When it comes to preventing migraines, there are many different things you can do. Diet is the number one place to begin, and the simplest for you to try. First, take some time to keep a food log. This should be for about one month if you do find that you suffer migraine headaches often. Be honest and write down everything you eat or drink. You may see a pattern right away, or it may take some time. A diet full of highly-processed foods can definitely be a problem when it comes to any type of headaches. Find ways to add in more nutritiously dense foods.
Another cause of some migraines can be food sensitivities. If your daily diet consists of too much corn, dairy, eggs, gluten or soy, this may be something you want to consider speaking to your doctor about. These foods are the most common allergens and can cause inflammation in the body, leading to symptoms such as headaches. Listening to your body is key in helping you heal. If you suspect a specific food might be causing you problems, stop eating it for two weeks. Then add it back in and notice any changes. This can be very easy and effective.
When it comes to preventing migraines, researchers have found certain nutrients that are believed to relieve symptoms, or even used proactively, to prevent headaches from occurring. Some of these are magnesium, healthy omega-3 fats and probiotics like acidophilus.
Here are some great ways to introduce these powerhouses into your daily diet:
- Water – This is the easiest the thing to do. Keep your body hydrated with clean water. Chronic dehydration is a common trigger for migraines. Begin with two 32-ounce reusable water bottles. Fill them up and make sure you have them with you all day. If you feel you need to adjust to more, feel free! A good rule of thumb to go by is to take your weight in pounds, divide that number in half. Now take that number and drink that many ounces of water per day.
- Wild Caught Salmon – Rich with omega-3 fats and a delicious way to get protein also. Healthy fats help to reduce inflammation. It is important to purchase wild caught salmon and try to eat it at least twice a week. This type of salmon can also be found canned and makes a quick and yummy lunch or dinner. If you do not like to eat fish, you can purchase fish oil supplements to add to your daily routine.
- Pumpkin Seeds – These little gems are full of magnesium. Many people today are deficient in this important mineral. Magnesium is also very helpful for women who find their migraines come with their menstrual cycle. Pumpkin seeds are great to grab as a snack or toss on a salad as a crunchy topping.
- Ground Flaxseed – Rich in fiber and healthy omega-3 fats, flaxseed is a super food. Being constipated, or even not fully evacuating the bowels properly can lead to headaches for many migraine sufferers. Flaxseed is very easy to add to a smoothie, your oatmeal, or even mix into a glass of water in the morning or at night. One easy way to add flaxseed to baked items is to swap out the eggs in a recipe for a “flax egg” – this is 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 2-3 Tablespoons of warm water. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes and add it to your pancake or brownie mix.
- Fermented Vegetables – Such as sauerkraut or kimchi are full of probiotics and great for your digestive system. By improving digestion your body will be able to access more of the nutrients from your food. This can also help balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut. By adding in healthy bacteria you just might find that your headache symptoms change for the better.
By identifying your personal migraines triggers, you will better be able to figure out which nutrients you need. Take some time each day to take charge of your health, begin your food log and listen to your body.
By: Gina Weiboldt
Gina Wieboldt is Certified Holistic Health Coach acreditted from Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She’s also a mom and blogger. Read more about her at http://goodlifehealthcoaching.com/
- Balch, CNC Phyllis A.: Prescription for Nutritional Healing 5th Ed. (2010) NY; Penguin Group
- Bauer, Joy : Joy Bauer’s Food Cures, Eat right to get healthier, and add years to your life (2011) NY; Rodale
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