Migraine Headaches Nutrition And Digestion
Are We What We Eat?

Written by Holly Hazen

Getting specific facts on migraine headaches nutrition can be quite a challenge, especially if you cannot find a health practitioner that specializes in migraine treatments. 

I studied nutrition for two years and then got more interested in Chinese Medicine, herbs and acupuncture. And eventually counselling.

But I never left my love for nutrition and the power it holds to heal the body.

I truly believe, that especially with a condition like migraines, that one of the only things I can control is what I put in my mouth.

The quality of food matters.

Food is fuel.  

I am also lucky enough to have a nutritionist / doctor as a dear friend who has helped me with this over the past 15 years. She has put me straight on a number of occasions and put me onto useful, but more importantly, reliable websites.

She has told me to be wary of Miso soup as it can exacerbate migraines. And about taking enough fish oil and how important good quality supplements are.

More alternatively, she has offered Gelsemium complex homeopathic drops and has prepared a number of Bach flower remedies for my emotional states over the years. Rescue remedy can help if you ever get on the roller-coaster!

She has shared yummy recipes with me and put me onto good product ranges for quality supplements for migraines. And introduced me to Dr. Andrew Weil and his interesting migraine headaches nutrition facts and healing books.

Do not undervalue the potential of migraine headaches nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

Time Tested Solutions - Coffee, Feverfew, Supplements

Dr. Weil recommends for migraines “time-tested dietary measures” to help prevent migraine attacks. You may have heard of these all by now, but I just wanted to share just in case. You never know, what you don’t know!

Migraine Headaches Nutrition

“Eliminate coffee and decaf and other sources of caffeine”.

Once you have eliminated caffeine, you can use coffee as a treatment for your attacks. I used to have a short black and then go an lie down, or start to make it home. It helped quite a bit for years, until I became addicted to it.

I still love the smell of a good cup of coffee.

“Eliminate chocolate, red wine (sometimes white wine, too), strong flavored cheeses, fermented foods (like soy sauce and Miso), sardine, anchovies, and pickled herring” – ah! Perhaps that is where she got that information. Anyway, all of these foods are known as common migraine triggers.

Take one or two tablets every day of the dried herb “Feverfew (Tanacetun parthenium) as a preventative.” Dr. Weil says it is “safe to take indefinitely” and is available at most health food stores.

Wild Divine Biofeedback for Migraines

Dr. Weil supports this biofeedback system that can help you raise the temperature of your hands and control your heart rate to abort a headache.

It also teaches you relaxation methods, so you are getting stress reduction benefits as well. Train your mind to reduce migraines. Sounds good to me!

Among his many books, I have written briefly about Dr. Weil’s "8 Weeks to Optimum Health" program in Issue #2 of our e-zine. Please click here to read the back issue or subscribe to the monthly e-zine.

Many practitioners recommend taking 400mgs of Vitamin B2 daily. Many studies have found this dose to “reduce the frequency and duration of migraines” but I did not experience any benefit. As a matter of fact, my skin was turning yellow after, who knows how long (18 months), before the doctor took me off it.

I was taking divided doses of 200mgs at breakfast and 200mgs at lunch. Many migraineurs have found this beneficial, so I thinks its worth giving it a try.

And what about B12? Now that's a whole other post!

Migraine Headaches Nutrition And Digestion - We Are What We Absorb

Another fabulous idea to try is - if you think your Migraines might be related to poor digestion – is to add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and sip it while you eat. Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits and aiding digestion is just one of them.

Do you think your migraines are related to your digestion? Give the vinegar a try and let me know your results in Facebook.

Linseed (flax seed) Pooh Tea!

Put 1 tablespoon of whole linseed's (called flax seeds here) in a coffee plunger and poor a cup or two of boiling water from the kettle on to it and leave it to steep overnight. Drink one cup in the morning if you need to get your bowels moving.

Some practitioners believe Migraines are from sluggish bowels.

Too much information? Good!

Are you Drinking Enough Water?

My chiropractor told me years ago that we should drink 1 liter of water for every 23 kilograms of body weight.

To calculate how much water you need to drink a day on average:

To use kilograms, divide your weight by 23. So an example for 68 kilograms, divided by 23 equals 100 oz which is 2.95652 or 3 liters. Drink 3 liters of water each day, preferably with a bit of salt.

To use pounds, take your weight times 2/3rds. To calculate how many glasses to drink every day, just divide that by 8.

Confused? Here is an example - if you weigh 150 lbs then 150 times 2/3 =100 oz and then 100 divided by 8 is approximately 12.5 glasses of water.

How do you score now?

I can never get enough interesting migraine headaches nutrition facts! Every little tweak could make the world of difference in our suffering. Anything that helps is good! I guess the downside is that it is always changing.

But then the plus side is that it's always changing, so if one thing does not work .... try .... try another.

My most recent fact finding adventure around migraine headaches nutrition is from the book Fighting the Migraine Epidemic that is all about hydration.

Proper hydration with salt and water, and how our migraine brains need more than normal.

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References for Migraine Headaches Nutrition:
1. Weil, A. M.D. (1997) 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. Warner Books: London, UK.
2. Gates, D. (2007) The Body Ecology Diet. Library of Congress: USA.

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