Dietary Guidelines for Migraine

By      13-Sep 2019       Reading Time: 6 Mins

Dietary Guidelines for Migraine

Migraine headaches have become quite common. Almost 50% of the population despite of any age group suffer from migraines. In today’s time our lives are filled with the hustle-bustle of the daily work schedule. This busy schedule along with the sedentary and erratic lifestyle can possibly be a reason for causing migraine.

Migraines are recurrent headaches that occur on one side of head. They can be severe or prolonged with throbbing or pulsing sensation on the particular side of head.

It is accompanied with multiple symptoms which vary for every individual who suffer from migraine headaches. The actual cause of migraine is unknown but sensitivity to light and certain triggers are considered as factors responsible for causing migraine. Other causes of migraine are:

  • Stress and anxiety – Stress and anxiety are one of the biggest reasons behind the migraine headaches. Our lifestyle is such where stress stays with us like a companion. Prolonged stress can lead to painful migraines.
  • Flashing lights – Certain lights like yellow or colorful lights cause discomfort and headache which triggers migraine.
  • Strong odors- Strong smells and flavors of various items such as scents, perfumes garlic and eggs can cause migraine to some individuals.
  • Excess or lack of sleep- This is another reason which can cause migraine. It has been recommended that six to eight hours of sleep is necessary for a healthy body and mind. When we do not sleep enough or sleep in excess, there are chances that we suffer from migraine.
  • Irregular meal pattern- Irregular meals and large gaps in between meals can cause acidity which can ultimately lead to migraines.
  • Caffeine intake – It is evident that caffeine intake or withdrawal from caffeine can trigger migraines. Since caffeine is also a kind of addiction once you stop having it, the symptoms of migraine start persisting.
  • Food and additives- Certain food items can trigger the migraine headaches to a greater extent and can aggravate the symptoms. Foods like alcohol, chocolates, cheese, strongly flavored pickles, fermented foods, monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto) and some nuts can cause migraine.

Symptoms of migraine

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Increased urination
  • Weakness

Diet and change in lifestyle habits play a role to alleviate the symptoms of migraine and reduce the severity of headaches. Following are the guidelines that can be incorporated to prevent migraine:

  • Keep meals regular – It has been suggested not to keep large gaps between the meals as it can trigger headaches. Do not skip and eat small meals in short intervals to prevent migraines.
  • Add ginger to diet – Ginger has anti inflammatory properties. It has been found that ginger has certain constituents which can ease the symptoms of migraines including nausea. Ginger powder also decreases the intensity of migraine headaches so it can be consumed when suffering from migraine.
  • Include enough magnesium – It is believed that low magnesium levels in the body can lead to migraine. Its has been found that eating magnesium enriched diet can help to prevent migraines.
  • Get the dose of magnesium from: Milk and its products, nuts and oil seeds such as almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, eggs and green leafy vegetables.
  • Avoid triggers – Identifying and avoiding the food items that triggers migraines such as alcohol, chocolates and wines can help to prevent migraine.
  • Have a good dose of Vitamin B2 – Vitamin B2 i.e. Riboflavin also plays a role in preventing migraines. Foods rich in riboflavin are milk and milk products, lean meat such as eggs, chicken and fish.
  • Exercise – Indulging in any kind of physical activity and workouts can help to prevent migraine headaches. Exercising helps body to release certain hormones and chemicals such as endorphins that combat pain and stress.
  • Plenty of fluids- Drink at least 3-4 liters of water daily to stay hydrated and fresh. Have drinks such as cold lemon water with mint leaves as it gives soothing effect to eyes and reduce the severity of migraine headaches.

Over to you

By inculcating these small changes to your lifestyle and eating patterns you can alleviate the symptoms of migraine and can prevent it for lifetime as migraine is not a disease. It can easily be prevented with proper care and management.

 

About Author

"At Nmami Life, the meaning of good health is a combination of nutrition and fitness, which are essential to your well-being."
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Nmami Agarwal

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