Migraines are intense headaches that can be accompanied with nausea as well as sensitivity to light and sound. Thirty-eight million Americans regularly get migraines, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. And 28 million of them are females.
Migraines can be tied to hormones. So it makes sense that women with intense monthly hormonal fluctuations (namely estrogen), would suffer most from migraines, Huffington Post reported.
The jury is out on what exactly triggers migraines, so it can be a struggle to tap down these intense headaches.
However many experts agree that consuming foods known to prevent migraine symptoms, which are caused by dehydration and inflammation, is a step in the right direction.
Here are eight foods that may ease your migraines:
Migraines can result from enlarged blood vessels. The caffeine in coffee helps shrink those enlarged blood vessels in the brain. Caffeine is an ingredient that can be found in some pain relievers.
Dehydration can be a common migraine trigger, so drink plenty of water. Decaffeinated coffee, herbal tea, and fat-free or 1-percent reduced-fat milk are also good when fighting dehydration.
Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, is a leading nutritionist. She recommends nine cups of liquid a day for women and 13 cups per day for men.
3) Fruits, Vegetables and Legumes
These contain plant estrogens that may help smooth the drop in estrogen which women experience right before their menses, according to Readers Digest. On top of that, these foods are high in fiber. Fiber helps remove the body’s excess estrogen.
4) Healthy Fats
Inflammation is believed to aggravate migraine pain. Fight off inflammation with healthy fats.
For example, Bauer said the monounsaturated fats in olive oil have been shown to reduce the frequency, duration and severity of headaches.
5) Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are good sources of the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Salmon and other fatty fish like herring, mackerel and trout may help reduce migraines.
A diet high in magnesium may help to prevent migraine. This may be particularly so for women who get menstrual migraines, wrote Bauer.
Look for good amounts of magnesium in beans, brown rice, leafy dark green vegetables, quinoa, sweet and white potatoes, sunflower seeds and whole grains.
7) Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Riboflavin helps the body produce energy at a cellular level.
According to Bauer, research suggests that migraines suffers may have a genetic defect which makes it difficult for their cells to maintain energy reserves. Therefore, this lack of cellular energy could trigger migraines.
Good riboflavin-rich choices are broccoli, lean beef, fat-free or reduced-fat milk, mushrooms, spinach and whole-grain fortified cereal. Keep in mind, it’s hard to get enough needed riboflavin from food. Consider a daily dose of 400 mg of riboflavin supplements.
Ginger may fight against migraines by blocking inflammatory substances called prostaglandins, wrote Reader’s Digest. While ginger hasn’t been thoroughly tested when it comes to improving migraines, it could relieve the nausea that often comes with a migraine.
Reviewed June 24, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Dolgen, Ellen. "Migraines: What's Estrogen Got To Do With It?" The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 23 June 2016.
2) Johnson, Pamela. "5 Best Foods for Migraine Relief." Readers Digest. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 June 2016.
3) "4 Powerful Nutrients for Fighting Migraines: What's for Dinner?" Joy Bauer. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2016.
4) Repinski, Karyn, and Ward MS, RD, Elizabeth M. "Get Rid of Migraines: Find Your Food Triggers." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 10 June 2016.
5) Migraine is a women’s health issue. Migraine Research Foundation. Web. 10 June 2016.