Juicing and Electrolytes for Headaches and Migraines
Juicing and Electrolytes
Recently, I had an athlete that came to me with the only complaint of non-specific tension headaches. He has been checked out by a medical doctor and a neurologist, and all appropriate tests had been done including an MRI and nothing notable was found with all the tests. He was prescribed medication and was sent home because there was nothing else that could be done for him medically speaking.
Not wanting to settle for taking medication for the rest of his life, he found my information and came in for a health consultation. As a part of the consultation, it became clear to me that his headaches in this case were not energetic, mental/emotional or spiritually based headaches. They simply were physical headaches. When I asked him about his diet, he said, “I eat a pretty healthy diet.” It always amazes me what people think is a healthy diet. Many times, athletes have some of the worst diets.
As I pressed a little further, I asked him how many vegetables he ate per day and his response was “Per day? Umm…may be 3 servings per week.” Upon hearing this response, I instantly knew why he was having his headaches.
His head was “full of heat” as the Chinese would call it and his brain was literally starving for nutrients.
When I told him that not eating vegetables was the cause of his headaches, he looked at me as if I had never gone to medical school before or was just plain stupid. Vegetables, 6-8 servings per day, for at least a week, and you should see significant change in the severity and duration of your headaches. He went home, bought a juicer, started juicing and has been tension headache free for about 6 months.
Sometimes health is so simple and the answer to our health issue is literally right in front of us. I tell people almost every day how just eating more vegetables would severely lessen their health issues. For people who suffer from cluster, migraine or tension headaches, juicing is a critical part of getting healthy. It is a must in my clinic. I suggest juicing because eating the amount of vegetables that most require would make their jaw hurt from so much chewing.
Why are vegetables so important?
Vegetables contain lots of electrolytes and they are good for conducting electrical impulses all over the body. The most common electrolytes are sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium. Most Americans are deficient in all of these. Those with headaches in my experience are definitely deficient in these critical nutrients. When a deficiency occurs, the body will pull calcium from the bones in order to maintain proper blood pH. Electrical signals can’t conduct around the body very well with a deficiency of these as well. When this occurs, pain can be created in the head.
One vegetable which is easy to buy organic, is very inexpensive and is loaded with electrolytes is the carrot. Below is a simple recipe that one can use to make a juice that will load your body up with electrolytes.
- 3-5 large organic carrots
- 1 whole head of organic romaine lettuce
- 1 organic green apple (green apples have less sugar)
This is a great base for any juice and will make you about 12-14 ounces of juice. It is best to drink a juice as soon as it is made because the enzymes will die very quickly after making juice. The enzymes are critical for your health. You can use a juicer such as the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer, available for $60 dollars at Walmart or Target. You can also add anything else to the juice that you want on top of the base such as beets, kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, swiss chard or other green leafy vegetables.
Once the body gets flooded with nutrients, the brain will be nourished, which can help cut down on the migraine or tension headache pain that you have. In case after case, I have seen this one change make a big difference for many people. You mom was right: fresh, raw vegetables have been and always will be amazing for your health! Starting juicing today!
This is part 3 of a series on headaches and migraines – read more from Dr. Scott Graves
Dr. Scott Graves ND, MA is a Florida-based Naturopath, Acupuncturist and Intuitive who specializes in Nutrition Response Testing, NAET, EFT, and Psychokinesiology. He offers free 15 minute phone consultations and is available for radio and TV interviews. Read his Blog here. Like him on Facebook.