Headache-proof your diet

Headaches can range from mildly vexing to absolutely crippling and regular headache sufferers may find their lives enormously compromised.

Regular headaches should always be discussed with a health professional to rule out any sinister underlying conditions. If they are found to be ‘just something you have to live with,’ you may get some relief by tweaking your diet to limit foods that encourage headaches.

Sleep and hydration

First and foremost, try and get regular good quality sleep and drink plenty of water. Dehydration and tiredness can cause dull headaches. Don’t be afraid to take a short afternoon nap following a bad night’s sleep to stave off a throbbing head.

Cured and dried food

Dried fruit, cured meats and cheese can contain tyramine and sulphites, which are thought to exacerbate headaches. Take note next time you eat a meal high in these and see if a headache follows. If so, that is a signal to cut them down. Keep your water consumption high to help combat the high salt content of these foods too.

Be aware of food that contains additives like MSG, and avoid ten if possible. Even the strongest head can pound after a good serving of MSG. If the label says no added MSG, that is not the same as none.

Alcohol

Much as it’s delicious, over-indulging in alcohol will do nothing to prevent headaches. Aim to have four alcohol-free days a week and alternate a glass of your favourite tipple with a glass of water to minimise headaches.

Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener which is present in a huge number of soft drinks and low-sugar products and has been linked to headaches. Substitute water or herbal tea for a more noggin-friendly beverage.

A good dose of fresh air and exercise in the form of a walk can do wonders to clear your head. If all else fails, paracetamol and a rest should do the trick.