Written by David Rearden | Oct 23, 2020
You already avoid Migraine food triggers, but what about the food you do eat? Consider adding some of these foods that help migraines to your healthy diet.
You can’t change your genes, but you can control what foods and drinks fuel your day. Just as some foods can trigger Migraine attacks, other foods can help protect you from or heal after attacks. Some research suggests that adding specific foods that help Migraine to build up your defenses.
That’s because certain vitamins and minerals play important roles in controlling inflammation, modulating blood pressure, and maintaining homeostasis.
“Food is never going to be the cure-all, but there are compounds in foods — antioxidants and anti-inflammatories and vitamins and minerals — that really do have potent effects.”Joy Bauer, Nutritionist
Salmon is one of the best foods that help Migraine for several reasons. First, it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s have been credited with a number of health benefits including reducing the risk of cancer, reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving the health of your arteries.
Salmon also has a balanced omega 3-6-9 fatty acid profile, making it an excellent anti-inflammatory food. Aside from its rich fatty acid profile, salmon is also loaded with minerals that help combat inflammation.
Salmon even contains high amounts of B vitamins, including Riboflavin, which has been clinically shown to be a helpful tool for managing frequent Migraine attacks. To receive the full health benefits of salmon, aim for two to three servings a week. Not sure where to start? Try out our Potent Salmon Patties.
2. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate contains large amounts of magnesium, the “relaxation mineral.” Magnesium is one of the most commonly used minerals for Migraine management, and for good reason. Magnesium is found in all of your body’s tissues, including the brain. It is vital for relaxation and proper sleep, but stress drains magnesium from your body.
One of the richest sources of magnesium is in dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Proceed with caution, however, if you have not ruled out chocolate as potential Migraine food triggers. While chocolate can be potentially problematic for some, although chocolate may not be as big of a trigger as was initially thought.
Potassium, in combination with other electrolytes, helps your body fight inflammation. Electrolytes are also essential for combating dehydration, which is very risky for people with Migraine. However, it can be difficult to get enough potassium through your diet.
That’s where figs come in. Figs are very high in potassium, and adding them to your diet can help make sure you are getting enough of this essential nutrient. If you are sensitive to tyramine-containing foods, opt for fresh figs instead of dried since dried fruit contains tyramine.
Shrimp is high in an antioxidant called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin helps the body fight inflammation, which, in turn, helps your body manage Migraine attacks. Shrimp is also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids which also help fight inflammation.
5. Carrots and Sweet Potatoes
Carrots and sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and other nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. Sweet potatoes are especially high in vitamin C, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid, niacin, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and phosphorus.
6. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a “neutral” food, meaning they pose no known risk of triggering a Migraine attack, no matter how sensitive to the food you may be. Collard greens are also extremely high in magnesium and other anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Greens are an important part of any healthy diet, and this magnesium-rich variety is one of the best foods that help Migraine. Don’t like Collard Greens? Try spinach instead.
Kale is a nutrient-rich food that is safe for people with Migraine. Kale contains no known triggers, and it is rich in magnesium, Omega-3, and fiber, making it somewhat of a migraine superfood. Even better, there are many different varieties in season at different times, making it easy to add kale to your diet. It’s easy to throw into a smoothie, soup, salad or sauce.
Quinoa is another neutral food that is safe for almost every person with Migraine. Quinoa is a balanced carbohydrate and protein, and, because it is gentle on the gastrointestinal tract, it is one of the foods that help Migraine during the attack.
It can be very difficult to get enough protein during a Migraine attack, especially if you are craving carbohydrates. Quinoa is a delicious, nutrient-rich solution to those bad tummy days.
9. Liver and Heart Muscle
(Less pass on meat option)
Most people don’t drink enough water, which can lead to mild dehydration. Dehydration is bad news for people with Migraine, as it is one of the most common triggers. Think you’re drinking enough water? Do a little experiment and count your intake for a couple of days. You may not be drinking as much as you think.
While there is no minimum amount of water that is appropriate for everyone, a good place to start is with eight 8-ounce glasses a day minimum. If you are active or recovering from a Migraine attack, you may need even more. While increasing your water uptake, make sure you also increase your intake of salts and electrolytes. Magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sodium within the body are lost when water intake increases.
Adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet will not eliminate Migraine attacks, but certain foods can help strengthen your body and brain and reduce inflammation. Less stress on your body puts it in a better place to manage Migraine attacks and recover from them more completely.
Consider adding these foods that help migraines to your next shopping list. Your brain and belly will thank you.