Categories: Grow, Health, Lauren Conrad, Tuesday Ten
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  • Spender

    Luckily I hardly get any headaches, but if I do then drinking a big glass of water usually does the trick. If it doesn’t work, I take my hair down if it’s been in a ponytail. If it still won’t go then SLEEP is needed! Will bear these foods in mind though, thanks for the tips, you’re a great source of information Miss Conrad :) xo

  • Katelin Absher

    I suffer from Migraines and terrible headaches, therefore any additional information on reducing the pain is awesome! Thank you so much for these tips!! I will definitely use these!!

    Check out my blog for a fun American Flag shorts DIY for the 4th!!


  • Lisa Edgar

    I use a headache roll on stick from Canadian company Rocky Mountain Soap but I’m sure you can find a similar product in the US. It’s all natural essential oils, usually peppermint, lavender and camomile. Mixed with absorbent agent like sunflower seed oil alcohol and vitamin E. I never leave home without it. I roll it on my temples, forehead and under my nose to prevent the nausea that can come with my migraines. I also have a cold and sinus one that has peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary which is great for the more sinus headache or congestion of a cold induced pressure headache,,

  • Amy Breckenridge

    this is great to know! whenever i get a headache i always drink a ton of water and also peppermint tea. i find the smell of peppermint to help with my headaches. one of my friends gave me some peppermint oil and sometimes i dab it under my nostrils when i have a headache and the scent really does help!

  • The City Gal Pal (Austin)

    Hey, you guys forgot the #1 thing that can fight headaches: water! Migraines come in 2 forms, one that is caused by over consumption of caffeine and what that is caused by dehydration. The same goes for headaches. Your blood vessels in your head are either dilated or restricted, YOU just have to know which one works for you. If your blood vessels are dilated, they fatten up and hit a nerve in your brain and you’ve got a headache. If your blood vessels are dehydrated, well then, your body can’t function properly. In fact the easiest way to relieve a headache is really to drink water first and go from there.

  • Ana Sofia

    Great tips :) When I get a headache (and if it’s possible) I try to sleep a little.


  • Ashley

    Just another reason to drink coffee :) And eat healthy foods! http://dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/

  • Allison Norton

    Hi! If you read the intro to this post, Lauren says that the very first thing she does when she gets a headache is to drink water, and if that fails she tries one of these foods. Check it out by reading the post above! :-)

  • Emily James

    The more I read about how to fight a headache, the more I felt like I was starting to feel one starting :p Good tips that I will definitely try before popping a pill!

  • Rachel

    Ugh I always get headaches! This is great info!


  • suzanne

    I often get headaches by the end of the day. Drinking a lot water helps too!
    Suzanne from http://www.writtenbysuzanne.com

  • Deanne Castro

    Good to know! Thanks for sharing!

    Check out my blog for more on fashion and beauty: http://myfashavenue.com/ Today’s post: Chic Day Out…

    Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for the latest tips: @MyFashAvenue


  • Melia Williams

    I always drink a little caffeine because mine are from caffeine withdraws! lol

    The Little Black Book for Shopaholics:
    new posts daily!

  • stellalove

    So helpful! Thanks!

  • OpheliaEvern

    I always get headaches, I’ll have to give some of these a try! x


  • thesassylife thesassylife

    Thanks for the list! I get headaches + migraines pretty often and they’re usually food-related.

    My tip is to always carry a snack with you wherever you go! Something filling and healthy.


  • Remy Kennedy

    BEST blog post you have written! This is amazing!!!!!! Thank you :)

  • Sunflower85

    The one item that is probably the best and is not on this list is WATER! Often times our body is dehydrated and we don’t know it, and we think 8 oz. is enough water for the entire day and its not enough. I know taking an advil is way easier to do but if you want to preserve your liver let’s give water a chance. Also, coffee does fight headaches but it also gets you addicted to the caffeine and dries out cells that keep us hydrated. Just saying!

