Foods to Eat and Avoid for Migraines

Foods to Eat and Avoid for Migraines

Migraine is a chronic headache that can last for a few hours to a couple of days. It is usually managed via certain lifestyle changes and also medication, in extreme cases. However, research suggests that, additionally, making changes to your dietary habits can help you overcome its rate of recurrence. Accordingly, here are some diet tips for migraine to follow.

Foods to eat

1. Fresh foods
When you consume more processed foods than fresh fruits and vegetables, your risk of getting a migraine attack is much higher. Therefore, make sure to include fresh foods like apples, spinach, kale, oranges, bananas, etc in your diet. Moreover, try to prepare your meals from scratch so that you can control the amount of oil and salt added to the ingredients.

2. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
There is plenty of evidence that suggests the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods in helping you reduce the occurrence of migraines. Foods like olive oil, nuts, and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, thereby decreasing the number and intensity of headaches.

At the same time, you must also include omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils, such as corn oil. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet plan.

3. Stay hydrated
The key to manage your migraine is to avoid dehydration because that is a common trigger for the condition. In fact, in most cases, headaches occur when your body is dehydrated. Therefore, you should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day to provide sufficient hydration to your body. You can also include other healthy drinks in your diet for migraines, such as fruit smoothies and juices.

4. Whole grains
Whole grains, such as brown rice, are rich in fiber content and low in calories. These foods aid digestion and prevent headaches. They also fill you up on healthy fats, thereby eliminating the need to binge on unhealthy processed foods that are loaded with trans-fats.

Foods to avoid

1. MSG
If you ever get a migraine after eating Asian food, it is probably due to monosodium glutamate. MSG is a common flavor enhancer found in soy sauce, packaged food, and Asian foods. It is often hard to spot because sometimes it is listed under ‘natural flavors’ on the food labels. If you have an MSG sensitivity, you will know it within 30-minutes of consuming the food. Your symptoms will include headache, flushing, tightness in the chest, abdominal pain, etc. If you experience these symptoms soon after you have had foods containing MSG, you need to cut it out from your diet.

2. Caffeine
Caffeine found in tea, coffee, and soda, have a poor relationship with headaches. Since caffeine contains pain-relieving properties, it is a common ingredient in migraine medication. In small amounts, its consumption can actually be good for your pain. But if you consume more than 1 cup of coffee every day, you are at a risk of caffeine withdrawal, which can lead to long-lasting headaches.

Keep these diet tips for migraine in mind to get rid of the pain naturally the next time it recurs. If it is severe, it is advisable to consult a doctor for professional advice.