Milan, Buenos Aires, New York City, oh my goodness! All those dreamy collections and all that work put into it. Staying on top of our fashionable selves is hard sometimes. Too much work, stressful deadlines, and sometimes lack of sleep can give us true headaches. Headaches are the very thing that can destroy our day at times, and when overlooked they get worse
How do headaches happen and what are they?
Headaches happen due to physical or emotional stress on the body. The stressors can cause the muscles in the body to spasm and teeth to clench. All these can put pressure in the eyes and sinuses, as well as the jaw. So TMJ (temporary mandibular disorder) can happen due to stress, with headaches to follow.
Headaches arise from the head or upper neck and originate from tissue or structure surrounding the brain. Other headache triggers are: injuries, lack of rest or sleep, overworking the body and mind, hormonal changes, and low immune system.
There are 3 main types of headaches: tension, migraine, and cluster.
Tension headaches happen more in women than men. For this type of headache, pain begins on the back of the head and upper neck and can be associated with nausea, sensitivity to light and aura.
Migraine headaches are mainly connected to intense throbbing, or pulsating sensations on one area of the head. They often come with nausea, sometimes vomiting, and create blurry sensitive vision. Many people with nasal and sinus issues get this type of headache too.
Cluster headaches can happen often with long periods of sensitivity (days or even weeks) and then go away and not be felt for long periods of time. These type of headaches tend to be of genetic predisposition. They could be triggered by sleep patterns and medications. They can start at the same time daily.
- Minimize alcohol and smoking.
- Avoid having wine specifically. The sulfites or preservatives in wine can cause dehydration, which makes the pain get worse.
- Too much caffeine can be a headache trigger as well caused from when you come down from the awake effect it produces. Think of it as a crash.
- Watch out for aged cheeses: blue cheese, swiss, cheddar, gouda, and parmesan. A substance named tyramine forms as proteins break down in aged cheeses. The more aged the cheese, the more tyramine is created, the more headache fuel. Tyramine is also found is aged and fermented foods (deli meats, smoked meats, etc). Deli meats also contain nitrates, which are highly processed and swell up the blood vessels.
- Too much sodium in food dilates the blood vessels. Watch out for foods you eat outside which are harder to control.
- Eat foods rich in riboflavin: These foods improve your brain’s energy metabolism. Best sources are: quinoa, crimini mushrooms, and asparagus.
- Eat magnesium rich foods: They are great for hormonal headaches, or just headache pain in general. It is no surprise we crave chocolate around the time of menstruation in which also get headaches. Our body is telling us something and yes chocolate is rich in magnesium. When choosing chocolate make sure it is high quality organic 75% dark and up. Other magnesium rich foods are: potatoes, bananas, sunflower and sesame seeds.
- Eating foods rich in Coq10 or coenzyme 10 will help you energize and move around your blood vessels. Try tuna and eggs. As a vegan option you can try broccoli and cauliflower.
- Drink and eat juicy stuff. Headache can sometimes be a sign of dehydration. Having juices, eating watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, and celery are many of the juices and hydrating vegetables out there. Don’t forget water is also another great choice.
- Don’t forget to eat. Headache can be the unset of low blood sugars, with that dizziness and lethargy. Food is fuel, especially when it is the good stuff.
- Don’t forget to sleep. Those who have 6 hours or less of sleep will stress more and that is and open invitation for headache pain.
- Get a workout. Even yoga will help relieve tension, alleviate worries, and prevent pain.When all else fails, don’t stress. Head to the doctor and find some options. Of course it is always important to first try the healthy route. Do not forget you are not alone, we all get headaches at one point or another. Keep in mind that they too shall pass.
Maria Andrade is a New York based Certified Holistic Health Counsellor. She graduated from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has been building her wellness coaching practice as well as integrating Pilates and other body healing technique. Maria’s personal nutritional philosophy is based on the concept of bio-individuality. Nutrition should be tackled according to the unique characteristics of the individual, such as ethnicity, blood type, and activity levels. She also bases her healing practice on numerous dietary theories.
Maria co-founded TotalBodyFit in 2008, in the hopes of bringing her message to a larger audience by conducting the health counselling, fitness classes, and massage therapy right in the client’s home, office or resident lounge. She leads TotalBodyFit’s nutrition workshops, corporate, and cooking events. She is available for one on one nutritional counselling.
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