Find out which foods can help eliminate severe head pain.

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Headaches can originate from environmental, medical and/or lifestyle factors to occasionally unexplainable causes. Reaching for the medicine cabinet may seem like the only solution to calm a pounding head, but simple and natural pain-relief options can easily be found in your fridge. Instead of relying on over-the-counter painkillers every time you get a headache, Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist Tara Miller recommends incorporating the following five foods with headache relief health benefits into your diet to put a stop to this intense and sometimes debilitating pain.

1) Cherries

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While after a long winter warmer temperatures are welcomed with open arms, the seasonal allergies and headaches that come with them are not. To relieve head pain caused by environmental changes, snack on some cherries throughout the day. The juicy fruit is packed with quercetin, “a natural anti-histamine, which helps prevent migraines and headaches caused by environmental or food related allergies,” says Miller.

2) Quinoa

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If you’ve ever found yourself sitting at your desk mid-day feeling as if your head is inside a giant bass drum, Miller suggests incorporating quinoa into your work week lunch to help silence the unwanted beat. Quinoa, a superfood that is not only high in protein, but also a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by improving the brain and muscle cells’ metabolism.

3) Broccoli

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Growing up, when your mother said you had to finish eating all your vegetables she was on to something. Eating broccoli can aid in diminishing headaches that result from hormonal imbalances, such as elevated estrogen levels, by detoxifying the hormone out of the body.  “Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli contain indole-3 carbinol that helps support the liver and speed up the detoxification process, so adding these foods may help in balancing hormones,” says Miller.

4) Watermelon

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Watermelon, long considered a summer picnic staple food - with good reason- helps to hydrate us. If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors in balmy weather and not drinking enough liquids you risk dehydration. This refreshing fruit alleviates cerebral pain, one of the symptoms of dehydration. “Watermelon is a great way to hydrate as it is not only made up of mostly water, but also contains sugars and electrolytes (think sports drinks!),” suggests Miller.

5) Salmon

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Whether you’ve overindulged on a night out, have a pesky sinus infection or suffering from a migraine, headaches that are a result of inflammation can cause extreme discomfort and can negatively impact your day. Miller suggests trying a serving of salmon because amongst its other health benefits, the fish is high in omega-3s, which have a strong anti-inflammatory effect and will ease the pain.