Week 17: Best foods for headaches

ginger tea

This week, I’ve had a constant headache. Most of the time, the pain was tolerable but more than once I had to cut all my activities and just lie in bed wearing a sleep mask to find some relief. That’s been frustrating, especially as there is not much you can do. I didn’t want to take any med as it’s not recommended during pregnancy. So basically, my options were:

  1. Spending less time on computer, phone and TV
  2. Practicing relaxing Yoga exercises
  3. Eating foods that help relieve headaches and banish others

I’ve done all three of them. I found option 1 was mandatory to stop the pain getting worth. Option 2 was good to help relieve tensions without killing the pain really. Also, option 3 had no immediate effect but overall, I found it helped reduce headache intensity.

Following is a list of foods proven to relieve or trigger a headache:

Best foods for headaches

  • Potato
  • Cucumber
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Sesame seeds
  • Coffee
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Spicy Food

Foods to avoid

  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Coffee
  • Citrus fruit
  • Ice cream
  • Alcohol
  • Processed meat
  • Fatty food
  • Aspartame and artificial sweeteners

Change the diet to get rid of headache

So first, reduce the headache trigger. Easy, alcohol was already excluded from my diet. Coffee too recently as I can’t go for caffeine anymore, it makes my heart pounding.  Aspartame I don’t have and processed meat neither. It’s also to cold to have ice cream right now. Then, ok, had to reduce citrus fruit and fatty food consumption. Not a big deal. But chocolate and cheese, yeah, you got me! I didn’t really take them out of my diet.

Second, increase consumption of foods that help relieve headache. Usually, I used to drink coffee when I felt a headache coming. I thought it was quite efficient. And indeed, caffeine helps reduce inflammation, and can bring relief. But oddly enough, coffee is also on the trigger list. What makes it effective in pain relief can also cause headaches. What happen is that it narrows blood vessels that surround your brain. Then, when you stop taking it they expand again, and that might cause pain. However, I’m out of coffee now so I had to think of something else. I have whole grain bread every morning and consume potato and cucumber regularly, so it didn’t make any big difference. But what I found the most effective was ginger tea (even with a trickle of lemon juice).

Ginger tea recipe: Cut 1 inch of fresh ginger. Peel it. Slice it thinly to maximize the surface area. Boil the ginger in 50cl of water for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze ¼ lemon and add the juice. Enjoy!

Now regarding weight this week. I gained 1.5 lbs (0,7kg). Oops, that’s a little bit too much. Even through I eventually didn’t change my calorie intake. I’ll keep an eye on it next week.

Weight of the week

  • Week 16: 132,3 lbs (60 kg)
  • Week 17: 133,8 lbs (60.7 kg)

Calorie counter of the week

  • Total calories: 12,827
  • Average calories/day: 1,832

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