These are foods that may be fine in small or even moderate amounts; however, consuming large amounts may create serious problems. For example, a fruit smoothie could spike your blood sugar in the same way that an entire bowl of white or brown rice will spike your blood sugar. We know from the success of the ketogenic diet and the increased risk of migraines in obese patients that elevated blood sugar is bad for migraines. Eating a large bowl of beans may give you gas because of its lectins and an upset stomach is not good for migraines. The quantity considered excessive is unique to the individual and the food. Everything in moderation.
The following lists make The 3-Day Migraine Diet simple. Click “learn more” in each section for research citations and more information.
Foods: May include anything in a package, can, or jar. Check the label for food additives and be aware that many packaged foods contain hidden additives.
Packaged foods are more likely to contain high levels of biogenic amines, glutamic acid, hidden sugar, and food additives. Because many food additives are headache triggers, it’s beneficial to reduce packaged foods. Packaged foods may contain certain levels of toxic ingredients such as trans fat that do not need to be on the FDA-regulated label. Packaged foods from trusted brands that contain whole foods, no additives, and no hidden additives are generally safe (learn more).
Foods: Usually includes meat that is neither organic nor pasture raised. It includes meat that has been farm raised, grain fed, soy fed, or corn fed, and has high levels of omega-6 fat, steroids, preservatives, and unnatural chemicals. It will also have low levels of nutrients and omega-3 fat. This includes many aged and processed meats.
Meat with high levels of omega-6 fat and low levels of omega-3 fat is inflammatory. Inflammation is associated with migraines and many inflammatory meats are headache triggers. Consuming omega-3 fat is associated with migraine prevention. Organic meat that has been pasture raised is significantly lower in inflammatory fat and significantly higher in anti-inflammatory fat and nutrients (learn more).
Foods: Processed food with sugar as well as natural foods with high levels of sugar. Fruit should be limited to several servings per day. Take into account that some fruits, such as bananas, pineapples, dates, and mangos, have more sugar. Dried, canned, sweetened, or juiced fruit should also be severely limited. Those benefiting from a ketogenic diet may need to consume less than one or two servings of fruit per day.
Sugar increases inflammation and decreases the ketones that fight migraines. All studies that show fructose is dangerous have been done with isolated sugar, not whole fruits. Whole fruits are healthy in moderation and should be limited to one to three servings per day to reduce carb and sugar intake. Fruits that are low in carbohydrates include acai berry, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries (learn more).
- Refined carbohydrates, including white bread, wheat bread, white rice, noodles, breakfast cereals, corn products, soy products, crackers, cookies, cakes, jams, sugary drinks, etc.
- “Healthier” refined carbohydrates (healthier, but still refined), including whole wheat bread, whole grain bread, rye bread, barley bread, instant oats, instant potatoes, and any processed grains.
- High in Carbohydrates, including quinoa, brown rice, millet, couscous, oatmeal, steel oats, whole corn, whole soy, barley, potato, sweet potato, spelt, amaranth, sorghum, freekeh, yams, yucca, and peas.
- High in carbohydrates (fruit), including bananas, pineapples, dates, raisins, dried figs, mangoes, and prunes.
Large amounts of carbohydrates may spike glucose levels. This is especially true when the food is processed, easily digested, contains sugar, and has low levels of fiber and nutrients (learn more).
Foods: These foods include grains, legumes (beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, peanuts, lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, etc.), nuts, dairy, and nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc.)
Lectins are found in most healthy foods; however, foods with high levels of lectins have been found to stress the digestive track. Nightshades may be a problem for those extremely sensitive to lectins. Overall, foods with lectins are a lower risk than most headache triggers but may be a problem for some people when consumed in excessive quantities (learn more).
Foods: This includes all GMO fruits, vegetables, and processed foods. Corn and soybeans are the top genetically modified foods.
GMO foods generally have lower levels of nutrients and higher levels of poison, such as glyphosate. Glyphosate is designed to destroy insects by obliterating their stomachs. While deemed safe for human consumption, it may be a problem when consumed in large quantities. A number of studies suggest GMO foods need more testing and may cause digestion problems (learn more).
This is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Read more.