Tension headaches are quite common and are characterized by tightness of neck and scalp muscles. If you experience tension headaches more than twice in 15 days or in a month, they are considered chronic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Potential causes of tension headaches include, depression, stress, overexertion, eye strain, certain medications, injuries and clenching your teeth. While you won’t be able to stop tension headaches by avoiding certain foods, consuming some and avoiding others might minimize your symptoms.
Whole grains contain so many nutrient-rich and fiber components of the grain. For this reason, they promote better blood sugar balance, nutritional wellness, and better digestive function than refined grains, such as white flour. According to famous book “Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide” by John W. Anderson and Larry Trivieri, a sizeable number of those who suffer from recurrent chronic tension headaches have allergies or sensitivities to gluten or wheat, a protein commonly found in barley, wheat and rye.
When you choose primarily healthy, complex carbohydrate sources, such as paste, whole grain breads, cereals and rice, and avoid those that contain gluten or wheat, you may experience fewer headache symptoms. Some examples of non-allergenic whole grain foods include air-popped popcorn, long-grain wild basmati rice, corn-based cereals and oats.
Soybeans are rich in fiber and protein and are widely used in many foods. Diary products, aged cheeses, smoked fish and processed meats may trigger tension headaches, according to UMMC. Try replacing these foods with soy milk, edamame, soy-based yogurt and chesses, or steamed soybeans, soy-based vegetarian burgers and tofu, you will soon experience less headache pain. If you feel dairy products trigger your symptoms, edamame, tofu, and fortified soy milk can provide you healthy calcium-rich alternatives, which are crucial for maintaining bone health.
Fish and Poultry
Lean poultry and fresh fish are high-quality protein sources that have less chemical additives, saturated fat, and tyramine, substances directly linked to tension headaches than pastrami, sausage, chicken livers and bacon.
Lean poultry and fish also contain much less saturated fat than fried meats, red meat and dark-meat poultry, which promotes inflammation. Fresh cold-water fish, such as halibut, tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and flounder, provide so many omega-3 fats, which provide many anti-inflammatory benefits. For all these reasons, the University of New Hampshire recommends lean poultry and fresh fish as a part of low tyramine diet as opposed to salted, processed and fermented meats.
Plant based oils, such as canola and olive oils, are unsaturated fat sources that promote better nutrient absorption, positive heart health, and brain function. Though nuts, peanut butter and avocadoes provide unsaturated fat, they sometimes trigger or even worsen tension headache pain, according to 2001 report from the University of California at Berkley. So try to reduce intake of these foods and cook poultry and fish in canola or olive oil. Olive and canola oil provide so many headache-friendly, heart friendly alternatives to cheese, creamy dressings, and bacon atop salads. Additional plant-based oil options include safflower, sunflower, safflower, walnut and soybean oil.