  • Harmony

    I suffer from migraines which are awful. As I do not usually use caffeine of any kind,. I quickly turn to caffeine, bananas for potassium and chocolate for anti oxidants as well as instant caffeine. I do not drink coffee so I drink a coke with caffeine and eat a piece of chocolate. That double dose of caffeine always works. Then you have to stay stay hydrated. That combination works every time and you have to stop what your doing, lay down in a quiet dark room and turn everything off. You have to give into being quiet and laying down. When that fails I use Excedrin migraine

  • Candace Ridenhour

    Suffer from migraines , I use the migraine stick , it’s peppermint and lavender essential oils. I also diffuse it I’m my bedroom or anywhere I am staying . Also rolling up a hand towel and putting it on the back if your head ( at the base of your skull) provides immediate relief .

  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    These are great facts!! I won’t go a day without eating a banana, adding flaxseed to my foods and of course coffee, COFFEE especially lol.

    xox Ash,

    • Jessica

      I’ve always heard bananas are a migraine trigger because of the high level of potassium.

  • Renuka

    natural ways to fight off a headache – I love it! this was helpful, thank you for sharing!


  • Amy Burnham

    When I get headaches I drink LOTS of water… like, 36oz and within 20 minutes, the headache is gone! So, sort of in line with the hydrating through watermelon idea :)

  • Raven Locks

    This is going to sound insane, but it works. When you get a headache…grab a lemon, cut it in half and rub the inside part across your forehead. Your headache will go away! My mom told me that a few years ago. At first I didn’t believe it, but it totally works.

    Also…I would avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup and anything with artificial sweeteners (like Splenda). Those would always trigger headaches and migraines for me.

    xo Azu


  • Lara

    Coffee may cause temporary relief but coffee, chocolate and dairy are all foods that stimulate changes in the blood vessels in the brain and therefore cause headaches and migraines… so no to the coffee

  • Sarah S.


  • Ali O

    Actually, coffee isn’t diuretic unless it is consumed in heavy amounts, so a few cups of coffee won’t dehydrate you, thankfully!!

  • LaurenConrad.com

    Thank you for sharing your tips! That lemon sounds like an interesting trick!

  • LaurenConrad.com

    What a great, simple way to prevent a hunger-related headache!

  • Taanjaa

    I’m addicted to bananas and watermelon so I’m happy that they are on this list!


  • AnselSf

    Water also fights some headaches, since MANY times they are produced by dehydration in our system. FYI. :)

  • stephaniesstyle

    I leared a lot from this post. :)
    xx Stephanie (www.stephaniesstyleblog.blogspot.com)

  • Titi

    Great ideas. For me chocolate, sex, and meditation helps cure my headaches.

  • Jany

    Hey just wanted to share this video http://youtu.be/FgHcae0YbK0

    Headache Truth – Looking Relief for Headache?

  • Serenaxx107

    I get migraines a lot. Whenever I have some time to suffer through them, I take a nap with a heating pad set on low over my forehead. I also take several motrin and a big glass of water beforehand. Just make sure to only have a light blanket or a fan on because you will wake up kind of hot.

  • too many tension headaches

    i try to take a nap, or rest my eyes in a quiet, dim place.

  • Nelly

    People say I sleep a lot but reason being is that I always have a headache when I get home and have to take about an hour nap to make it go away. I always feel lots of pressure behind my ears. I also found that smoothies help a lot!! Something about the coldness and the fruit that is so releiving for headaches, but it’s a pain to make them.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peeping-Tom/1400376666885997 Peeping Tom

    Cut down on your sodium intake.

  • Aalisa

    Stop eating anything that has msg! Thats the number one thing that I get migranes from and so does my dad, so no more processed, packaged, pre-seasoned, ect. It works for me but I def wanna try these foods, usually I go for coffee or ibuprofen but I’d much rather try natural ways! OH and real pineapple juice works, if you catch the headache early, it has a natural pain reliever :)


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