Eat to Beat Migraines

Migraines and severe headaches are one of the most common ailments in the United States. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that 20 percent of women and almost 10 percent of men reported having a severe headache or migraine in a three-month period. If you’re one of them, put some relief right on your plate with foods that ease headache pain.

Cherries. This sweet fruit contains an array of polyphenol antioxidants shown to reduce inflammation, a major contributing factor in many headaches and migraines.

Cucumbers. They’re 96 percent water, and can help prevent dehydration, a known cause of many headaches. The reason: when the body is dehydrated, the brain temporarily shrinks and contracts, causing pain. In one study, people with headaches reported a significant improvement in pain and overall quality of life when they were hydrated. In addition to cucumbers, celery, lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes, are all hydrating foods that contain as much as 94 percent water.

Wild Alaskan Salmon. Like sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, shown to decrease frequency of headaches. In one study, lower intake omega-3 fatty acids was associated with higher frequency of migraine attacks. In another study 74-87 percent of adolescents who took omega-3 fish oil reported a significant reduction in headache frequency, duration, and severity.

Quinoa. This gluten-free grain-like seed is rich in nutrients linked with lower risk of migraines, including riboflavin, magnesium, and iron. The high iron content of quinoa--15 percent of daily value--can protect against iron-deficiency anemia, which has been linked with migraines. Quinoa is also high in folate, a B vitamins shown to reduce migraine frequency.

Source: Better Nutrition, August 2018

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