Millions around the world complain of tension headaches on almost regular basis. These headaches are characterized by mild to severe tightness of neck and scalp muscles. If you get tension headaches for 12 days or more in a month, they are considered chronic according to University of Maryland Medical Center or UMMC. On the other hand, episodic headaches may occur occasionally. Potential causes include depression, stress, eye strain, injuries, skipping meals, clenching your teeth and certain medications. While some foods may not be able to stop your tension headaches, consuming some of these and avoiding others may certainly help minimize your symptoms.
Some plant based oils, such as canola and olive oils, are unsaturated fat sources that promote nutrient absorption, positive heart health and brain function. Avoid avocadoes, nuts and peanut butter because they provide unsaturated fat, and can trigger or worsen tension headache pain, according to a 2010 report of the University of California at Berkeley. Try to reduce the intake of these foods and cook poultry and fish in canola or olive oil because these oils provide heart-healthy, headache-friendly alternatives to cheese, creamy dressings and bacon atop salads. Some additional plant-based oil options include sunflower, safflower, walnut and soybean oil.
Soybeans are fiber and protein-rich legumes used in wide range of foods. Diary products, aged cheese, smoked fish and processed meats may trigger tension headaches, according to UMMC. You can replace these foods with soy-based yogurt, soy milk, steamed soybeans, edamame, soy-based vegetarian burgers, and tofu, and soon you may experience less headache pain. If diary products seem to trigger your headaches, edamame, tofu, and fortified soy milk can easily provide useful calcium rich alternatives that are vital for maintaining bone health.
Whole grains are rich in nutrient and fiber components of the grain. Therefore, they are better placed in promoting nutritional wellness, digestive function and blood sugar balance more so than widely available refined grains, such as white flour. According to “Alternative Medicine: The Definite Guide” by John W. Anderson and Larry Trivieri, a large percentage of all those who experience frequent chronic or recurring tension headaches have allergies or sensitivities to gluten or wheat, a protein found in barley, wheat and rye. When you choose primarily complex, healthy carbohydrate sources, such as pasta, whole grain breads, cereals and rice, and avoiding those that contain gluten or wheat, you may definitely experience fewer headache symptoms. Some examples of non-allergic whole grain foods include air-popped popcorn and whole grain rice, corn and oat-based cereals and long-grain brown, wild and basmati rice.
Fish and Poultry
Lean poultry and fresh fish are high-quality protein sources that contain less chemical additives, less saturated fats and less tyramine-substances directly linked to tension headaches-than pastrami, sausage, chicken livers and bacon. Lean poultry and fish also contain less saturated fat than fried meats, red meats, and dark-meat poultry, which may promote intense inflammation. Fresh cold-water fish, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, halibut, flounder and sardines, provide omega-3 fats, which provide many anti-inflammatory benefits. For all these reasons, even the University of New Hampshire now recommends lean poultry and fresh fish as a part of a low tyramine diet as opposed to salted, fermented and processed meats.