I would like to share with you serotonin boosting foods to reduce stress and prevent headaches and migraines.
If you do research for factors that trigger headaches and migraines, you will find a familiar list:
Anger = stress + emotions + diet
Noise = environmental stress
Anxiety = stress + emotions + diet
Sleep disruption = stress +diet
Chemicals + medications= environmental stress
Hormone fluctuations = stress + diet + emotions
Hunger = diet + dehydration + stress
Lifestyle = sleep + stress + diet + physical activity level
Diet = dehydration + stress + diet
Hormones = stress + diet + physical activity level
Sex = hormones + stress
Weight = hormones + diet + stress
As you can see, stress, stress and stress are the top 3 migraine and headache triggers.
If you have to much stress you probably exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- Inability to concentrate
- Problem Sleeping
Do you see the connection? If you you can find good stress reducers, you may help get rid of your depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, and/or insomnia symptoms, which in turn may help you eliminate your headache triggers and, thus, heal your headache or migraine.
All the symptoms above can be caused by low levels of tryptophan (an amino acid our body cannot produce).
Studies indicate that people with low level of tryptophan can suffer from seasonal depression, fatigue and insomnia.
But for us to be able to process tryptophan we need to to have sufficient level of serotonin in our body, (a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns, and mood, in other words, to deal with stress.)
Tryptophan rich food sources that act as serotonin boosters, include:
Spirulina, spinach, soy foods, salmon, bananas, potatoes, almonds and other nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, avocados, beans and legumes, dates, cheese, eggs; (if you eat meat: turkey, beef chicken, pork);
If you eat healthy but have don’t absorb what you eat, your healthy diet won’t do any good. To increase your tryptophan absorption, incorporate more sources of healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
To decrease your low serotonin symptoms you can also use natural serotonin foods rich in B vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
fish, peanuts, peas, broccoli, prunes, raisins, oatmeal, avocados, asparagus, bananas, spinach, walnuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, brown rice, cabbage, cantaloupe, salmon, seafood, sea vegetables, yogurt, whole grains and nuts.
almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, brown rice, garlic, leafy vegetables, grapefruit, cantaloupe, sesame seeds, spinach, salmon.
dark green leafy vegetables (collard greens, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, Romaine lettuce, spinach); cruciferous vegetables ( broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens, bok choy, radish , daikon, wasabi, horseradish; fish with bones, almonds, sunflower seeds, tofu.
Omega-3 -essential fatty acids:
salmon, fish oil, flax seed, walnuts
How will you know if you need more tryptophan rich foods? Weight gain, overeating, carbohydrate cravings are some of the signs of low level of serotonin. Numerous studies have shown that less serotonin increases the more chance that you may suffer from stress headaches.
So let us be serotonin smart to heal your headache, shall we?
Don’t forget to eat a small piece of chocolate (to boost your serotonin level) and then breathe, smile and be happy to find the migraine and headache pain relief you seek.
P.S. Click to listen to our discussion on Hormonal Imbalance and How to Get Rid of Fatigue with Dr. Natasha Iyer +get her FREE gift
Irina Wardas, Women’s Holistic Health, Nutrition and Relationship Expert