I hope you are having a good week! Most of all, I hope you have had a migraine-free week.

I know I have shared a little of my migraine story with you before….My migraines had become so intense over the past 15 to 20 years that I felt all hope was lost. I was continually missing out on social activities and work, and I just didn’t see an end in sight. I imagine you have probably felt the same way. You are constantly worried that you won’t be able to make some type of social event or that the week will inevitably end with you having had yet another migraine attack that left you feeling fragile, depleted, and worn out. Depression isn’t far out of reach as you are ravaged with pain, and sometimes it feels no one understands.

I’ve definitely been there. It seems as if our lives will never be “normal.” We get so sick and tired of the constant pain and supposed remedies that just don’t work for us.

I think if I had to name the two things that have had the biggest effect on the turnaround in my own migraine history, those would be diet and exercise. I realize when you have a migraine, exercise is the last thing on your mind – and so it should be. However, exercise as a preventative can be powerful. Doing extra strenuous activity isn’t always the best course of action for us as migraine sufferers, but if you try to walk 3-5 times a week and do some low impact cardio, it will act as a preventative to migraines.

The other thing is the shift I made in my diet. I am well aware of my specific food triggers, and I do my best to avoid those specific foods. Still, when I made the shift in my diet to eat no processed foods, but all healthy, whole foods, I just couldn’t believe the impact it had on my migraines. How do you handle your daily food intake? Are you so busy you don’t take the time to thoughtfully plan out your week so that you can have some food that is natural and healthy? Sometimes, the busyness of our lives can be detrimental. I love to help busy people find ways to add healthy alternatives into their daily lives. Planning is a huge part of success when it comes to a healthy diet.

Maya Rams Murthy, MPH, RD has said, “The connection between headaches and food is a personalized one. Although there are some common foods, beverages, and additives associated with headaches, everyone’s headaches are unique and may not be triggered by food at all. On the other hand, dietary habits (like fasting, dehydration, or skipping meals) may cause headaches or migraines in some people.”

It’s important to think about what we are eating – and especially figuring out if there are some foods that are specific triggers for us. As I’ve said before, keeping a food journal or migraine diary can help you recognize your triggers – although like me, you may be well aware of what your food triggers are and do everything you can to avoid them.

Here are just a few little dietary changes you can make that may very well help you with some of those unwanted headaches and migraines.
additives associated with headaches, everyone’s headaches are unique and may not be triggered by food at all. On the other hand, dietary habits (like fasting, dehydration, or skipping meals) may cause headaches or migraines in some people.”

It’s important to think about what we are eating – and especially figuring out if there are some foods that are specific triggers for us. As I’ve said before, keeping a food journal or migraine diary can help you recognize your triggers, although like me, you may be well aware of what your food triggers are and do everything you can to avoid them.

Here are just a few little dietary changes you can make that may very well help you with some of those unwanted headaches and migraines.

Alcohol:  A hangover can cause debilitating headaches, but even just a couple of drinks can trigger a migraine. Sulfites found in red wine, beer, whisky, scotch, and champagne are often connected with causing headaches, especially migraines. If you want to indulge in a little alcohol now and then, find something that doesn’t have the sulfites and tyramine that can trigger a migraine.

Magnesium: In the journal, “Nutrients,” low levels of magnesium have been associated with increased migraines. Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD goes on to say, “For those who don’t want to pop a pill to prevent headaches, eating more magnesium rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, fatty fish, low-fat yogurt, black beans and avocado, can help ward off symptoms.” It’s my opinion that eating from a natural source is always the best way to go, but sometimes, if you are lacking, try taking a magnesium supplement, or magnesium spray-on oil to help.

Omega-3: Studies have shown that by supplementing your diet with fish oil or olive oil, you can significantly reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of headaches – especially in adolescents. Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and sardines contain a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.

Processed Foods: Tyramine is the byproduct of the amino acid tyrosine that occurs naturally in many foods. This is more commonly found in aged foods like cheese or processed meats. Eating food that naturally contains tyramine may very well make your migraines worse, so try using fresh deli meats, cheeses, etc. as a healthy alternative.

Hydration: Of course, you hear me say this a lot – drink more water. Even just mild dehydration can cause migraines. That’s not just me talking, but research on this very topic has been published in the journal “Headache.” Dehydration causes blood volume to drop, resulting in less blood and oxygen flow to the brain and dilated blood vessels.

For naturally hydrating sources, watermelon, cucumber, and celery are packed full of water. It’s not always just about drinking water, but eating these types of foods will also help you stay hydrated.

Ginger: If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while and listening to me on social media, you know that I am a huge fan of finger. Ginger may have the ability to block neurotransmitters that are linked to inflammation, so the use of fresh ginger may help to avoid a slight swelling of your brain that can cause discomfort and pain. As an added benefit, ginger can help relieve the nausea often associated with migraine.

Why not keep some fresh, grated ginger in a container in your refrigerator and brew some ginger tea on a regular basis – and especially at the first sign of a migraine to ward off the nausea.

Fasting: Skipping meals or fasting can cause migraines, so make sure you eat on a regular basis. If you go for long periods of time without eating, it can cause your blood sugar to drop, which in turn causes your body to release hormones that are compensating for your depleted glucose levels. This results in an increase in blood pressure and the narrowing of your arteries, which – yep, you’ve got it – can cause a migraine.

Sodium: Foods that are high in sodium, such as processed meats, pickles, potato chips, and salted nuts, may cause headaches or migraines. A high sodium intake can result in a similar response to dehydration in the body, which, as we know, can lead to migraines. It’s always a good idea to limit processed foods or the amount of extra salt you might want to add while you’re cooking.

Coffee: Depending on your habits, coffee can either help with your migraines or make them worse. For example, if you are someone who regularly drinks caffeine/coffee and for some reason you suddenly cut back, you might experience withdrawal headaches, possibly triggering a migraine. Yet, on the other side, you might find if you have a migraine, drinking a small amount of caffeine/coffee can help alleviate the pain! It’s one of those things that is often personalized to each individual.

MSG: This one is definitely one of my triggers. Getting Chinese takeout may sound like a quick answer to your busy schedule, but if you’re prone to migraines, be careful. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which as I’m sure you are aware, is used to flavor food, can be the trigger for some severe migraines. Some are more sensitive than others, so you have to gauge your own reaction to this type of food.

I hope that this gives you a little insight into some of the things you can avoid in your lifestyle to keep yourself migraine free. In my new book, “Conquering Migraines: Your Guide to a Life Without Pain,” I have added a lot of “migraine-friendly” recipes for you to enjoy – along with lots of ways you can find natural prevention for migraines. Check it out on my website.

I would also love a chance to talk with you about your migraines and how you can find additional natural relief. For a complimentary call  >>CLICK HERE.<<

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