Summer season seems to be reaching its peak, with days becoming longer and hotter. In India, the fury of the summer days is felt with especially high intensity. Due to its proximity to the Equator, the Indian subcontinent has particularly severe summers. Every year, the heat wave in India starts from March and goes on till July, and it peaks during the months of April and May. These are especially dry months, when temperatures of at least 40 degrees Celsius are experienced in the plains and temperatures in the hills go up to more than 30 degrees Celsius. A lot of us love to head out for outdoor activities or have long commutes to work during the day and we need to be very cautious about our health during these summer months.
Summer Headaches: Causes or Common Triggers
Summer headaches are among the most common problems faced by people during the season. Dr. Manjusha Agarwal, General Physician at Global Hospital, Mumbai lists down some of the common causes or triggers for summer headaches:
1. Migraine: Dr. Agarwal says, “People who have underlying migraine issues are also more prone to headaches during summers. When you roam around in bright lights and high temperatures, headaches can get precipitated.”
2. Dehydration And Nutritional Deficiencies:Dehydration is common during summers and Dr. Agarwal says, that not drinking enough water may lead to headaches. “Nutritional deficiencies add on to the headache problems”, she adds.
3. Other Causes: “Headaches get aggravated if you are sleep-deprived and/or if you have skipped meals. Additionally, strenuous physical exercises in hot and humid weather can also lead to headaches”, she says.
Good Dietary Practices To Avoid Summer Headaches
Dr. Manjusha says that nutritional deficiencies or a poor diet may aggravate headaches during summers and lists down a number of diet practices that people must follow to avoid them:
1. Drink Enough Water: Ensure good water intake, between 3 to 3.5 Litres per day.
2. Consume Cooling Drinks: Dr. Agarwal advises that in order to avoid summer headaches, we can add drinks like kokum sharbat, watermelon juice, fresh coconut water and gulkand with milk in our daily diet.
3. Caffeine In Moderation: Some migraine patients get relief by drinking ginger tea, says Dr. Manjusha, adding that it is only okay to consume caffeine in moderation.
Summer headaches: Caffeine can be consumed in moderation
4. Magnesium-Rich Fruits: Add fruits like banana, pineapple, watermelon, as well as apricots in your summer diet, she says.
5. Consume Yogurt and Yogurt-based Drinks: Adding yogurt and buttermilk to your summer diet can also effectively prevent headaches.
6. Consume Flaxseeds: Dr. Agarwal suggests adding flaxseeds to your summer diet as these seeds are incredibly rich in magnesium. A 100 gm portion of flaxseeds contains 392 mg of magnesium (as per data by United States Department of Agriculture).
7. Consume Fatty fish: Fish like salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to alleviate headaches.
Summer headaches: Consuming magnesium-rich foods can help
8. Dietary Supplements: “If your headaches are coming on too frequently, you may consider taking multivitamins, iron and magnesium supplements, but these should be consumed only after consulting with your physician”, says Dr. Agarwal.
It is essential to make sure that you include more hydrating foods and drinks in your summer diet and avoid excessive sugary and salty foods, adds Dr. Manjusha.