Migraines can be influenced by adequate nutrition - experts agree. But what role does food play as a trigger of migraine? Can a diet change help prevent headache attacks? While the root causes of migraine have not yet been explored, it is certain that the individual attacks of pain are caused by an interaction of individual triggers. Such so-called trigger factors can be different environmental influences, for example stress, weather changes, noise or hormonal changes. Diet also plays an important role.
Diet as a migraine trigger?
Often sufferers observe an influence of the diet on their migraine. Many report migraine attacks after eating certain foods. Frequently mentioned are, for example:
- red wine
- citrus fruits
Also the flavor enhancer glutamate, preservatives such as nitrates and those contained for example in alcohol and hard cheese Histamine are suspected of causing migraines.
However, the triggers can not be named that easily. Some sufferers describe something like that coffee as migraine trigger, while in others caffeine withdrawal leads to seizures. And while chocolate used to be a trigger for migraines, today it is well-known that cravings for sweets are a sign of an imminent migraine attack.
In addition, it is often reported that migraine sufferers suffer from certain intolerances, such as histamine or glutamate. Those affected should closely monitor the role of nutrition in their own attacks.
Find your own migraine trigger
Experts recommend using an individual trigger factor Migraine diary to investigate. In addition to the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, the following factors should be recorded in detail:
- Sleep duration and quality
- Weather conditions
It should be noted that it usually takes several hours from food intake to an attack.
Together with a doctor, sufferers may be able to find the personal triggers of migraines. If it turns out that your own diet is a trigger, targeted omission or eating certain foods can cause an improvement.
Nutrition tips for migraine
Since the influence of diet on migraine is individually different, doctors advise against a general waiver of certain foods. Targeted omission is only recommended if individual foods have been clearly identified as triggers.
But even known trigger factors do not have to trigger a headache attack every time, because often only the interaction of several factors is the decisive factor.
Balanced and eat regularly
Experts suspect that the processing of stimuli in the brain of migraineurs is associated with an increased energy requirement. Therefore, to prevent seizures, sufferers should eat regularly, do not skip meals - especially breakfast - and make sure that the body is nourished with small snacks. Drinking enough is also important.
Migraines should look for a healthy, balanced and wholesome diet that does not burden the body. For example, too much fat, salt or spicy foods can be heavy in the stomach. Ready meals often contain colorants, preservatives or flavor enhancers and are therefore less compatible than a fresh, self-cooked meal.
Vegetarian or vegan as a solution?
A basic change to a vegetarian, vegan or alkaline diet can - as well as fasting cures - cause an improvement, since these diets give up some strong stimuli from food. However, such outlet diets can also lead to deficiency symptoms and, as a result, to an aggravation of the symptoms.
Therefore, it is important to closely observe your own body and seek medical advice if necessary. Those affected should also pay attention to their magnesium and vitamin B2 households. In addition to relaxation and exercise, proper nutrition can help prevent migraine attacks.