Woman's World

Cure headaches with spinach!

- Kallie E. Kristensen

Headaches are one of our most common health complaints. In fact, we’re twice as likely as men to have them frequently as we age. Fortunatel­y, keeping the throbbing at bay can be as easy as: Having a side of spinach! Prone to migraines? Magnesium-packed spinach can help! A recent study found that getting 600 mg. of the mineral daily cuts migraine attacks more that 41%. “A powerful natural remedy, it blocks pain signals from spreading across the brain and amplifying or prolonging migraines,” says Montefiore Headache Center neurologis­t Cynthia E. Armand, M. D. And two cups of cooked spinach daily provides 80% of your RDA for magnesium. Other top sources: pumpkin seeds and black beans.

Nixing pain with coffee! Feel a headache coming on? Sip a cup of strong caffeinate­d coffee. Caffeine blocks brain receptors that cause blood vessels to widen too much and cause pain, says Traci Stein, Ph. D., author of The Everything Guide to Integrativ­e Pain Management. But stick to one cup a day: Too much coffee can worsen— even cause—a headache! “Once you become hooked on caffeine, your body signals with a headache for you to give it

more,” explains Dr. Armand. Koing tension with peppermint oil! Rubbing peppermint oil along your hairline relaxes face and neck muscles, easing tension headaches as effectivel­y as two extra-strength Tylenol tablets! “Thanks goes to its ability to affect blood flow and create a sense of calm,” says Dr. Armand. Just place a few drops of diluted peppermint oil on your fingertips, then rub gently in a circular motion on your temples and forehead for a few minutes. (Always dilute the oil; it may cause irritation if used directly on the skin.) Tapping the power of H2O! “One of the most potent headache triggers we know of is dehydratio­n,” says Dr. Armand. No wonder sipping a cup of water can alleviate 65% of headaches within 30 minutes, according the journal

Headache. To prevent them, sip a glass first thing in the morning, a glass with each meal or snack and a glass an hour before bed. Avoiding eyestrain by shading your eyes! Bright light can lead to squinting, eye strain and, consequent­ly, a headache. If you suspect you have light-triggered headaches, wear sunglasses outdoors and bluelight- filtering glasses (such as Shielded Anti Blue Light Filter Glasses, $12.99, Amazon.com) when using your computer, tablet or smartphone .—

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