Headaches Plaguing Your Productivity? Switch Up Your Food Delivery Order Before You Pop an Aspirin

Posted by on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 with Comments Off on Headaches Plaguing Your Productivity? Switch Up Your Food Delivery Order Before You Pop an Aspirin Comments

Nothing derails a workday like a good, old-fashioned headache. As that familiar throb begins to creep in, your focus and productivity go flying out the window… and all you can think about is why you left your bottle of Advil at home today. Instead of popping pills, however, you might take a minute and consider your diet. Both in terms of prevention and treatment, the food you eat can affect when a headache might strike — and how strongly you’ll feel its crushing effects. And we’re not just talking about migraines: your diet can impact all kinds of headaches, including those brought on by stress or even having one too many cocktails the night before.

man with headache needs food delivery

What you eat for lunch can affect how hard that headache will hit.
Image source: Flickr user Stefan Neuweger

Ready for a new strategy to combat headaches during the workweek? Follow these tips on what to order — or avoid — during your lunchtime food delivery orders.

Migraine-specific food triggers

Even those of us who don’t suffer from migraines wince when we hear the word. A violent throbbing sensation, sensitivity to light, even nausea: with around 15% of Americans susceptible to migraines, we’ve all heard the horror stories. And migraines can most definitely be triggered by food, although the specific foods responsible for migraines vary widely from person to person. Most doctors will advise their migraine-plagued patients to keep a diary to identify individual triggers, but here are some of the most common foods you’ll likely want to avoid: Many foods that contain the compound tyramine, trigger migraines. Tyramine is found mainly in processed meats and pork, aged cheeses, and red wine. While the latter shouldn’t be hard to avoid at lunchtime in the office, tyramine can be difficult to sidestep when you’re ordering food delivery in from the local deli. Skip the turkey club (both the turkey and the bacon could trigger a migraine) and instead go for a spinach salad with hard-boiled eggs – hold the cheese. Spinach is rich in riboflavin (vitamin B2), which has been linked to migraine prevention.

Chinese food delivery

Checking for MSG in your Chinese takeout is a must for migraine sufferers.
Image source: Flickr user Gabriel Saldana

Another potential migraine trigger is MSG, the compound found in a lot of Chinese food. If it’s Chinese takeout day, do a little online research to find a place that offers MSG-free foods. And don’t forget to double-check the bottle of soy sauce in the office fridge, which often contains MSG. One unexpected source of migraines: food colorings, which can increase blood flow to the brain and trigger headaches. So at the next office birthday party, discreetly ditch the frosting on your slice of cake!

food delivery cup of coffee next to Blackberry

Calculate your optimal coffee intake, and stick to it.
Image source: Flickr user Håkan Dahlström


We all know that skipping your morning Americano can bring on a major caffeine headache — but so can indulging in an extra cup. Too much caffeine can trigger headaches, so try to keep to a coffee routine… ideally having no more than two cups per day. If there’s an afternoon latte run in store, ask for decaf or half-caf to cut back your intake.

Skipping lunch

One of the worst things you can do for your head is skip lunch altogether. Both in terms of headaches and overall cognitive function, not providing your brain the fuel it needs to work hard through the day is a bad idea. Even if you don’t have time to leave your desk, you can order in a healthy takeout lunch to keep your juices flowing (and your blood sugar stable) throughout the afternoon.

spinach salad with hard-boiled eggs food delivery

Magnesium-rich foods, like spinach, can help prevent hormonal headaches.
Image source: Flickr user jeffreyw

Monthly magnesium 

Hormonal fluctuations can also trigger headaches (like migraines, usually felt on just one side of your head). That’s why many women notice migraines kicking in during their periods, when their estrogen levels drop. To help offset this, try increasing your daily intake of magnesium, which can help relax blood vessels and reduce the actual pain you feel during a headache. Order up a salad with leafy greens and topped with almonds or sunflower seeds for a healthy magnesium fix.

bowl of chili with cornbread food delivery

Eat a potassium-rich lunch to offset alcohol-induced headaches.
Image source: Flickr user Serene Vannoy

Hangover headache prevention

If you’re heading to office happy hour after work, order up a cup of chili and a baked potato for lunch: some nutritionists believe eating potassium-rich foods (like white or kidney beans, and potatoes) can alleviate alcohol-induced headaches.

Drink and Eat some water

One of the top causes of headaches is plain old dehydration: you aren’t drinking enough water. If you’ve never been able to get into the recommended eight-glasses-per-day habit, try snacking on water-rich fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, cucumbers, and berries — or head straight for the oatmeal at office breakfasts.

Your office food delivery has a big impact on how you feel at work — so choose a healthier, headache-free lunch. With easy online ordering and a wide selection of menus at Waiter.com, it’s never been simpler to eat your way to a better day!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — Waiter.com is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & deliveryWaiter.com offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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