Managing Migraines Naturally
The pain and visual disturbances suffered during migraines are caused by dilation of the blood vessels in the brain. There are a number of foods that can help to control the symptoms of a migraine, and also to help reduce the severity of the attack, allowing the sufferer to manage migraines naturally.
These foods can be used to create a potent smoothie, containing compounds that have been scientifically proven to relieve migraines. The smoothie should be drunk as soon as a migraine attack begins, and then daily for a minimum of three days after this.
Managing Migraines Naturally
Studies have shown that the most important micro-nutrients for migraine sufferers, and therefore the ingredients of our smoothie, are:
Magnesium – Scientific studies have shown migraine sufferers to be much more likely to be deficient in magnesium1. Magnesium has also been shown to be effective in helping to treat migraine2 and this single mineral is one of the most promising natural methods of combating migraine. Dark leafy greens such as spinach are a rich source of magnesium.
Feverfew – The active ingredient in feverfew, parthenolide, is thought to have a relaxing effect on the blood vessels in the brain, making them less reactive to hormones such as serotonin3. Studies have shown that feverfew is also able to prevent migraines when taken as a daily prophylactic4,5,6. This herb can be purchased from most health-food shops and is not considered to cause any known side-effects. You should consult your doctor before taking feverfew, especially if you are pregnant or taking blood thinning medication.
Riboflavin – Brain energy metabolism is thought to be disturbed in migraine sufferers. Riboflavin (vitamin B2), helps to overcome this metabolic disturbance and has been shown to be effective in treating migraine attacks7,8. Many of the foods rich in riboflavin are also known migraine triggers (e.g. eggs, almonds and cheese), however spinach and coconuts are also a rich source of this nutrient.
Potassium – potassium is an electrolyte that helps to regulate the body’s fluid levels and is essential for nerve function and muscle contractions. Potassium is also thought to be a natural pain desensitiser and could be helpful in naturally helping to relieve migraine pain. Bananas are a migraine trigger food for some people due to their tyramine content, however in most people they can help to prevent a migraine from developing, due to their high potassium content and the slow release of energy that helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Gingerols – although it’s exact mechanism of action is not certain, ginger has been shown to have anti-nausea properties and has been used for decades as a natural anti-emetic. Researchers believe that the compounds gingerols and shogaols are responsible for this anti-nausea effect9.
Bromelain – pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is a natural anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling. Bromelain is thought to help migraines by acting as a muscle relaxant and as a natural pain reliever.
Water – dehydration is one of the most common, preventable causes of migraine. Although it is not clear exactly how migraines and dehydration are linked, it is thought that the blood vessels in the brain may constrict in an effort to regulate fluid levels. Water is an essential component of the anti-migraine smoothie and will start the rehydration process which must be continued following an attack.
To get the best results, this smoothie should be drunk as part of a comprehensive dietary approach to preventing and treating migraines. The complete dietary guide and the TGAC 3 Day Anti-Migraine Protocol can be found in the book Food to Fight Migraine: A Complete Guide to Dietary Control.
A message from the Author:
Hi, I’m Sonia Nicholas. I suffered from chronic migraines for nearly 15 years. None of the specialists or doctors I spoke to over the years were able to give me any meaningful advice about how to prevent my migraines naturally, or on how to stop a migraine without medication. So I did my own research. I have read scientific papers from the cutting edge of clinical research and used the information to create this smoothie. I have applied this knowledge to my own life and my days are no longer ruled by migraines. My book, Food to Fight Migraine (also available on Amazon) will give you all of the information you need to take control of your own chronic migraines.
Medical disclaimer: The advice given in this article is not intended to replace the advice given by your medical practitioner. Any significant dietary change should be discussed with your doctor.