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Eat less sodium, get fewer headaches

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If you’ve seen the AHA’s infographic about how excess salt affects your health and appearance, you may have noticed that headaches are among the health effects. A new study adds more evidence to back up the case for eating less salt to get fewer headaches, which could help you cut down on how often you end up rustling around in your medicine cabinet for a painkiller.

how excess sodium affects health and appearance - infographic

In the study, people were assigned to diets with different levels of salt and asked to record side effects, including headaches. The researchers discovered that cutting the salt people ate from 3,600 mg sodium per day (that’s about the average amount that Americans eat each day) to 1,200 mg per day reduced headaches by 31 percent. 1,200 mg sodium is about the amount in half a teaspoon of salt. You can read more about the study in the journal where it published, BMJ Open.

People with both high blood pressure and normal blood pressure saw a reduction in headaches when they cut the salt they ate. However, switching from a healthy diet to an unhealthy one didn’t have an effect on headaches. Lowering the salt was the key factor for reducing headaches.

How do you reduce the salt in your diet? Share your tip in the comments and see if it’s already on our list of tips to reduce the salt in your diet!