Can foods that fight pain really make a difference to you as a migraineur? Can artichokes and ginger really prevent migraines? You may already know to avoid your triggers, but can eating certain beneficial foods help to stop them too?
You know what foods to avoid... right? And you probably also know it's not that simple. Here are some of the most common migraine triggers:
Dr. Neal Barnard says in his book Foods That Fight Pain, that there are some foods that can help reduce migraine attacks.
He says to avoid the common migraine trigger foods completely until the attacks diminish or cease and to only reintroduce the food triggers "one at a time to assess their effect."
He supports the idea of doing a migraine elimination diet to help identify which foods are the problem, and whether food is actually a trigger for you.
He lists these foods for us migraineurs to eat to help fight our migraines.
Dr. Barnard says that pain safe foods are:
Hmmmm... seems like a short list! The non citrus fruits list could get nice and long. But keep reading... there's a lot more.
If you get monthly hormonal triggered attacks... consider introducing coconut oil to help balance your hormones.
Rubbing it on your skin will help balance your thyroid.
Foods to keep hormonal shifts at a minimum are:
natural fiber in grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. This means – eat
them in their purest form – unprocessed - fruit with the skins on,
potatoes with the skins on, brown rice, or whole grains like Quinoa.
Bananas with the skin on. OK - just kidding, I was just seeing if you
were still reading and paying attention!
Dr. Barnard suggests trying these supplements to help fight Migraines under consultation with your own Doctor of course:
He says to use fresh, but I don’t know how to get fresh powder?
I prefer to either grate a tablespoon or slice it up and drink it as a tea in hot water.
You'll probably need to experiment to find what works most effectively for you.
Magnesium and Calcium
Including Magnesium and Calcium in your supplement regimen for migraine prevention could make a huge difference. It will depend on how magnesium deficient you are. You can check your levels with a simple blood test from your doctor.
Dr. Barnard recommends 200 mgs per day of elemental Magnesium as a single supplement on its own and 1,000-2,000 mgs per day of elemental Calcium. Some Calcium supplements also have 200 IU of Vitamin D included which is also beneficial.
At the very least perhaps try to find a good multivitamin or combination that has both these amounts of Magnesium and Calcium in them.
And remember always consult your doctor first before you
add any herbs or supplements to your diet. We are trying to find foods
that fight pain, not foods that increase it. We have enough of that
One thing I wanted to add here is to stay hydrated. Drink enough water every day, all day long. Dehydration is known to cause migraines. I would even go as far to suggest drinking natural spring water or properly filtered water over tap water.
And if you can balance your electrolytes too... even better. Feed that body!
Reference: 1. Barnard, N. M.D. (1998) Foods That Fight Pain (1st Ed.). Three Rivers Press: Random House: NY, USA. p. 59.