You are what you eat. At least, that's the old adage. It's also one I believe in — what you put into your body has a big effect on how you feel. There are foods that fight fat and detox foods. There are even foods that help you sleep better and look fresher. Adding to the list of foods that fuel with a purpose are foods that help ease pain. Whether it's a headache, post-workout soreness, or an injury, these foods will help ease the pain away in a totally natural way.
Nothing can hinder a day like a dull tension headache. But before you reach for pills, there are natural ways to ease the pain, so you can keep calm and carry on. Keeping common headache causes in mind like diet and muscle tension, here are three simple ways you can go about ridding yourself of the throbbing for good.
- Adjust your diet: If a headache strikes, consider choosing produce over pills. Foods like potatoes have proven to alleviate a headache because they are high in potassium, while magnesium-rich bananas are thought to have a calming effect. If dehydration is likely to be a factor, consider a few slices of watermelon or cucumber for your next snack. Check out this list of headache-relieving foods.
- Ease any muscle tension: Often a result of stress, headaches can be caused by tight, contracted muscles in your upper body. If this is likely to be the case, lengthening and loosening is a must. Getting a massage would be ideal for both short- and long-term benefits. You can also try a simple pressure point or jaw massage. If your headaches are a reoccurring thing, you might want to consider practicing this yoga series for headaches.
- Make hydration a priority: It is known that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which is a leading cause of headaches. If this sounds like you, make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day by keeping a water bottle on hand. If you need a quick boost of hydration and electrolytes, opt for coconut water. As for you coffee lovers, headaches often occur if you haven't had your daily fix of caffeine or have had too much of it. So either kick the habit for good or head over to your local coffee shop for instant relief.
Having a migraine can ruin an entire day, and depending on what your triggers are, you may spend more time focusing on what not to eat, in addition to getting enough sleep, exercising, and avoiding stress. But how about foods that actually help fight your headache woes? Here are five foods that help prevent migraine misery.
When it comes to sinus infections, it's hard to say what's worse — the relentless nose blowing, the unbearable pressure and pain in your face, or the postnasal drip that makes it impossible to sleep. Antibiotics used to be the go-to method for dealing with the misery, but now doctors are thinking twice since research shows antibiotics don't ease patients' symptoms.
You don't have to suffer through a sinus infection. There are many natural, yet effective remedies to help relieve your symptoms so give these a try.
- Get steamy: The heat and steam from a hot shower does wonders for congestion and sinus pressure. Close the bathroom door and run the shower on hot for a few minutes, staying in the bathroom to breathe in the steam. Lower the temp and hop in, allowing the hot water to gently massage your sensitive sinuses. If you don't want to get in the shower, you can also place a towel over your head, and lean over a pot of hot water, breathing in the vapor.
- Try a Neti pot: To loosen up mucus and help it make its way out of your sinuses, give a Neti pot a try. Follow the instructions, adding noniodized salt and warm sterile (not tap) water to the pot. Mix it well, place the spout in one nostril, lean over the sink, and gently flush out allergens and mucus. If you're really clogged, try using it after a hot shower. If this freaks you out, use an over-the-counter nasal saline spray instead.
- Hot compress: If the pressure is getting to you, run a washcloth under hot water, lie down and place the folded hot compress over your eyes. Gently press along your sinuses, massaging the sensitive areas to loosen up mucus.
Keep reading for more natural ways to get sinus infection relief.
When you're suffering from a dull, tension headache, try these yoga poses before reaching for medication. They're a series of forward bends and reclining poses that will soothe your head and release tension from your neck. They'll also improve circulation, slow down your breath, and calm your mind.
If you're not a fan of heading to the medicine cabinet when you feel a headache coming on, then head straight to your yoga mat. Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons like tension in your neck, tight shoulders, or back pain, and these yoga poses are designed to gently stretch and open those areas, while circulating blood to your head. You can do one pose, a few, or follow the entire sequence.
Today's post comes to us from special guest contributor and medical expert Paul Rizzoli, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School:
When you’re prone to migraines you’re forced to think through whether or not something you do will invite a headache into your life. Exercise is definitely one of those things. Should you skip a workout because you feel a migraine coming on? Or is it better to push through in the hopes a little sweat will make you feel better?
Most headache specialists recommend exercise and an increase in overall physical activity to their patients. However, to date, there’s skimpy evidence to support the idea that working out actually guards against migraine attacks. A few studies have shown that taking regular exercise can reduce the severity, though not the number of headaches.
Keep reading to see what studies say about exercise and migraine relief after the break!
When tension headaches creep up, you can forget about having a productive day. Often due to tight, contracted muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw, tension headaches result from stress, depression, or anxiety. Getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and maintaining a Zen state will help reduce your likelihood of headaches. It's unlikely that you're boss will let you take five in a lotus position; however, here are some desk-appropriate stretches and natural supplements that can help ease the throbbing pain while you are at the office.
When I asked my doctor about ways to prevent migraines, she recommended I take a magnesium (oxide) supplement. I headed to my closest drugstore and picked up a bottle of Nature's Bounty Magnesium supplement (500 mg), and I've been taking one pill every morning for the last few weeks.
Even though it's been less than a month, since taking the mineral supplement I've been headache and migraine free! This even includes the times that I've had red wine, which is one of my triggers. In the last few months I've also been incorporating foods that prevent migraines into my diet, like topping my yogurt and fruit with ground flaxseed. But I didn't notice a drastic change until I started taking magnesium. Have you tried any supplements to rid you of your ailments? Any other tips for saying goodbye to migraines?
The 3D trend may be great for the movie and television industries, but it's literally making some moviegoers sick. In five percent of the population, moves in 3D can actually induce motion sickness. The cause lies in your eyes; 3D movies impose two slightly different images on top of one another, creating depth perception. Both of your eyes have to work together to create the proper three-dimensional image, and when this doesn't happen properly, you can experience side effects.
Though most people aren't likely to experience motion sickness from a 3D film, as many as 30 percent of the movie-going population suffers from a milder vision issue, causing side effects like headaches and eye strain. "The problem comes in with people who have 3D vision but have a weak fusional mechanism. Your eyes are having to work harder. The brain is sending extra impulses to keep the eyes in alignment," says a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. When forcing your eyes to view 3D images for an extended period of time, viewers can start to feel eye strain, fatigue, or in extreme cases, motion sickness.
Conflicting messages to your brain add to your body's confusion. When you're watching an extremely realistic movie in 3D, but sitting still, your brain processes a false sense of movement. In sensitive viewers, this is leads to the nausea and headaches associated with motion sickness. If watching movies in 3D makes you queasy — but not queasy enough to give up your beloved flicks — an over-the-counter motion sickness medication should give you some relief.