Migraine diet refers to the food and drink items that one should consume and others which should be avoided by people suffering from migraine, which is a diseased condition characterized by mild to severe headaches accompanied by nausea. Though diet is not a cure for the disease, a balanced diet with avoidance of certain food items is recommended to prevent aggravation of the condition.
Characteristics of a Balanced Migraine Diet
A balanced diet with essential vitamins and minerals is recommended for migraine patients. Special focus should be made in including the following in the diet-
- Protein rich food items like fish beans, peas, chicken, milk, peanut butter and nuts should be consumed, which also serve as good source of vitamin B6 and niacin, deficiency of which is known to cause frequent headaches.
- Riboflavin and magnesium vitamin supplements should be regularly taken.
- Natural foods assisting in relief from migraine include fresh ginger, fresh garlic, parsley, peppermint and spearmint.
- Chamomile tea or lemon tea also provide relief from migraine headaches.
- Vitamins like magnesium and calcium are important in preventing headaches. Calcium rich foods that should be included in the diet include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, peas and beans. Magnesium rich foods include green vegetables, nuts, beans and seafood.
Foods to Avoid in Migraine Diets
The following foods should be avoided as they have been known to aggravate migraine headaches-
- Fatty food items: Foods rich in fat content, like deep fried foods, foods with heavy cream fillings and toppings, ice-creams, etc. should be avoided.
- Alcoholic drinks: Beer and wine in particular are known to aggravate migraine symptoms.
- Monosodium glutamate: This is often found in Chinese food as a taste enhancer. It is also used in soy sauce, commercial soups, frozen dinner items, commercially prepared salad dressings, etc.
- Tyramine rich foods: These include yoghurt, aged cheese, smoked meat or fish, beer, wine, etc.
- Phenyl ethylamine rich foods: These include cheese, chocolates, citrus fruits, cocoa, canned berries, eggplant, processed meat, chicken liver, pineapple, etc.
- .Caffeinated drinks: Caffeine rich drinks like tea, coffee, caffeinated energy drinks, etc. should not be taken in excess.
Migraine Diet Plan Tips
The following eating habits should be kept in mind by migraine patients while charting out their diet plans-
- Breakfast should never be skipped.
- Meals should be regular, and skipping meals should be avoided. Three to four meals in a day is the recommended diet.
- A balanced diet should be consumed, which contains right proportions of all essential nutrients.
- Excess carbohydrates in a single meal should be avoided in a migraine diet.