Food for Headaches- Preventing & Managing Headaches

Written by: Ankita Kathad – MA (Clinical Psychology)
Last updated date : February 27, 2023

Headaches happen to nearly everyone. Most of us experience headaches on a daily basis. In this fast-moving world, headaches have become severe and frequent. Even children get them. Today’s world is filled with noise pollution, dust, and the effects of global warming. We may not always be able to prevent headaches. However, we can cure it. This article explores food for headaches and the food that helps prevent headaches.

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Chapter 1:

What Do Headaches Feel Like?

Headaches are something that we will face at least once in our lives. It involves pain in the face and the head region. Often the pain of headache spreads to the neck region too. Headaches can be partial sometimes. This means that it affects only one side of the face. It can be sharp, dull, or constant. Some very common symptoms of headaches involve:

  1. Pain in the head area, face, temple, and forehead. This pain can be for a longer or shorter duration.
  2. Pain can be mild to moderate.
  3. Eye sockets may start to hurt.
  4. Pain can be worse at certain times of the day such as late in the evening or early in the morning.

Types of Headaches
There are four types of headaches. Symptoms of these headaches can vary. Each one will require different attention as the pain areas and triggers are different for each one of them.

Tension Headaches
These are the most commonly found headaches. Mostly they are due to daily life stressors. People live very hectic life these days. They also have stressful jobs or routines. When the body is put through a lot of pressure, it creates tension. Therefore people have tension headaches. Most of these headaches have symptoms like throbbing pain. They can be cured by over-the-counter medicines.

These are also commonly found. People with migraine have pain in one side or sometimes both sides. However, one-sided pain is common. Moreover, people can experience severe symptoms like nausea or sensitivity to light or sound. In severe cases, they can have a stomach ache.

Sinus infections that cause chest congestion can cause headaches. In this condition, there is inflammation in the sinuses. This leads to congestion. Symptoms include headache, swelling in the face, nasal discharge, mucus, bad taste in the mouth, and heaviness in the ears, nose, and eyes.

Daily or Persistent Headaches
Some people who have not had headaches earlier can end up having headaches for more than two months in a row. Moreover, the pain doesn’t respond to medications. The headaches are throbbing in nature and continue to exist without any relief.

Chapter 2:

How Headaches Can Affect Our Lives

Headaches affect our daily lives and routine. Firstly, the pain stops us from focusing. Secondly, the pain makes it impossible to give our hundred percent at any task. It can affect our family life too. It limits the quality time we spend with them. Moreover, we may have to rely on several medications. They can have their own side effects. Headache is a very common cause of absenteeism at work. Additionally, headaches lead to loss of social life. This is because people with headaches avoid outdoors due to the pain. Headaches affect the quality of life because it makes us irritable and frustrated.

Often headaches lead to anger which spills over on our loved ones’ times. People who suffer from migraine find it very difficult to even get up from their bed during a headache. That is to say that they are the worst hit with this kind of headache. There are foods for headaches. This food can help to prevent as well as manage headaches.

Chapter 3:

Food for Headaches

While treating headaches, in the long run, is a process that involves lifestyle changes. That is to say that a combination of food, good sleep, and exercise goes a long way in managing headaches. Changing your diet a little bit can help you prevent and cure headaches. Here are some foods for headaches. These are the food that helps in headaches.

Foods that are high in antioxidants are very helpful in the prevention and management of headaches. These foods include green tea, bright-colored fruits, avocados, kale, etc. These foods not only help with headaches but are also good for the skin. These food neutralize free radicals. They also prevent the body from many diseases.

Herbal Teas
Chamomile tea or any herbal tea is very refreshing and helps to manage headaches. They make a person feel rejuvenated. These teas reduce inflammation and helps you relax. They may not be able to cure all the symptoms but they can make you feel fresh and active. When herbs are blended these teas help you stay alert and awake.

Healthy Greens
Green leafy vegetables contain various minerals such as magnesium which are deficient in people with headaches. They also contain various vitamins and folic acid which reduce symptoms of headaches. They also provide your body with plant-based protein, for example, broccoli contains a lot of protein.

Seeds are a powerful food that helps in headaches. They contain omega-3 fatty acids. This helps in fighting inflammation. Constricted blood vessels may lead to migraines and headaches. Magnesium in certain seeds helps to relax blood vessels. It can prevent muscle spasms. Seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, poppy, or sunflower seeds are very nutritious.

Legumes contain a lot of protein and fiber. They help in keeping a healthy blood sugar level. Additionally, they have magnesium which helps relax blood vessel constriction. Lentils, beans, chickpeas, or soybeans are some healthy and readily found legumes.

Dark Chocolates
Dark chocolate can be a good option as food that helps with headaches. However, One should be very careful while consuming chocolates as it contains a lot of sugar in them. It is however helpful food in managing headaches. Chocolates however contain a lot of magnesium. It also releases serotonin which helps to reduce headaches. Additionally, there is a nutrient called riboflavin which helps in blood vessel relaxation.

Ginger contains relaxing properties. It is a superfood that helps with headaches. Ginger helps to soothe migraine and nasal congestion too. It contains a chemical called serotonin which helps reduce inflammation. Ginger tea or ginger powder in warm water can help cure headaches.

Apart from the food to eat for headaches, it is important to keep a note of food one should avoid in order to prevent headaches.

Chapter 4:

Which Food to Avoid for Headaches

It is advisable to avoid dairy products or intoxicating substances. When a person consumes alcohol, it leaves them with a bad hangover which has a spillover effect on them. They end up having headaches and to cure them they may have to rely on medications. Dependence on medications can also increase headaches.

Too much caffeine can lead to loss of sleep and it can disturb the sleep cycle. This can lead to more headaches. Another thing to avoid during headaches is food that contains heavy calories. Cheese and cream items can be avoided.

Chapter 5:


Headaches can lead to chronic pain. This can severely affect our lifestyles. It impairs our relationships and also leads to loss of productivity. If you have been suffering from frequent headaches, there are ways to manage them. Check out courses at Epsychonline for self-help courses on Chronic Pain. These courses are curated by experts and can help you manage pain easily. Moreover, there are articles that deal with migraines and headaches. Do check them out.

"Quick online learning, thanks!" Susan

92 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount