We are all so used to popping pills at the slightest sign of a headache that the idea of something like a migraine diet at first seems to be absurd. Dietary control is not a treatment for migraines. But recent research provides strong evidence that controlling the diet can help in reducing both the number of migraine attacks a person suffers as well as the severity of these attacks. For those who suffer from regular migraines, following a migraine diet can provide a large amount of relief from the pain they would otherwise have to suffer.
What Exactly Is A Migraine Diet?
There are certain foods that tend to provoke a migraine or at least increase the severity of the headache. While the foods that can bring on the onset of a migraine vary from person to person, there are some food items that have been identified as being common culprits and should be removed from all migraine diets. These include alcoholic drinks, foods containing caffeine, ice creams, cheeses, chocolate, citrus fruits, MSG (found in most Chinese food) hot dogs and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Avoiding all of these foods may be difficult, unless you wish to live like a monk. But with a little care you should be able to set yourself a migraine diet that controls the quantities of these foods you consume on a regular basis.
The best way to do this is to keep a migraine diet diary. Note down all the food you eat every day and over a period of time you will note that there are certain foods that seem to be associated with a migraine. They need not be just the foods listed above. Depending on a person’s metabolism and a range of other health factors, it could be anything. Your migraine headache diet diary will, over a period of some months, help you to know what thee things are. You can then remove them from your migraine diet and you will normally find that the frequency and severity of your migraines is reduced.
Your weight plays a significant role in your migraine attacks. Overweight people tend to be more prone to the hormonal imbalances that trigger migraines. A migraine diet should therefore also be one where your calorie consumption is monitored. It is important to note that a migraine diet is not a weight loss diet. If you diet to lose weight, make sure that your weight loss plan does not cause more migraines. And once you achieve your right weight, you need to stick to your migraine diet to help you to cope with the problem.
Ideally a migraine diet should be coupled to a planned exercise regimen so that your overall physical condition is better equipped to deal with the migraines. An important part of the migraine diet is the regularity with which you eat. Long gaps between meals and missing meals are not part of the migraine diet.