Anyone who suffers from migraines will tell you they’d do just about anything to avoid getting one. Sometimes the cause is hormonal or stress-related, but diet can also play a big part. The foods most likely to spark a migraine are wheat, milk, cheese, chocolate, coffee, sugar, peanuts, pork, and chemical additives and preservatives, but specific triggers are different for everyone.
Fluctuating blood sugar is thought to be linked to headaches, and a good slow-burning carbohydrate can help keep this in balance. People who get migraines also often exhibit low levels of magnesium, so eating some magnesium-rich whole grain cereal or oatmeal is recommended. Consuming carbs in the form of healthy whole grains allows the body to replenish its stores of glycogen, which is the primary source of fuel for your brain. Reduced energy to the brain also leads to dehydration, a major headache trigger.
#2 Fish And Meat.
Taking in some essential fatty acids, such as those found in high concentrations in salmon, mackerel, and trout, tend to reduce inflammation and pain in the body. That can translate into lesser intensity headaches, and regular consumption may even prevent the onset of a migraine. Vitamin B6, found in turkey, chicken, beef liver, and tuna, is great for increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
#3 Nuts, Seeds And Legumes.
Foods such as almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, brown rice, black beans, peas, and other legumes are also high in magnesium, and may help relax blood vessels. Adequate blood flow is thought protect against painful headaches and migraines. Sesame seeds are additionally rich in vitamin E, which helps to both balance estrogen levels and improve circulation.
Fruit is an excellent choice to both prevent and treat a migraine for several reasons. First is that it usually has a high water content, and dehydration is a major cause of headaches. Watermelon is fantastic if more water is your goal. Many fruits also contain magnesium and other minerals thought to prevent or ease headache pain – think apples and avocados.
#5 Spices And Seasonings.
Herbal tea with lemon slices is thought to be soothing during a headache. Tea with marjoram especially can reduce headache pain. Cinnamon and rosemary are also known to prevent or lessen headaches. Ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the painful swelling that can lead to headaches. On the flip side, some spices and seasonings often cause or exacerbate headaches.
Caffeine may play a role in reducing the pain of migraines, which is why it is found in most over the counter migraine medications. However, it appears to work best in people who do not take caffeine on a regular basis. So morning coffee or tea drinkers may not get much benefit due to the brain’s tolerance of the chemical. And unfortunately, caffeine withdrawal can also trigger migraines all by itself.
Getting back to basics, you must keep on top of your water intake every day if you suffer frequent migraines. Water is essential for everything that the body does, and dehydration is the most common trigger of migraines. You can also hydrate with herbal tea or reduced fat milk, but it’s best to steer clear of sugary fruit drinks and sodas. Sweeteners and other artificial ingredients in these beverages can sometimes trigger migraines.