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Migraines are not just regular headaches. They are characterized by severe pain in the head, nausea, and sensitivity to light or sound. In America, about 12 percent of the population experience migraines, which shows just how widespread it is. Headaches, on the other hand, are common, and the pain is mild. Migraines and headaches can be triggered by issues like weather changes, stress, lack of sleep, certain foods and drinks, and changes in estrogen levels. As such, if you’re dealing with one of these conditions, it’s advisable to avoid situations that might trigger them. On a positive note, who’d have thought food can help combat migraines and headaches? Scientists suggest that food can be the main contributor as well as treatment of migraines and headaches. Below, we present a list of foods that can fight migraines and headaches.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Legumes

Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are excellent sources of estrogen that can help to regulate the negative effects of estrogen produced naturally by our bodies. For women who get severe migraines during their menstruation caused by a sudden drop in estrogen, consuming these three foods could help. Experts say that the higher your estrogen level, to begin with, the further it will drop during that time.

Additionally, fruits, legumes, and vegetables contain fiber that helps remove the excess estrogen from the body as waste so that it doesn’t get recycled back into your bloodstream. Additionally, these foods have low-fat levels, and consuming foods low in fat helps your body produce less estrogen.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and herring are referred to as heart-healthy fish and can help prevent your migraines. These types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. They have anti-inflammatory and nerve protecting properties as well. Studies have shown that regular consumption of these fatty fish helps reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of migraines and headaches. Omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with other benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving the health of your arteries. Take salmon, for example. It has a balanced omega 3-6-9 fatty acid profile, which provides all-round benefits to your body, not just the heart.

Water

Many people don’t keep track of their water intake, which is why they drink less, leading to mild dehydration. Anyone suffering from migraine knows that dehydration is bad news for them since it’s the most common trigger. If you think your water intake is perfect, do a count for a couple of days, and you’ll realize you might not be drinking as much as you think. While there is no minimum amount of water suitable for everyone, starting with at least eight glasses of water daily should help. If you usually experience migraines, you need to drink even more than that.

Nuts

Low levels of serum magnesium could trigger migraines. Nuts, specifically almonds, are packed with the correct serum magnesium levels required by the body. Studies show that taking 600mg of almonds each day reduces the frequency of migraine. Therefore, it would help if you incorporated nuts into your diet. You can have them after meals or take them during the day as snacks.

Dark Chocolate

Switching your drink from coffee, which is high in caffeine that can trigger migraines, to dark chocolate loaded with magnesium, a relaxing mineral, could help immensely. Magnesium is the most commonly used mineral in the treatment of migraines. Our body tissues contain magnesium, including the brain. Magnesium induces relaxation and proper sleep, but you can drain the magnesium in your body if you’re stressed. Therefore, you need to supplement with foods rich in magnesium like dark chocolate, containing 70% cacao.

Liver and Heart Muscle

Organ meat is very high in minerals and vitamins compared to regular meat. Some people find organs unappealing, but if you can stomach them, organ meat could help you fight those unending migraines. Start by adding a serving or two of liver to your weekly diet and see the results. The liver is rich in B12, vitamin A, and other numerous minerals. You might be surprised by how well your body will appreciate it. Heart muscle is the richest source of a nutrient called CoQ10. A study found that 50% of people who included CoQ10 in their daily diet showed tremendous improvement in migraine management.

In Conclusion…

Eating a well-balanced diet could help prevent many illnesses, including migraines and headaches. Apart from switching your diet, engaging in physical activities, having a consistent sleeping pattern, and avoiding stress can help you to fight headaches and migraines. Additionally, check your weight because obesity is linked to obstructive sleep apnea, which could potentially trigger a migraine. If the above foods don’t seem to work in your favor, you should consult your doctor to prescribe the necessary treatment.

All images by Shutterstock

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