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5 best foods for headache relief

Dealing with frequent headaches and migraines? Changing up your diet could help.
/ Source: TODAY

Prone to headaches and debilitating migraines? Let your meals do a little work for you — and hopefully help you before you head to the medicine cabinet (again!). Here are a few of my favorite foods loaded with migraine-fighting power.

1. Ginger

This spicy root may have the ability to block prostaglandins (neurotransmitters that play a role in inflammation), which cause a slight swelling of your brain that may be the source of your discomfort. Not only has this spice been found to fight migraines, but it also may help relieve nausea, which commonly goes hand in hand with debilitating headaches.

Grate it fresh into dishes like sauteed mushrooms and watercress, or make a carrot ginger soup to up the comfort.

Al's morning ginger jump start

2. Mackerel

This is high in omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids known to be healthy fats due to their anti-inflammatory and nerve-protecting actions. Research shows intake of these fats can reduce the frequency, duration and severity of headaches and migraines. If mackerel isn’t your favorite swimmer, these fatty acids can be found in other oily fish, such as salmon or sardines.

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3. Plain yogurt

Yogurt offers high levels of riboflavin, a part of the B vitamin complex that has been shown to help reduce the number of migraine attacks in people who commonly suffer from them. It may also help increase the effectiveness of beta-blockers, drugs used to prevent migraines. If yogurt isn’t your breakfast of choice, eggs also provide this B vitamin.

4. Spinach

Leafy greens are high in magnesium, a nutrient that has been found to have powerful migraine-relieving properties. Spinach in particular will provide you with 24 milligrams in just one cup.

We all know greens equal good, but here is a little more food motivation for you: Regular magnesium intake has been shown to have the ability to reduce migraine attacks by 41.2 percent. Dress up your plain greens with plums, pecans and a pomegranate dressing, or throw into your smoothie to up the migraine-fighting power.

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5. Watermelon

Not being properly hydrated can be a huge factor when it comes to headache discomfort. Dehydration causes a drop in your blood volume, reducing the amount of oxygen available to your brain, and causing your pain receptors to be affected. It’s always important to drink water, but eating fruits and veggies like watermelon, cucumber, celery and carrots, which have a high water content, can help contribute to your staying hydrated all day. Pack in the H20 by blending your watermelon into a refreshing watermelon cucumber smoothie.

For more tips on how to live a Nutritious Life, follow Keri on Instagram @nutritiouslifeofficial. For more nutrition advice, sign up for our One Small Thing newsletter!