Millions of people around the globe are affected by the problem of migraine. It is said that just anything can trigger and cause migraine attacks – stress, a certain type of foods and drinks, changes in the weather, improper sleep, strong odors, and eve fluctuation in the body's estrogen levels.
It is also a fact that women suffer three times more from migraines than men. Studies and experts believe that aside hormonal factors, it is also the food and diet preferences that stand as the main cause behind the rising numbers.
Another factor that is behind the higher incidence of migraine attacks in females is their fluctuating levels of the hormone – estrogen. Women typically get migraine attacks during their menstruation periods, when their estrogen levels are comparatively low, says acclaimed dietician and women’s health specialist, Sheela Seharawat at Diet Clinic.
The connection between migraine and diet
Anyone who has migraines knows that it is a different sort of headache with more intensity and accompanied by many other debilitating symptoms. It can be simply defined as conditions of severe headache and usually at one side of the head or skull along with the feeling of light nausea and light sensitivity. It is caused by some temporary inflammatory changes in the nerve cells of the brain that causes the pain.
Once anybody is attacked with migraines, she might feel extra sensitive to noise and light. The pain and the other symptoms can last from several hours to a couple of days.
Studies and researches conducted on the subject suggest that bringing about changes in the regular diet can decrease the chances of getting migraine attacks. It can even reduce the frequency of attacks. It is said that paying attention to the food we should eat and should avoid, is the biggest defense against it.
Let’s understand and know these foods that should be incorporated in our diet to help us defend against migraine attacks:
Migraine sufferers often have a deficiency of magnesium in their bodies. Low levels of the mineral make the brain extra sensitive and trigger migraine attacks.
Pumpkin seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, whole grains, and leafy greens are good sources of magnesium and should be a part of our daily diets.
Ginger is a known spice enriched with the goodness of many compounds and anti-inflammatory properties that protect our health in many ways including migraines. Though it hasn't been intensely tested for migraine relief, certainly its anti-inflammatory properties are helpful against migraine attacks and even prevents nausea that comes with migraine attacks.
Being rich sources of omega-3 and other fatty acids, fatty fishes are good for the heart and also help in controlling migraines too. The compounds found in fatty fishes including fatty acids help in reducing the frequency and also the severity of migraine attacks in many. Salmon, mackerel, trout, and herring are highly beneficial fatty fishes.
Fruits and vegetables including legumes are highly rich in plant estrogen levels that counter the effects of low estrogen levels in the human body. Women who suffer from migraine attacks during their periods due to the sudden drop in estrogen levels can highly benefit from having these foods. Also, the fiber in these foods also helps in removing the extra estrogen in the body as waste, so that these are not recycled back into the body's bloodstream.
Though it is believed that excessive consumption of coffee can trigger migraine attacks, a few cups may also relieve you from the pain and its effects. Caffeine helps to shrink the swollen brain nerves and is also the key ingredient in many migraine medications that are prescribed. Drink a cup or two when you have migraine attacks.
Both carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and many other vital nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. These foods are also enriched with the presence of vitamin c, potassium, manganese, niacin, vitamin B1, B2 and B6 and phosphorous. All of these can help against nerve cell inflammation and relieve migraine pain.
It is one food that is very safe and very effective for migraine patients. The perfect balance of carbohydrates and proteins in quinoa is just apt for the gastrointestinal tract and migraine. It is found that it becomes really difficult to get enough quality proteins during migraines and particularly if you are craving carbs. Quinoa is just the right food for it.
Figs contain ample quantities of potassium and other electrolytes that are very potent in fighting inflammation. These electrolytes are very important for fighting dehydration, which is quite common during a migraine. Potassium is also very critical during migraine phases. Figs being an excellent source of potassium and adding them to our regular diet can be very helpful.
Some important facts about migraine, as shared by experts:
Good health is a gift to mankind from Mother Nature. It is absolutely on us how we enjoy and keep it safe and sound. As women get busy with their children, house and family chores, it is very important that they take due care of their health and fitness by eating nutritious, sleeping well and exercise regularly.
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