Diet for migraine sufferers: what to prioritize (and what to avoid)

 Diet for migraine sufferers: what to prioritize (and what to avoid)

Lena Fisher

Those who suffer from migraine know how much such a condition can disrupt their routine and bring harm to their day-to-day activities. The headaches are extreme and frequent. Although they affect genetically predisposed people, migraine attacks can appear because of certain triggers. PMS, post-stress period or bad nights' sleep In addition, another factor that permeates this condition is diet. After all, are there foods that cause migraine? What is the ideal diet for migraine sufferers?

According to Danielle Lodetti, a nutritionist and specialist in neuronutrition, there is indeed a significant relationship between food and migraine. She points out that each individual presents a specific picture and, therefore, it is not so easy to establish which items can cause a crisis.

"As each individual has its own particularity, sometimes there is a food that is theoretically harmless, but for that person it causes migraines. So, there are people who get migraines when they eat cilantro, onions, zucchini. It is the reaction of that organism, this needs to be seen, and the food should be removed", he says.

However, some food groups tend to cause more reactions in migraine sufferers, so it's important to pay attention to the way you relate to food (especially if you already suffer from attacks) and avoid some combinations.

Foods that cause migraine

It is important to note that some foods are most likely to cause migraine But, as already pointed out by the specialist, some people who live with the disorder consume such foods and have no reaction whatsoever. In short, the consequences vary according to each organism. That's why it is always important to know yourself and have professional monitoring.

Among the foods that cause migraine attacks, Danielle highlights those that have biogenic amines in their composition. These are substances formed by bacteria when the food goes through the fermentation process: "The foods rich in biogenic amines are those that are not fresh, that are fermented, like fermented milk, sun-dried meat, cheese, wine, beer.which is fermented," points out the nutritionist.

The citric fruits, such as orange, tangerine, and grapefruit, are not recommended, according to the professional.

Diet for migraine sufferers: what to avoid

The consumption of foods that are difficult to digest, with more fat and known as "heavy", is also associated with a higher risk of migraine attacks: "In these cases, the stomach and intestine work hard in the digestion process," he says.

Pro-inflammatory foods, i.e. those rich in animal and saturated fat, should not be consumed by people who have migraine. Also, those that raise blood glucose too high, such as sugar, pasta, stuffed cookies, and refined cereals, need to be avoided.

"There are some food additives that can also be migraine triggers, for example, the sweetener aspartame, it increases the amount of a neurotransmitter called glutamate in the brain, and this can be a migraine trigger, as well as the preservative benzoic acid, which is very common in processed foods and is also associated with migraine," adds Danielle.

Diet for Migraine Sufferers: What to Eat

Although there is no cure, migraine can be controlled through proper nutrition. Thus, there are several foods that are indicated to relieve the disorder. Above all, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, with mono and polyunsaturated fats, is very important. Moreover, omega-3, precisely because it has an anti-inflammatory action, is also essential.

According to Danielle: "it is interesting to choose carbohydrates with a moderate to low glycemic index, those carbohydrates that do not raise the blood sugar level, such as whole grain cereal, sweet potatoes, fruits with fiber without being sifted, oatmeal, quinoa.

When we have any kind of pain process, be it migraine, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, chronic pain itself, magnesium is important because it helps modulate pain," says the nutritionist.

Finally, foods rich in cysteine, an amino acid that has important antioxidant and detoxifying functions, should also be eaten in the day's meals. Cabbage, butter cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnip, radish, cauliflower, and broccoli have this component.

Read also: Migraine with aura: what it is, causes, symptoms and how to avoid


Another alternative that should be taken into consideration is the use of supplements - indicated by a professional in the area. Danielle says that such practice is very indicated for cases of patients with migraine: "Today, we already have supplements of B vitamins, magnesium, coenzyme q10, some herbal medicines and omega-3.migraine attack," he explains.


Finally, it is important to drink plenty of water, since dehydration can cause migraine attacks, and to try, above all, to identify the habits that are precursors to the arrival of intense headache.

It is essential to identify, with the help of a specialist, the reasons why the crisis is intensifying. As Danielle says: "the basics, most of the time, work". Therefore, try to maintain a healthy and balanced routine. In this way, the chances of a crisis arising are kept smaller.

Source: Danielle Lodetti, nutritionist and specialist in Neuronutrition .

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.