5 Foods That Might Be Giving You a Headache (and What to Eat Instead)
We can say from firsthand experience that nothing can quite compare to the throbbing pain of a migraine. With that in mind, we want to keep this quick and informative so you can start healing as soon as possible (staring at a bright screen definitely doesn't help). Many things that can trigger headaches, from hormonal shifts during menstruation to lack of sleep, hunger, stress, and certain dietary habits. Today we're going to focus on foods that help alleviate pain (reducing any meal planning–related stress on top of everything else).
We found that organic foods high in riboflavin, aka vitamin B2, as well as magnesium and CoQ10, tend to help alleviate pain. Specifically, B2 helps the body create energy from the food you eat; magnesium is a mineral essential to cell formation, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission; and CoQ10 is an antioxidant crucial to cell growth. Scroll through to see our daylong meal plan for quick, tasty, and healthy recipes that won't make your head throb, because they use foods rich in each of the aforementioned nutrients. And at the end, check out our list of five no-fly foods for pain reduction.
Polenta With Mushrooms and Eggs
Pain-Fighting Hero Ingredients: Mushrooms and eggs are high in vitamin B2.
Get the Dish: This dish from Half Baked Harvest is a simple recipe that yields a satisfying meal you can enjoy at any time of the day. If you like to start your mornings with something filling and yummy, consider this polenta dish your new favorite breakfast.
For a Snack:
Cucumber Yogurt Dip
Pain-Fighting Hero Ingredient: Yogurt is high in B2 as well as magnesium, so it's gut-friendly as well.
Get the Dish: Brought to us by Mitzy at Home, this cucumber and dill yogurt dip is a great way to help fight headaches while also indulging in a yummy snack when you get hungry between meals. Pair it with some pita and or veggies and you'll be set.
For a Light Lunch:
Flavorful Cauliflower Salad
Pain-Fighting Hero Ingredient: Cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that contain CoQ10. It also has B2 and magnesium.
Get the Dish: So you overdid it on the yogurt dip snack before lunch… It's okay—we don't blame you. For a lighter midday meal, opt for a yummy salad. This recipe from The First Mess is packed with delicious ingredients like pistachio dukkah, nectarines, and more. With tons of ground spices, seasonal fruits, and avocado, you'll feel satisfied while also treating your head pain.
For a Filling Lunch:
30-Minute "Sushi" Bowl
Get the Dish: If you tend to get super hungry around lunchtime, try this filling lunch option from Half Baked Harvest. Spicy and tangy, this sushi bowl only takes about 30 minutes to make, and it's packed with a ton of ingredients that taste as good as they'll make you feel.
More Natural Remedies:
Almond-Crusted Cod With Coconut and Ginger Spinach
Get the Dish: This almond-crusted cod with coconut rice and ginger spinach from Foodie Crush is the perfect dinner to enjoy after a long day. And not only because it tastes so good. Every ingredient called for in this recipe is associated with alleviating head pain, particularly headaches.
Pistachio Rose Rice Pudding
Get the Dish: This dessert would be high on our need-to-try list, with or without the pain-healthy ingredients. Luckily, this pistachio rose rice pudding from Half Baked Harvest offers up a sweet treat to end the day with while not threatening to make your headache worse.
The Foods You Should Avoid:
While the five foods below may not result in a pounding head for everyone, they have been linked to migraines, hormonal headaches, and tension headaches. Read through to see what foods you can run a trial period on to narrow down your trigger ingredient.
- Red wine
- Foods that contain additives such as MSG
- A lot of cheeses, from blue cheese to feta and parmesan
- Salami and other processed meats
What foods trigger your headaches, and how were you able to isolate them? Share your go-to remedies in the comment section below.