When you look around the world today, we face big headaches: environmental disasters, financial crises and political unrest. But if your own head hurts, that’s all you can focus on.
Headaches affect nearly everyone at some point. Types of headaches include tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches and sinus headaches.
Migraines are one of the more painful types of headaches. They usually cause throbbing or pulsing on one side of the head and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Some foods, alcohol, food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or nitrates, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may trigger migraines. Anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, skipping meals (which causes low blood sugar) and dehydration can also kick off these painful headaches.
You may turn to prescription and over-the-counter medications to treat or prevent migraines. But these can be expensive, cause side effects and even cause rebound headaches — a vicious cycle. The good news is there may be another way to prevent the misery of migraines. Studies are showing some migraines may be caused by deficiencies in certain nutrients. To find headache help, check out the following vitamins and minerals:
Magnesium: This mineral is essential to many body functions. It relaxes your nerves and muscles, builds and strengthens bones and keeps your blood circulating smoothly. Several studies show people with migraines have low levels of magnesium. In addition, studies have shown that supplementation with magnesium reduced the frequency of migraines. To increase your levels of magnesium, eat nuts, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, soy products, whole grains and seafood.
Riboflavin (B2): This vitamin is essential for normal cell function, growth and energy production. When you don’t get enough riboflavin, you may have headaches, fatigue, visual disturbances, digestive problems, cracks in the mouth, and sensitivity to light. However, one study showed daily supplementation with riboflavin significantly decreased migraine attacks. Good sources of riboflavin include dairy products, eggs, enriched cereals/grains, meats, liver and green vegetables.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This compound boosts energy, enhances the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant. Aging and certain medications and diseases can reduce the body’s production of CoQ10. An article in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the International Headache Society reports more than 60 percent of the patients in a trial cut the frequency of their migraine attacks at least in half after four months. Key sources of CoQ10 include salmon and tuna, organ meats (such as liver) and whole grains.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): This compound, which acts as an antioxidant, is important in the energy-related functions of the body’s cells. A recent study shows supplementing with ALA reduced the frequency, intensity and number of headache days in migraine sufferers. ALA also maximizes the positive effects of other antioxidants such coenzyme Q10. ALA is found in red meat, organ meats and yeast.
Shake It Up
Unfortunately, many of us don’t eat a nutritionally balanced diet and may even cut out some food groups entirely. Reliv nutritional supplements offer the optimum balance of nutrients to support good health. Many also contain the headache-relieving ingredients discussed above. For example, Reliv Now®, Reliv Classic® and Reliv Now for Kids® contain magnesium and riboflavin, along with a host of other essential nutrients. And GlucAffect®, ReversAge® and ProVantage® all contain both CoQ10 and ALA. So with just about every Reliv product choice, you’re benefiting from potential headache help as well as the vital nutrition your body craves.
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