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Migraine Diet for Headache Prevention

If you’re someone who experiences headaches frequently, you know you’ll do anything to get rid of that nasty head pain. You will follow every tip which promises to make that throbbing sensation go away. Here are some great migraine diet tips – what to eat to prevent headaches.

The Migraine Diet - What Should You Eat and Stay Away From

Migraine Diet Tips – What to Eat to Prevent Headaches

You may load up on water, try acupuncture or aromatherapy, massage some peppermint oil, or just end up having a painkiller instead. But, when it comes to alleviating headaches and migraines, the effects of your diet would be the last thing that you’d consider.

However, certain foods can trigger headaches or migraines in some individuals, while some other foods can help in preventing them. Thus, it is really essential to know what things you can consume and what things you should avoid in order to reduce the occurrence of such episodes.

Foods containing MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

MSG is sodium salt of amino acid which is found naturally in our body and many foods. It is also manufactured artificially through fermentation and is added as a flavor enhancer in Chinese cuisine and processed foods. It has been found that having even a single serving of MSG can cause headaches in some individuals.

Alcohol

Most of us are aware of the fact that excess alcohol can result in hangover but, in addition to that ethanol can cause dehydration, vasodilation, and facilitates the removal of salt, minerals, and vitamins from the body, all of which can contribute to causing head pain.

Cheese

Tyramine, a natural food compound that is usually found in aged cheese such as Gouda, Feta, parmesan, and blue cheese has been linked to inducing headaches in some individuals.

High sodium foods

It has been found that a diet high in sodium can induce more headaches, mainly due to the fact that a high level of sodium can increase blood pressure.

Processed meats

Processed meats such as sausages, ham, hot dogs, etc contain a preservative called nitrates which produce nitric oxide in the blood that dilates blood vessels in the brain ultimately causing migraines.

In addition to these foods, Chocolate, Caffeine, artificial sweeteners, fermented foods, frozen foods, and processed foods can induce or aggravate the symptoms of headaches and migraines.

Headache Prevention

Foods containing omega -3 fatty acids
Eating foods high in omega-3’s can help in decreasing inflammation. This includes food like:

  • flaxseeds
  • walnuts
  • olive oil
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • mackerel

Magnesium-rich foods

It has been noted that people suffering from migraines generally have lower levels of serum magnesium and supplementing magnesium can reduce the frequency of such episodes in them.

So you can opt for foods having high magnesium content like:


  • almonds
  • pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • kidney beans
  • French beans
  • avocado
  • banana
  • lentils

Foods high in calcium and vitamin D
A combination of calcium and Vitamin D significantly reduces the number of migraine attacks. So, consider including foods like:

  • fortified dairy products
  • soy milk
  • eggs
  • certain fish

A small amount of coffee

Caffeine may trigger a headache in some individuals as a withdrawal symptom but, when a headache hits, a few cups of coffee can help in relieving the pain because it helps in normalizing the dilated blood vessels in the brain.

Protein-rich foods

High protein food may help in maintaining the blood sugar level, make you feel more satiated throughout the day, and encourages you to have balanced meals, all of which helps in reducing headaches.

In addition to the tips above, these foods can also help in managing migraines and headaches better:

  • watermelon
  • ginger
  • spinach
  • plain yogurt

Finally, note that there is no universal diet that you can follow when it comes to managing headaches. So, try and experiment with yourself, see what suits you, and try to stick with it.

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