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Diet For Migraine Relief

28 Feb 2017
Migraine is not just a bad headache

Do you suffer from frequent headaches, particularly, in one section of the head? Do you also feel nauseating at those times of pain attack? Then, there is a possibility that you might be suffering from a migraine. To generalize migraine with a normal headache will be inappropriate. Migraine is a result of certain physiologic alterations that occur within the brain & consequently, result in the appearance of several symptoms such as vomiting, headache, etc. Sudden sensitivity to smell, sound & light or disturbed vision may also happen due to migraine. These migraine attacks may turn severe & sometimes, it may take days for the pain to ebb away. The symptoms & the cycle or duration of headaches vary from person to person & in between two attacks, all these symptoms may remain non-existent, but still, this sickness influences both personal & professional life. 


What causes migraines?

To cure migraine, the first step that should be taken is to learn the causes behind them or what triggers them. Even though the specific reason behind its cause is still vague or a specific type of migraine with aura is passed down genetically. Apart from that, stress or anxieties, lack of sleep, improper diet, hormonal changes in women, etc. trigger migraine in most cases. Comprehensive research over the years has disclosed that food & migraine attacks are interlinked to a great extent. A proper healthy diet may aid to prevent migraine, whereas some food may trigger a pain attack.


Migraine Diet: Pain-Safe Foods

Paint-safe foods virtually never contribute to headaches or other painful conditions. These include: 

  • Rice, especially brown rice 
  • Cooked green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, or collards 
  • Cooked orange vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes
  • Cooked yellow vegetables, such as summer squash
  • Cooked or dried non-citrus fruits: cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes (but not citrus fruits, apples, bananas, peaches, or tomatoes) 
  • Water: Plain water or carbonated forms, such as Perrier should be preferred. Other beverages, even herbal teas can be triggers.
  • Condiments: Modest amounts of salt, maple syrup, & vanilla extract are usually well-tolerated.


*Common Migraine Triggers*  Common triggers often cause headaches in susceptible people. Just as some food sensitivities manifest as a  rash on your skin, migraine sufferers develop a reaction in the blood vessels & nerves. Here are the common food triggers, also known as the "Dirty Dozen," in order of importance:

  • Dairy Products*
  • Chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Meat**
  • Wheat (bread, pasta, etc.)
  • Nuts & Peanuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Corn 
  • Apples
  • Bananas

* Include skim or whole cow's milk, goat's milk, cheese, yoghurt, etc.

Certain beverages & additives are also among the worst triggers, including alcoholic beverages  (especially red wine), caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, & colas), monosodium glutamate, aspartame (NutraSweet), & nitrites.

Foods that are neither on the pain-safe list nor the common trigger list should be considered possible, but unlikely, triggers. Almost any common food, other than the pain-safe list, has triggered migraine in an isolated individual in a research study, so they cannot be considered completely above suspicion, but they are far from the most likely culprit.


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