Food and Migraine Connection
Separating the Good the Bad and the Ugly Migraine Trigger Foods
The light is blinding… you’re in agonizing pain…and it’s so bad, you feel sick to your stomach.
When a migraine strikes, all you can think about is making it stop… RIGHT NOW.
You might have some pretty heavy-duty painkillers ready to go for when one hits, but those quick fixes might only make you feel better briefly.
While it’s tough to think long-term when a migraine has you in its vise grip, a new study shows that reliable migraine pain relief may be just a few weeks away.
Although there is no solid end-all cure for migraines, they can be controlled and managed by the foods you eat. I’m referring to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Foods (no relation to the movie of the same name starring the famous Clint Eastwood).
The Migraine Elimination Diet
In 1983, researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in London reported their results for 88 children with severe, frequent migraines who began an elimination diet. Of this group, 78 recovered completely, and 4 more improved greatly.
In addition, some children who also had seizures found that their seizures stopped. The researchers then reintroduced various foods and found that they sparked migraine recurrences in all but eight children.
In subsequent tests using disguised foods, the vast majority of children again became migraine symptom-free when trigger foods were avoided. Migraines returned when trigger foods were added to the diet.1
In adults, anywhere between 20 and 50 percent have a reduction or elimination of their headaches when they avoid common trigger foods.
Instead of waiting until a migraine starts and then treating it, identify common dietary triggers in order to avoid migraines altogether.
Most migraine specialists agree that the best way to avoid a migraine is to avoid the triggers. But since each person is so unique, those triggers vary widely from one person to the next. We suggest keeping a food diary to monitor what sets you off.
The foods and migraine connection will be a starting point for the Migraine Elimination Diet.
The easiest way to follow this diet is to keep meals very simple. You’ll trade a few months of dietary boredom for lots of information about your own migraine trigger foods. Two important things to note:
- Your list should include both foods to eat (the Good) and foods to avoid (the Bad and the Ugly).
- Your list is not intended as a permanent dietary change, but to help you figure out what your triggers may be. You discover your triggers by stripping down your diet first; then adding foods back in to test them.
The Good Migraine-Free Foods
The good foods are those that DO NOT cause migraine pain and have never contributed to migraines or any other pains.
The good migraine-free foods:
- Rice, such as brown rice
- Cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard or collards, carrots or sweet potatoes, summer squash
- Cooked or dried non-citrus fruits: cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes (but not citrus fruits, apples, bananas, peaches, or tomatoes)
- Water: tap, bottled or sparkling
The Bad Migraine Trigger Foods
The bad foods are common triggers for causing migraines in most people.
The bad migraine trigger foods: