Dos and Don’ts of Food for Migraine

Headache is a commonly encountered problem among people above teenagers. For some people, it can be a mild discomfort while for others it is no less than trouble.

Diet and Migraine

Migraines can be brought up by a number of factors and food is one of the major contributing factors. Some of the common migraine factors include 

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Weather changes
  • Dehydration
  • Disrupted sleep schedule

Talking about the migraine one of the renowned neuro physician in Karachi, revealed that you should go to a neurologist if you have

  • Continuous and sudden headache
  • Head pain with straining
  • Change in vision
  • Seizure with headache

When it comes to the association between diet and migraine, dietary triggers can play a major role in migraine onset. These triggers can vary from person to person, as revealed by one of the top neurologists from Neuro Care Clinic Karachi in a webinar.

Migraine Trigger Foods

Here are some of the common migraine trigger;


No matter how much you love your coffee but do know it can be the reason behind your never-ending migraine attacks? Overconsumption of caffeine can result in disrupted sleep schedules that can e a cause of migraine. Other than this, if you try to withdraw caffeine from your routine, it can also result in a migraine.

2-MSG in foods

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a sodium salt derivative of glutamic acid. MSG is also linked with the risk of migraine if over consumed.

3- Alcohol

Another most common trigger of migraine is alcohol. Alcohol can cause dehydration that can be a major contributor to migraine. It is an active component of various foods and works as a food preservative. Researches reveal that MSG is a renowned migraine trigger.

4- Cured meat items

Another migraine trigger, nitrate, is commonly present in cured meat items including sausages, hot dogs, hams etc. Nitrate as a preservative is added to these foods as a preservative. Consumption of these foods release nitrates in the bloodstream that can dilate the brain blood vessels. Some researches support that the nitrates present in these foods can act as a migraine trigger.

5-Older cheese

Although cheese is an important source of many important nutrients that are part of our diet. With the passage of time, the protein present in the cheese tends to break down. Protein breakdown increases the concentration of tyramine in the cheese. This tyramine can act as an important migraine trigger. Cheese with high tyramine content includes Parmesan, blue cheese etc.  

6-Fermented foods

Another important migraine trigger can come from pickled or fermented foods. These foods are also rich in tyramine which is known to be a migraine trigger.

7-Salted foods

Preservatives present in salty processed foods can also be a cause of migraine. Moreover, high sodium concentration can increase blood pressure resulting in migraine attacks.

8- Frozen foods

Eating foods that are frozen like ice-creams and slushes can initiate the striking head pain which has the tendency to develop into a migraine.

Foods that can prevent migraine

Other than the foods that trigger a migraine, there are certain foods that can help to relieve the migraine as well. These include;

1- Salmon

One of the best foods that can help with migraine is salmon which is abundant in omega-3 fatty acid. The nutrient profile of salmon is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties as well.

2- Figs

Figs are another food that can help to relieve the symptoms of migraine by fighting inflammation. Figs contain several electrolytes along with potassium that helps to fight dehydration which is a causative agent of migraine.

3- Carrots

Carrots are rich in several important vitamins and minerals including beta carotene which is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.

4- Liver and hear the meat

Organ meat is known for its rich nutrient profile which makes it different from other forms of meat. Organ meat can help to fight migraine, particularly, the liver is referred to as the superfood as it contains higher levels of vitamins which imparts anti-inflammatory properties to it.

5- Water

Sufficient water consumption is known to prevent dehydration in the body which is a contributing factor to migraine.

Bottom Line

Migraine can be a painful experience for anyone. While there are certain medications that can help to reduce the signs and symptoms of migraine, the role of food can’t be denied. There are certain foods that can induce the migraine by acting as a trigger while many others can help to relieve it.

For migraine sufferers, it is important to figure out their triggers and avoid them. Apart from this, they can add certain foods to their diet. However, if the diet doesn’t seem to be effective for you, you should immediately contact the relevant doctor.

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