Too much salt tied to headaches
There may be a link between a diet high in sodium and headaches. So concludes a new study by scientists at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
While previous studies have linked high blood pressure to headaches, little research has been done on a possible connection between headaches and diet.
The researchers randomly assigned 390 study participants to follow either the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat, or to eat a control diet reflecting typical Western meals with high sodium intake.
The results showed that people who ate foods high in sodium had one third more headaches than those who ate foods low in sodium. The researchers observed that this difference remained whether the volunteers ate the standard Western diet or the DASH diet. So, as the researchers pointed out, simply eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and potassium and low in saturated fat won't necessarily ease or prevent headaches if a person's sodium intake remains high.
According to the American Heart Association, people in the U.S., on average, consume about 3,400 mg of sodium a day, more than twice the recommended amount of 1,500 mg.