3. Consider Lifestyle Changes
In addition to cutting back on high-trigger foods and incorporating more safe ones, you may consider some lifestyle changes when it comes to food as well. For example, a 2014 study in The Journal Of Headache And Pain showed that a plant-based diet (followed by an elimination diet) could reduce migraine attacks, so simply eating more plant-based meals in general could be helpful. Work with your doctor or a nutritionist on making some lifestyle changes and see if there’s one that happens to trigger fewer migraines for you.
4. Pay Attention To Your Eating Patterns
It’s not always simply about the foods you choose — your eating patterns could be affecting migraines, too. For example, going too long between meals or not eating enough food throughout the day could be a factor.
“Minimizing blood sugar fluctuations is important to prevent migraines. To do so we recommend eating small meals with protein every three to four hours,” Natbony says. “Protein keeps blood sugar levels constant whereas carbohydrates tend to cause blood sugar fluctuations.” Make sure you’re spacing out meals properly and nourishing yourself with protein-filled meals and snacks.
5. Know Your Own Triggers
Everybody is different — literally, each and every body — so while there are certainly some foods that are well-known and common migraine triggers (and some that tend to be safe), they don’t affect everyone the same way. Keeping track of the foods you ingest as well as your eating patterns can help you figure out if there are food triggers that affect you personally.
The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) suggests keeping a “headache diary” to help you track your potential triggers. “Use a headache diary to keep track of any changes you are making to your diet, and note how severe and frequent your headaches are, and which foods you were eating or avoiding when they occurred,” AMF says on its site. “For any single food to qualify as a potential trigger, a headache should occur within 24 hours, at most, of eating it.”
While everyone who suffers from migraines has to learn to deal with theirs differently, trying to control your headaches using food is worth a shot. Get started on your trigger food diary and find out whether food is a major factor for you when it comes to preventing migraines.