It sounds cliche, but you are what you eat. The things you put into your body can affect how you feel and function. For instance, it can play a huge role in your energy levels and mood. So, it’s no surprise that food can trigger migraines and headaches. It can also affect how severe they are as well. Discover how to manage migraines with your diet.
Try An Elimination Diet
There are 2 main ways you can manage migraines with your diet. First, by avoiding specific foods or ingredients, like caffeine, MSG, and alcohol.
Don’t worry, your coffee is safe. When it comes to caffeine, you don’t want to go cold turkey all of a sudden. Not having enough caffeine is just as bad. It can cause you to experience sudden withdrawal. And, as a result, trigger more migraines. Instead, keep things in moderation. Have 2 cups of coffee each morning instead of 4. You’ll be able to enjoy your morning roast without causing a withdrawal headache. Aim to stay under 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. That’s about three 8-ounce cups.
As for MSG, look to limit the amount of processed food you eat. MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in many foods. It can be found in sauces, dressings, soups, and frozen foods, to name a few. Unfortunately, it’s also a big trigger for migraines as well. Choose a diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, opt for fresh meat and poultry rather than frozen or canned versions when possible.
Lastly, watch how much you drink. Alcohol can trigger migraines, regardless of what type or how much you drink. Some people may react stronger to certain kinds of alcohol more than others. However, studies have found that red wine and vodka tend to cause problems the most.
Try A Specific Diet
The second way to manage migraines with your diet is to follow a specific meal plan. In fact, meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most promising diets. Especially when you restrict omega-6s.
Omega-6s are typically found in different vegetable oils. For example, canola, corn, soy, and sunflower oil. Peanuts and cashews have high levels as well. These healthy fats are fine in small amounts. However, the average American diet contains way too much. Try incorporating foods like salmon, cod, and flaxseed into your daily meals. This will help you get more omega-3s. Click here to learn more about adding omega-3s to your diet.
Diets that are lower in fat also show potential for treating migraines. These types of diets require you to get only 20% of your calories from fat. But, as a bonus, they also help prevent heart disease and help you lose weight. Extremely low-carb diets, like Keto, can help reduce migraines. However, they’re very restrictive and have been linked to potential kidney issues.
Overall, eating to help prevent migraines is a lot like eating to improve your overall health. There are more options than ever to find a diet that works best for you. Because after all, you are what you eat.