You Are What You Eat, Part 2
Yesterday we learned that many, many foods can potentially trigger migraines. Well, that was depressing, wasn’t it?
Today we’re going to get back on a positive track and look at a few different things you can eat that will actually prevent migraines instead of causing them.
Medical research has shown that inflammation of body tissues is one of the most common sources of migraines. These studies have led to the development of new migraine medications that show great promise but are still in the testing stages.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait for these medications to hit the market before you can benefit from the results of this research. Omega-3 fatty acids can be used to reduce inflammation and are available in many of the foods we eat, especially fish, fish oils, and flaxseed. A fish oil supplement or flaxseed added to food can reduce inflammation and control migraines.
Other foods also have anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to prevent migraines. The most noted of these is buckwheat, which contains a flavonoid called rutin. Flavonoids are chemicals found in plants that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants counteract damage to the cells, and cell damage is a major source of inflammation.
Other foods that contain high levels of antioxidants can be used to undo cell damage and reduce inflammation. All the berries, including raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are rich in antioxidants.
Cherries are one of the best foods for preventing migraines. Cherries contain a compound called quercetin, which is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Cherries also contain anthocyanin and bioflavonoids, which have a similar effect on the body as aspirin or ibuprofen.
The most promising studies for preventing migraines with food have shown that ginger root is a potent migraine preventative. Only an eighth of a teaspoon of powdered ginger root is needed. The research proved that powdered ginger root, taken at the first onset of migraine symptoms, is equally effective as the migraine drug Imitrex (sumatripan).
Ginger root is also known for its ability to combat an upset stomach, so it has an added benefit if your migraine is making you nauseous. Unfortunately, women who are pregnant or nursing should not use ginger root, nor should anyone taking blood thinners, vasodilators, or any medications that cause drowsiness. For a food, it has many potent effects! If you are on any kind of medication at all, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before using ginger to combat migraines.
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