By Shirley Bar
Getting Rid Of Headaches
Millions of people are plagued by headaches. Sometimes these headaches are not severe, but other times headaches can lead to excruciating pain. There are two types of headaches: tension headaches and migraines. Tension headaches are common in everyday life and feel like pressure and tightness on either side of the head. Migraines, on the other hand, don’t occur on a daily basis, but when they do come, the throbbing and pounding of the head is intense. Since migraines are associated with hormones, the majority of migraine sufferers are women.
There are several causes of headaches, but the most influential cause is what we ingest.
Avoid caffeine. Caffeinated products, such as coffee, tea, and chocolate can trigger a headache/migraine. As an ex-migraine sufferer, I used to drink at least three or four cups of coffee a day. It was a vicious circle. Every time I’d get a headache, I would drink another cup of coffee. I thought it was helping me relieve the pain. After realizing that it was not helping, but making matters worse, I gave up the coffee for good, and the migraines disappeared. I see so many people suffer headaches and migraines on Yom Kippur and other fasts throughout the year, and I know that it’s because of their eating and drinking habits. I urge everyone who suffers from migraines to stop drinking coffee. Yes, even decaf is bad. That’s a first step. Although it’s not easy, it’s doable. There are many coffee alternatives; they are great and taste almost the same.
Avoid food additives. Artificial food additives (which are basically found in every product sold in supermarkets today) cause headaches. For example, sodium nitrate is a preservative found in processed meats, cold cuts, and hot dogs. After one consumes these meats, the sodium nitrate that was in there reacts with stomach acids and other chemicals in our stomach and produces nitrosamines. What is nitrosamine? Well, it’s another chemical that is known to produce cancer in animals. So I say, if all we get from eating this meat is a migraine, we’re lucky. Try to eliminate all processed meats and anything with MSG. Most people are not aware that MSG is no longer just in Chinese food, but it’s in many processed snacks, breads, drinks, and candies. Anytime you read a nutrition label and “natural flavors” are listed, know that it’s MSG.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal are equally bad. They are made of chemicals that were initially intended to be used as bug spray, but now it’s killing us instead of the bugs. Try to avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs—anything that is sugar-free has these chemicals in it.
Take nutritional supplements. I recommend taking high-end supplements to relieve and prevent the onset of headaches and migraines. Here are some important supplements to start off with and the amount I recommend for daily consumption:
• 250–500 mg of magnesium
• 125 mg of ginkgo biloba
• 1,000–2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (plant source only—not from fish)
This is a combination of supplements that I prescribe to many of my clients and it has had remarkable success in the treatment of migraines.
Drink plenty of clean water. Finally, proper hydration can also prevent headaches.
Over the last 20 years, Shirley Bar has developed a signature program called Shirley Bar Living that has allowed thousands of people around the world to get in the best shape of their lives and heal the most troublesome of health conditions using food as medicine. Shirley is an international bestselling author of Transform 42, a formulator of numerous bestselling products, and a media personality with a huge following in Israel. Shirley is now a Five Towns resident and welcomes your questions and concerns at Shirlybar123@gmail.com.