By Barbara Pronin
Any number of over-the-counter and prescription drugs are aimed at banishing headaches. But, according to researchers at the Wall St. Cheat Sheet, at least half a dozen common food choices may be as good or better at preventing and/or mitigating headache pain.
Six worth a try are:
Watermelon – One of the main causes of some headaches is dehydration. Drinking lots of water is always a good idea, but watermelon – a sweet and water-rich fruit – contains lots of magnesium, shown to be effective in preventing headaches.
Almonds – Because they are also rich in magnesium, almonds can help to relax constricted blood vessels so headaches don’t occur as often. To a lesser extent, the magnesium in bananas, avocados and brown rice may help as well.
Coffee – The caffeine in coffee helps alleviate headaches by reducing the size of blood vessels that are aggravated and expanded when you have a headache. But coffee is a diuretic, which can dehydrate you, so one cup when you first feel a headache coming on, should be enough.
Baked potatoes – Scientists say potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body, and evidence shows that a diet lacking in potassium could contribute to chronic headache pain. While bananas are the first thing many people think of when looking for high-potassium sources, baked potatoes contain significantly more potassium: almost 725 mg per potato (with its skin) than a banana’s 465 mg.
Salsa – Sinus pressure is one of the main causes of headache. Spicy foods like salsa can help relieve congestion and open the airways, ultimately alleviating pressure. The spicier the better, so get out the chips and enjoy.
Spinach – Spinach is full of the vitamins and minerals that help work on headaches. Among them are 24 mg of magnesium and 167 mg of potassium per cup. If you’re not fond of cooked spinach, blend it into a juice or smoothie or eat it raw in a salad.