Nat­u­ral food and sup­ple­ment so­lu­tions for pre­vent­ing and re­duc­ing mi­graines.

Mi­graines and se­vere headaches are a de­bil­i­tat­ing – and com­mon – ail­ment in the United States with 20% of women and al­most 10% of men hav­ing had a se­vere headache or mi­graine in a three-month pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to a Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) sur­vey. If you’re one of them, put some re­lief on your plate with th­ese 7 foods that ease headache pain. BY


This gluten-free seed is packed with nu­tri­ents proven to lower risk of mi­graines, in­clud­ing ri­boflavin, mag­ne­sium and iron. The high iron con­tent of 1 cup cooked quinoa – 15% of the daily value (DV) – can pro­tect against ane­mia, which has been as­so­ci­ated with mi­graines. And it has siz­able quan­ti­ties of fo­late, a B vi­ta­min shown to re­duce mi­graine fre­quency in fe­male mi­graine suf­fer­ers.

TRY THIS: Toss cooked quinoa with chopped cu­cum­bers, pars­ley, mint, green onions, feta cheese and a light vinai­grette for a gluten-free tab­bouleh; cook quinoa, lentils, broc­col­ini and red onions in a mix­ture of co­conut milk and veg­etable broth for a sa­vory soup.


Con­tain­ing 96% wa­ter, they can help pre­vent de­hy­dra­tion, a known cause of many headaches. The rea­son? When the body is de­hy­drated, the brain tem­po­rar­ily shrinks and con­tracts, caus­ing pain. In one study pub­lished in Fam­ily Prac­tice, peo­ple with headaches re­ported a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in pain and over­all Tual­ity of life when they in­creased their daily wa­ter in­take by 1.5 liters. Other hy­drat­ing foods in­clude cel­ery, let­tuce, pep­pers and toma­toes – all made up of at least 94% wa­ter. TRY THIS: Slice cu­cum­bers cross­wise then top with smoked sal­mon; blend peeled cu­cum­ber with lemon­ade and mint for a re­fresh­ing drink; purée with Greek yo­gurt, onions and gar­lic for a sim­ple cold soup.


Cher­ries con­sist of an ar­ray of polyphe­nol an­tiox­i­dants, which have been shown to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion, a maMor con­tribut­ing fac­tor in many headaches and mi­graines. Sev­eral stud­ies have found re­duced an­tiox­i­dant ac­tiv­ity and in­creased ox­ida­tive stress in pa­tients with chronic mi­graine and med­i­ca­tion-overuse headaches (a con­di­tion caused by overuse of pain-re­lief drugs). TRY THIS: Blend cher­ries with co­conut milk, vanilla and honey and freeze in an ice-cream maker; dip whole cher­ries with stems in melted dark chocolate for an easy, el­e­gant dessert.

Swiss chard.

The mag­ne­sium in Swiss chard and other leafy greens can help pre­vent a de­fi­ciency, which is more com­mon in mi­graine suf­fer­ers than in healthy con­trols. In one study pub­lished in Nu­tri­ents, pa­tients with chronic mi­graines re­ported sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment af­ter tak­ing 00 mil­ligrams of mag­ne­sium daily for 12 weeks. And Swiss chard is also high in iron to pre­vent ane­mia. Spinach, beet greens and

peanut but­ter also top the charts for mag­ne­sium lev­els. TRY THIS: Top a pizza with chopped chard leaves, sautéed mush­rooms and leeks; sauté shred­ded chard, gar­lic and cherry toma­toes then toss with bu­ca­tini pasta and grated Asi­ago cheese.

Wild Alaskan sal­mon.

Sal­mon, sar­dines, tuna, mack­erel and her­ring are full of omega-3 fatty acids, shown to de­crease fre­quency of headaches. In a study con­ducted by Ira­nian re­searchers, lower in­take of EPA and DHA – the type of omega-3 fatty acids found in sal­mon and other fatty fish – was as­so­ci­ated with higher fre­quency of mi­graine at­tacks. In an­other study, 87% of ado­les­cents who took omega-3 fish oil re­ported a re­duc­tion in headache fre­quency, 74% ex­pe­ri­enced a re­duc­tion in du­ra­tion, and 83% had a re­duc­tion in sever­ity. TRY THIS: Sauté smoked sal­mon, onions and shred­ded sweet pota­toes into an easy break­fast hash; mix sal­mon with bread crumbs and sea­son­ings and grill like a burger.

Shi­itake mush­rooms.

They’re a good source of ri­boflavin, a % vi­ta­min thatÚs been shown to re­duce the fre­quency and du­ra­tion of mi­graine at­tacks with no se­ri­ous side ef­fects. In a study pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal for Vi­ta­min and Nu­tri­tion Re­search, pa­tients who took ri­boflavin re­ported a sig­nif­i­cant drop in headache fre­quency and were able to de­crease their use of an­timi­graine drugs. TRY THIS: Sauté sliced shi­itakes in se­same oil then toss with a honey-miso gla]e; finely chop shi­itakes, gin­ger, gar­lic and green onions in a food pro­ces­sor and use as a stuff­ing for pot­stick­ers.

Black-eyed peas.

Like other beans, peas and lentils, black-eyed peas of­fer a solid sup­ply of high-fiber, plant-based pro­tein. Stud­ies show that a ve­gan diet may be as­so­ci­ated with re­duced mi­graine pain and re­duced fre­quency of pre­men­strual headaches. Black-eyed peas and other legumes can help pre­vent chronic mi­graines, which have been linked with in­sulin re­sis­tance. And they’re a pow­er­ful source of headache-bust­ing iron and mag­ne­sium. TRY THIS: Sauté black-eyed peas with shred­ded col­lards and sliced okra for a South­ern-style side; toss black-eyed peas with chopped spinach, chopped red onion and diced red and yel­low pep­pers; purée black-eyed peas with tahini, olive oil and gar­lic for a riff on hum­mus.

Not Your Av­er­age Quinoa Salad with Cher­ries & Creamy Vinai­grette cleaneat­ing.com/quinoacher­rysalad

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