MIGRAINE - How diet can help prevent it.

28 Feb 2017

Migraine is not just a bad headache

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

What causes Migraine?

In order to cure migraine, the very first step that should be taken is to learn the causes behind it or what triggers it. Even though specific reason behind its cause is still vague, but 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. triggers migraine in most cases. Thorough research over the years has disclosed that food and migraine attacks are interlinked to a great extent. Proper healthy diet may aid to prevent migraine, whereas some food may trigger the pain attack.

Migraine Diet: Pain-Safe Foods

Pain-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, are fine. Other beverages-even herbal teas-can be triggers. 
  • Condiments: Modest amounts of salt, maple syrup, and 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 have a reaction in the blood vessels and 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 and peanuts
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • corn 
  • apples
  • bananas

* Include skim or whole cow's milk, goat's milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
Certain beverages and additives are also among the worst triggers, including alcoholic beverages (especially red wine), caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, and colas), monosodium glutamate, aspartame (NutraSweet), and 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.