One of the first changes that patients with headaches should make is try to eat every three hoursexperts say.
“When we go for many hours without eating, glucose drops are produced that can cause headaches, in addition to the fact that if we eat often we will avoid heavy digestions because we will ingest less quantity,” explains Sandra Vaquera, nutritionist at Mediterranean Restaurant, a healthy food service online.
Another step in terms of diet is to avoid certain foods if we suffer from headaches, says the specialist.
Dairy in general and aged and fermented cheeses are rich in histamines, molecules derived from an essential amino acid, histidine, which participate in numerous physiological functions. For example, it is involved in local responses of the immune system, regulates normal functions in the stomach, and acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
A deficiency of diamine oxidase (DAO), the hormone that metabolizes histamines, can lead to high concentrations of these molecules in the blood, which have a vasodilator effect.
Avoiding histamine-rich foods is essential to prevent and relieve headaches, experts warn.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and lime are also very rich in histamines, so you should reduce your consumption if you suffer from headaches.
“It is common for the consumption of citrus fruits, so common in winter, to have a vasodilating effect that causes headaches,” says Vaquera, quoted by the newspaper La Vanguardia.
Drink three or more cups of coffee a day It can cause headaches in patients with episodic migraine, according to research published in The American Journal of Medicine.
However, cutting back on caffeine can also be associated with headaches.
Another study, carried out by the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago (USA), for its part, points out that caffeine can be so effective against headaches like some pain relievers. However, the duration of its effects would be less, between 45 minutes and an hour and a half.
Despite its high content of heart-healthy fatty acids, avocados are also rich in histamines, so it is better to remove it from the diet of people prone to headaches.
Although red wine is a drink rich in histamine, specialists urge patients with headaches to exclude the consumption of any alcohol.
“Besides being rich in histamines, alcohol is hypoglycemic, so it is never recommended”, explains the Medicadiet nutritionist, Álvaro Sánchez.
Cowgirl, meanwhile, points out that the only drink to choose is wateras dehydration can also lead to headaches.
Sausages are very rich in histamines and have a high in saturated fat. That could even cause certain types of cancer, according to the WHO.
In addition, sausages “cause heavy digestion that can make us rest worse,” says Vaquera, and recalls that good sleep hygiene is one of the fundamental factors in preventing headaches.
Low carb diet
A low-carbohydrate diet “can occasionally be a good option if we want to lose weight and define our muscles, but if it is done suddenly and without defined guidelines, it can lead to headaches,” says the nutritionist.
Cowgirl explains that the body responds with hypoglycemia to the drastic elimination of carbohydrates and that “such a sudden change in glucose levels can make our heads ache, among other symptoms.”