Migraines are usually self-diagnosable. They can be described as recurring severe headaches that typically affect one side of the head. They are triggered by various factors including stress, improper sleeping patterns, strong odours, noise, hunger, dehydration and even certain foods. Common symptoms of a person suffering from a migraine, include nausea, inability to perform tasks due to the headache, increased sensitivity to light and noise, throbbing pain, stress and anxiety. Dietary changes can help counter these symptoms. The following list highlights some of the foods recommended, as fast remedies to treat or prevent migraines.
- Fresh foods
One major factor that triggers migraines is hunger because it is usually accompanied by a decrease in sugar levels. Eating a healthy/balanced diet provides the nutritional value needed to boost the immune system as well as nourish the body restoring blood sugar levels. Fresh foods do not contain nitrates nor preservatives like monosodium glutamate, MSG which should be avoided as they trigger migraines.
Avoid marinated meat, flavoured popcorn, junk and other foods rich in sweeteners.
- Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a good source of hydration since poor hydration can trigger severe headaches. They are also rich in magnesium and essential minerals, which are key in preventing migraines. Therefore the next time you get a migraine, instead of popping ibuprofen or Panadol pills try fruits like watermelon, pears, bananas, avocados and vegetables like spinach.
Caffeine is a fast remedy for migraines since it is a stimulant substance that helps with blood circulation. However, when opting for this option moderation should be exercised to avoid triggering withdrawal headache symptoms. This is by limiting daily caffeine intake to 100mg as recommended by the American Migraine Foundation. Find out awesome facts about coffee.
Would you believe that powdered ginger works as effectively as a dose of ibuprofen helps? Ginger acts like migraine medication by leaving serotonin behind, which prevents headaches. Therefore, to make this remedy, add ginger powder to a shot glass with a few ounces of water then drink. Not only will the concoction help in relieving the migraine, but it will also decrease nausea, bloating, and gas which causes a headache.
The brain requires calcium to function. Calcium-rich foods like yoghurt and seeds such as almonds, and pumpkin seeds may help treat and prevent migraines.
Related; Living with migraines.
Even though diet may play a significant role in relieving/preventing migraines, it is worth noting that there are different types of migraines. A food-triggered migraine will require one to find the food element causing the migraine and eliminating it. On the other hand, a stress-related migraine may need one to diagnose what could be the trigger for them to undertake necessary measures and get rid of the migraine. Perhaps this could be through food or just dimming the lights and getting enough sleep. What’s important is knowing that different migraines call for different coping measures. In addition, a type of food may be beneficial to one person but not to another.
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Feature image via Dr Hoffman