Using Holistic Nutrition As Treatment For Migraine
Migraines can be debilitating for the people who experience them.
These individuals often have their own strategies to help manage the pain or to try to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
As someone considering a diploma in holistic nutrition, you probably already know about the power of our food and diets to help manage health issues, and the same goes for migraines too.
So today, we’re going to look at what migraines are, what can trigger their onset, and how to manage them through holistic nutrition.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Migraine?
Migraines go beyond just being extremely uncomfortable headaches.
They are considered a neurological condition, which can be debilitating, resulting in time lost from work or school.
This condition is more common in women and tends to run in families, suggesting there may be a genetic component.
What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine?
Symptoms which may indicate a migraine is going to occur can start to show one to two days before the actual migraine, these can include:
- Neck stiffness
- Low mood
- Frequent yawning
Some of the signs and symptoms of migraines include:
- Hypersensitivity to sound and light
- Trouble speaking
- Vomiting and nausea
- Tingling and numbness
In addition, the pain they cause may be described as:
What Causes Migraine?
Although there is no one definitive cause which has been pinpointed for migraines, they are believed to be due to atypical brain activity related to nerve signals, blood vessels and chemical imbalances.
That said, there are a number of factors which can trigger migraines, including:
- Use of tobacco and alcohol
- Extreme weather, such as high temperatures
- Loud noises and bright lights
- High stress levels
- Not eating enough
- Extreme exercise
- Some medications, including nitroglycerin and oral birth control
- Hormonal changes
- Changes in air pressure
- Sleep pattern issues
- Some smells and foods
Holistic Nutrition As Treatment For Migraine
As with many other conditions, the foods you eat can have both positive and negative impacts on whether you suffer from migraines, how often you experience them, and the severity.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can manage migraines through diet.
1. Recognize Trigger Foods
Different foods will affect different people in different ways.
What causes a migraine in one person may affect someone else differently, however, there are certain foods which tend to be more likely to cause them than others.
Some foods which tend to be triggers for migraines include:
- Foods containing tyramine, such as fresh bread and fermented foods
- Cured meats
- Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners
Keeping a food journal can help you to learn which foods are most likely to affect you, so you can steer clear of them.
2. Consider The Keto Diet
You’ve likely heard of the ketogenic diet in reference to weight loss, however, there may be another use for it – migraine prevention.
The keto diet is high fat, and low carbohydrate, and may help lower the frequency of migraines.
If you decide to try this, be mindful that some foods which would be considered part of the keto diet could also be migraine triggers.
3. Eat Omega 3 Rich Foods
Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids are known to be beneficial for both your body and brain.
They are known to help combat anxiety and depression, promote brain health and development during the early stages of life, may help reduce symptoms of ADHD, and now may also help lower your chance of migraines.
A 2018 study in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids found intake of omega 3 fatty acids to be associated with a lower prevalence of migraines.
Related: Brain Boosting Superfoods
4. Eat Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is a mineral which plays a role in many of your body’s processes.
Low levels of magnesium have been shown to be linked to the onset of migraines.
Some foods rich in magnesium include:
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Nuts, especially cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds
- Flaxseeds and chia seeds
- Fatty fish
5. Avoid Foods With MSG
MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is an additive added to some foods to enhance their flavour and to help them stay fresh longer.
Although studies have not conclusively shown MSG to be a trigger for migraines, there are enough anecdotal reports of this connection to be taken seriously as a possible cause.
Contact The Edison Institute Of Nutrition Today
Are you ready to learn more about all the ways your diet can affect your health.
It’s a lot more than just eating food for fuel, or how what you eat impacts your weight.
Food plays a role in everything from skin health, to inflammation, to menstrual health, and much, much more.
If all of this intrigues you, then perhaps a career in holistic nutrition is right for you.
Contact us today at the Edison Institute of Nutrition to learn more about our program offerings.