Foods to Heal Your Headaches

What to eat to ease your headache pain.

Foods to Heal Your Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common patient complaints, with 1 in every 6 Americans experiencing severe headache or migraine in the previous three months, according to a study published in The Journal of Head and Face Pain. But when pain strikes, you’re not always able to pop a pill or turn down the lights. There’s an easier and more natural way to get relief: food! With the help of neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi, Dr. Oz reveals the most common headaches and the foods that can help treat and even prevent them.

Migraines

With the power to stop you in your tracks, migraines often hurt on one side of your head and can also make you sensitive to light or feel nauseated.

What to eat:
Research has shown that riboflavin, or vitamin B2, can help reduce the incidence of migraines by up to 50 percent. Riboflavin improves your brain’s energy metabolism and its muscle cells, protecting them and helping them maintain energy. Aim for about 400 mg a day in foods like quinoa, crimini mushrooms, asparagus – even a glass of low-fat milk, which is about 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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