If you’re experiencing migraines and headaches regularly, know that this isn’t normal. A number of factors can cause migraines like changes in weather, stress levels, sleep disruptions, and diet. Dietary triggers are actually one of the most common causes of headaches and migraines. That’s why changing up your diet and going on a migraine diet might bring you some relief. Find out if a migraine diet is right for you. 

What is a Migraine Diet?

A migraine prevention diet is a diet designed to help you identify possible migraine triggers. Migraine diets also help you avoid common foods that cause migraines and eat foods known to be beneficial for migraines. Eating a migraine diet consistently might help reduce the number of migraines you experience and make them less painful. A migraine diet might be an easy way to start experiencing migraine relief immediately.

bowl shaped like a heart with healthy food in it, including blueberries and tomatoes

Migraine Diet Tips

If you’re thinking about trying a migraine diet to help reduce or prevent migraines, the following tips will come in handy.

Eat Fresh Foods

One of the top tips you should take away is to eat fresh foods. Processed foods are filled with tons of chemicals and unknown ingredients that might contribute to headaches and migraines. The processed foods that contribute most to headaches and migraines include:

  • Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage due to containing nitrates.
  • Aged cheeses and red wine that contain tyramine
  • Chocolate that contains beta-phenylethylamine
  • Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame

When you eat fresh foods and create meals from scratch, you eliminate excess ingredients that may contribute to headaches and migraines.

Keep a Food Log

Every time you eat anything (even a single nut), write it down on a food log. Then, if you experience a headache or migraine, log that on the same day. Eventually, you should be able to find a correlation between what you ate and when you had a headache or migraine. This can help you identify things in your diet that contribute to headaches and migraines.

Eat More Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Some research suggests that diets higher in Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce migraines. This is because Omega-3 fatty acids help fight inflammation. Try to consume more fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, and olive oil. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce your migraine pain as well as improve your overall health.

Avoid Food With MSG

If you notice most of your migraines hit after eating Asian food, there is a very good chance it’s from monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is commonly found in soy sauce, bouillon, and Asian foods. It may pop up on an ingredient list as natural flavoring, all-natural preservatives, hydrolyzed protein, or hydrolyzed fat.

A reaction to MSG usually occurs within 20 to 25 minutes and involves symptoms such as facial flushing, headache, abdominal discomfort, and burning or tightness in the chest.

Make sure to read all labels before consuming any food. MSG might sneak its way into your food.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most common causes of headaches is actually dehydration. With that said, make sure your diet involves staying hydrated. You should consume at least 64 ounces of water per day in addition to more if you’re in hot weather or exercising.

Avoid Large Amounts of Caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine might give you a burst of energy but drinking too much can result in a migraine. In addition, if you regularly drink caffeine and then decide to cut your intake significantly one day, it can result in a headache. With that said, try to limit your caffeine intake to 1 cup per day.

Don’t Skip Meals

Not only should you avoid certain foods, but you should also avoid going hungry. When you don’t eat regularly and become too hungry, it can affect your blood sugar which can result in a headache or migraine.

Avoid Alcohol

Our last tip for a migraine diet is to avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it causes your body to lose more fluid. This means that you will urinate more often and easily become dehydrated which will result in a headache or migraine. With that said, it’s best to avoid alcohol or drink plenty of water when you do decide to drink it.

Diet Not Helping? It Might Be Sleep Apnea

If you tried to adjust your diet in order to reduce migraines and headaches and it hasn’t made a difference, there is probably another reason why you have headaches and migraines. If you notice they tend to happen in the morning, there is a good chance that sleep apnea is the culprit. Sleep apnea sufferers also experience symptoms such as loud snoring, gasping, choking, and coughing for air during the night, daytime sleepiness, trouble concentrating, mood swings, and more.

If you suspect having sleep apnea, Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center can help you seek a diagnosis and get treatment. To get diagnosed, you will need to take a sleep test. Then, we can help you find the right treatment to fit your lifestyle.

Contact our Omaha sleep apnea treatment center at (402) 493-4175 to book an appointment today.