Migraine is like an uninvited guest that you can’t escape just as easily as you imagined. That’s right, you can’t change your genes, but you can choose what foods to eat in order to relieve your headaches.
Diet is an extra safety measure that you can take when you want to protect yourself from migraines, provided you always follow the recommendations received from your doctor, of course. Food may not be the “cure for everything”, but there are vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients in certain foods that can have a calming effect on migraines. Here they are:
1. Figs. It is difficult to obtain potassium from your daily diet, which is why figs come into play when it comes to migraines. In combination with electrolytes, potassium in the figs helps reduce inflammation and fight dehydration, one of the causes of severe headaches.
2. Salmon. Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, already hailed by many specialized studies for their certain benefits on cardiovascular health, this type of fish also brings you a substantial supply of minerals that help reduce inflammation. In addition, it contains a suite of B vitamins, including riboflavin, which studies have shown that it can reduce migraine intensity.
3. Avocado. Did you need any more reasons to love this fruit? It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that not only relieve headaches, but can also play a preventive role in their occurrence.
4. Sweet potato. It is both delicious and helpful when it comes to migraines, due to the rich content of vitamin C, vitamin B1 and potassium.
5. Dark chocolate. The list just got sweeter, didn’t it? It’s not an illusion, dark chocolate really is a reliable ally in relieving headaches. Opt for the one with at least 70% cocoa, because it has a higher content of magnesium, which is said to be the “mineral of relaxation“, that is the stress antidote. Magnesium is found in all of the body’s tissues, including in the brain, and its deficiency contributes to the onset of migraines.
6. Shrimps. Rich in astaxanthin, an antioxidant that helps in reducing inflammation, shrimps help a lot with migraine management.
7. Kale cabbage. A super food beneficial for migraine relief, Kale cabbage is also rich in magnesium, fiber and Omega 3. You can easily slip it into smoothies, salads or delicious soups.
8. Quinoa. It has a balanced content of carbohydrates and proteins, and it can be just the right food to save you during a migraine crisis. It contains magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, vitamin B and calcium, having a gentle action on the gastrointestinal tract.
Foods that trigger migraines
Limiting foods that act as a trigger for headaches is another safety measure you can take if you know you are prone to migraines. Try to consume less or in smaller quantities:
- nitrate-rich foods (industrially processed meat)
- food additives
- aged cheese
- tyramine and phenylethylamine
- dairy products
- plain chocolate (full of sugar and various flavors)
If you want to find out what foods are your allies or enemies when it comes to migraines, the easiest thing is to keep a food diary in which you write down how you feel or how long after the meal the headaches started. In time, you will have a clearer idea about how to structure your meals so that foods act for your benefit and help ease migraines.