Health Coach Corner – Headache-Proof Your Diet

Health Coach Corner by Maria Hicks

I was recently reading about a couple tips to reduce headaches through cutting back (or out) certain foods that may aggravate your headache.  I know headaches are a serious pain and I am thankful I don’t suffer too often.  Getting plenty of quality sleep – you should strive to go to bed before 10pm!  I know some of my friends who stay up past midnight every night, that may be cool because you’re not missing your favorite late night show or you’re really into a new book but it won’t do any favors for headache prevention.  Also, drink a lot (I mean, a lot) of water.  Most people are actually dehydrated.  Make a point to drink 64oz or more a day.  In addition to sleep and water, here are a few extra tips that you may or may not know about.

Watch out for these common headache culprits: Aged foods & drinks – aged cheese, dried fruit and cured meats contain tyramine, which may force blood vessels to constrict and then expand, potentially causing pain.

Aspartame – What?  My diet coke?  Yes, your diet coke could be the culprit to your headache.  Ditch the fake sugar and opt for sparkling mineral water with lemon.

Additives – MSG, a flavor enhancer used in some packaged and takeout foods, may cause vascular changes that trigger pain.

Alcohol – Many wines and beers contain tyramine (same as the aged cheese) as well as sulfites and nitrates, preservatives that can contribute to headaches.

Here are some helpful links for natural headache remedies:,2933,530388,00.html

4 replies
  1. Lisa N.
    Lisa N. says:

    I know I feel better when I don’t drink diet pop! I didn’t realize the part about aged cheese and dried fruit. Interesting! I will have to be aware of that because I suffer from headaches. Good post and information! Thanks.

    • Maria Hicks
      Maria Hicks says:

      Thanks for your post, Lisa! Glad you learned about the aged cheese and dried fruit. I gave up diet pop about 5-6 years ago and I feel much better as well. Hope you have a healthy day – Health Coach Maria

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