Migraine is a severe headache, usually on one side of the head and often accompanied by nausea or light sensitivity. Once your migraine starts, you may be especially sensitive to noises or light. You may also feel nauseous and vomit. This pain and its accompanying symptoms can last anywhere from several hours to several days.
Recent studies and research suggest that certain changes in your diet may reduce the frequency of your migraines.
What foods are good for migraines?
Paying attention to your diet is one of the best possible defenses against migraines. You should work to incorporate preventive foods into your diet and limit foods that are migraine triggers. Whole, natural foods that don’t have preservatives or artificial flavorings are a good place to start when it comes to revamping your diet.
following foods and beverages are considered “pain-safe”:
- Orange, yellow, and green vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach
- Rice, especially brown rice
- Dried or cooked fruits, particularly non-citrus kinds such as cherries
- Natural sweeteners or flavors, such as maple syrup and vanilla extract.
The American Migraine Foundation and the Association of Migraine Disorders classify some fresh meats, poultry, and fish as migraine-safe foods. The key is to avoid versions that are processed, smoked, or made with tenderizers and broths.
vitamin B-2, or riboflavin, may help decrease the frequency of your migraines. Vitamin B-2 can be found in animal products such as salmon and red meat. It’s also present in grains and mushrooms.
What can trigger a migraine?
Women who see drops in estrogen around their periods or during pregnancy may have migraines because of the hormonal fluctuations. Foods that contain a lot of sodium, as well as foods with additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, could also cause migraines. Other migraine triggers can include:
- alcohol consumption
- changes in the weather
- changes in sleeping habits
- certain medications
What foods can trigger migraines?
Limiting the amount of triggering foods in your diet or even adhering to a strict avoidance policy can decrease the frequency of your migraines. Food additives and processed foods are widely considered to be common migraine triggers. Other foods or additives that may be triggering include:
- dairy products
- wheat, including pasta and bread products
- citrus fruits
- nitrites found in foods
- alcohol, especially red wine
- food additives, such as MSG
- aged cheeses
- nuts. You should consider keeping a food diary to track what you eat and drink, as well as how you feel afterward. This can help you or your doctor isolate specific foods or ingredients that may be triggering your migraines.
You can also embark on a two-week test run of a pain-safe diet. During this time, you should only choose food or drinks from the “safe” list and avoid foods thought to be common triggers. During this time, you should take note of your migraine frequency and severity. After two weeks have passed, Slowly introduce other foods back into your diet. This can give you a heads-up as to what your food triggers may be.
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