How to Cure a Headache and Other Useful Food and Drink Tips

kiwiLife's physical or mental ailments--even temporary or minor ones--can ruin a beautiful day or evening.  Below, find possible answers to some common vexing questions about these: What annoyance may kiwi successfully treat?  What can I consume to cure a headache or treat nausea? What type of foods may help me reduce depression?  To perk up my low-salt diet, what herbs and spices will do the trick for which foods? Read on to find out.




INSOMNIA: Forget the warm milk, which probably doesn't help.  Instead, an hour before your bedtime, snack on two kiwis.  Why?  Kiwi is an excellent source of folate (a B vitamin) , which  may help your brain produce chemicals that promote sleep.  Kiwi may provide other benefits that encourage sleep, but more research is needed to confirm this.  Still, kiwi is delicious and nutritious, so it's well worth trying this tip.  It's so healthful that the packaging of Mighties, the Amazing Fuzzy Fruit says a serving (2 kiwis) has more potassium than a banana, more vitamin C than an orange, and more of vitamins E and K than an avocado. 


HEADACHES: Drink water.  Your headache may be caused by dehydration. If you're diabetic and experience a blood sugar dip, have a snack that contains carbs, protein, and healthy fat (for example, an apple along with some walnuts).  If you're not prone to migraines, coffee may help.


NAUSEA: Ginger is good for this uncomfortable feeling, especially if it's caused by pregnancy or chemotherapy.  The article recommends making yourself a cup of ginger tea with 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger in 1 1/2 teaspoons of boiling water  (Honey is optional).  Why does ginger help?  "It seems to help by moving food out of the stomach quickly and possibly turning off neurotransmitters such as  serotonin that can contribute to nausea."  Eat small, frequent meals rich in protein," especially chicken and fish.


OFF-PUTTING GARLIC BREATH: Consume a mixture of raw mint leaves, apple juice and lettuce.  The phenolic compounds and enzymes in these foods destroy the sulfur compounds and neutralize the odor.




Food and mood--is there a connection? An Australian study nicknamed SMILES suggests that the answer may be "yes."  SMILES stands for "Supporting the Modification of lifestyle In Lowered Emotional States."  An article about the research was published in BMC Medicine in January 2017 and in the American Journal of Public Health.  


The June 2017 issue of the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter also covered this research and introduced the subject by saying this:  "In recent years, scientists have been studying the link between food and mood more closely.  They're found that  there may be a relationship between the risk of common mental health issues--including depression and anxiety--and our diet quality."  But, the article cautiously points out, more research is needed to confirm a causal relationship.


The study enrolled people with these two characteristics: moderate to severe depression and poor diet. They  were randomly put into one of two groups.  One group was placed on a modified Mediterranean diet and encouraged to eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat and unsweetened dairy, nuts, fish, lean meats, and olive oil.  The control group was given  social support (conversation on neutral topics such as sports and music, games,  and other activities). Both groups benefitted, but the diet group more so than the control group.  "After 12 weeks, the diet group had a greater reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms than the social support group."  These findings were the revelation of a new field, nutritional psychiatry.   


Why does the Mediterranean diet help?  Diet may influence depressive illness by affecting inflammatory and oxidative  stress pathways and brain plasticity, as well as many other factors.  Caveat: while the study results are promising, researchers don't know yet if the effects will persist over time.  The article warns readers not to substitute any diet for antidepressant meds if meds have been prescribed.  However, since we know that the Mediterranean diet is good for the body, it can't hurt to try it (along with your doctor's prescription) in hopes of achieving a mental pick-up. 


The Berkeley Wellness Letter ran a shorter piece on this study.  It said the Australian study involved 12,00 people.  One conclusion suggested that eating more fruits and vegetables may make people happier. The greatest increase came to those that went from eating one dairy portion of produce to eight. Possible reason for the  gain: "Fruits and vegetables increase serotonin levels and change brain chemistry through their effects on microbes in the intestines."  Since many fresh fruits are at their cheapest and best during the summer, this is the ideal time  to find out what the theory can do for you.




As we know, the typical American diet contains too much sodium, much of it from added salt. The Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter  says the following: "Processed, packaged foods and restaurant foods are the biggest sources of sodium in our diets, so limiting those is important.  Knowing how to flavor foods with herbs and spices could help you enjoy home cooking more."


You've probably heard of the DASH diet.  DASH stands for  "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" [high blood pressure].  DASH is high in whole grain, fruits and vegetables, dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free, nuts, seeds, beans and small quantities of lean meat, fish, and poultry. "Compared to the typical American diet, the DASH eating plan is lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat and higher in potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein." 


This diet is recommended for lowering high blood pressure and for decreasing the risk of cognitive decline.  Furthermore, it  decreases the risk of stroke and colorectal cancer. Click on

this link (to a Colorado State University site), and you'll find help in switching to DASH, including  menu suggestions and a long list of spices and herbs that can make specific foods taste delicious even without added salt.




Consumer Reports on Health, "Foods That Help You Heal," December 2016.


Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, "Connecting Food and Your Mood," June 2017.


University of California , Berkeley Wellness Letter, "A diet for depression?" June 2017.


University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, "Last Word" section, "Eating more fruits and vegetables may make you happier," January 2017.


Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, "Maximizing Flavor with Herbs and Spices," June



Colorado State University Extension, "Understanding the DASH Diet"



You must be logged in to post a comment or question.

Sign In or Register for free.