Oxidative stress is associated with nearly all migraine triggers. Recent studies suggest raising antioxidant levels to reduce or eliminate migraines. Single antioxidants may not raise antioxidant levels in the blood. It’s a complex process. Eat a variety of natural foods and reduce processed foods to increase antioxidants.
The following lists make The 3-Day Migraine Diet simple. Click “learn more” in each section for research citations and more information.
Foods: Cranberries, acai berries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and many more.
Most fruits contain antioxidants. Most berries are higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar than other fruits. Eat fruit in moderation because an excess of sugar may lower antioxidant levels in the blood (learn more).
Foods: Cruciferous vegetables, including horseradish, kale, collard greens, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, turnip, rutabaga, mustard seed, arugula, maca, watercress, radish, and wasabi. (Wikipedia). Other sulfurous foods include artichokes, asparagus, avocadoes, leeks, mushrooms, onions, spinach and many more. (research link)
Sulfurous foods in moderation may help maintain glutathione, a major antioxidant in your blood. Glutathione was coined the mother of all antioxidants by Dr. Mark Hyman. Foods or supplements with glutathione are not effective at directly raising glutathione levels because this process involves many vitamins and nutrients. For this reason, eating sulfurous foods with a variety of natural fruits, vegetables, meats, and fats may effectively raise your most important antioxidant—glutathione (learn more).
Foods: Cloves, dill, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cilantro, oregano, turmeric, cumin, basil, peppermint, parsley, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, horseradish, and most natural seasonings. (research link, study link)
Many natural seasonings contain huge amounts of antioxidants. Seasonings should be consumed in moderation since overconsumption will not help. Overconsumption of a single seasoning may stress your stomach and lower antioxidant levels. Avoid packaged seasonings with additives (learn more).
Foods: Artichokes, eggplants, onions, leeks, beets, carrots, asparagus, kale, bell peppers, tomatoes, red lettuce, cabbage, and cauliflower have high levels of antioxidants.
Most vegetables contain antioxidants (study link).
Most vegetables have antioxidants but those levels vary widely. Organic vegetables will generally have higher levels. Eating an abundance of vegetables will increase antioxidant levels in the blood, even if the vegetable itself doesn’t contain antioxidants. Vegetables have numerous nutrients that promote antioxidant levels. Eating vegetables will also reduce both oxidation and the use of antioxidants, which will keep antioxidant levels in the blood high (learn more).
Foods: Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, dark leafy greens (kale, turnip greens, Swiss chard, spinach), berries (blueberries, black berries, strawberries), and tomatoes. (source)
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and raises glutathione levels in the blood. Most of us think of oranges when we hear the term vitamin C, but broccoli has far more vitamin C per calorie than oranges (learn more).
Foods: Nuts, seeds, spinach, beet greens, pumpkin, butternut squash, bell peppers, asparagus, collard greens, fish, avocadoes, and olive oil. (source)
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and raises glutathione levels in the blood (learn more).
Foods: Nuts, seeds, tuna, halibut, salmon, sardines, grass-fed beef, pork, turkey, beef liver, lamb, chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and asparagus. (source)
Selenium has antioxidant properties and can raise glutathione levels. Selenium-rich foods, such as beef liver, have been found to boost selenium and glutathione levels better than supplements (learn more).
- Vitamin B2 foods include mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, meats, seaweed, beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, almonds, and asparagus.
- Vitamin B6 foods include avocadoes, meats, fish, nuts, lentils, spinach, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, okra, and squash (source).
- Vitamin B9 foods include dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, beets, beans, peas, lentils, lettuce, avocadoes, nuts, seafood, liver poultry, meats, and numerous other fruits and vegetables.
- Vitamin B12 foods include fish, meats, and poultry.
Methylation is needed to produce the antioxidant glutathione (source). The B vitamins promote methylation and antioxidants. A gene mutation commonly found in migraine sufferers limits methylation and the availability of B vitamins. Consuming natural foods with B vitamins are one of the most important ways to prevent migraines (learn more).
Foods: Organic fruits and vegetables as well as grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic, or wild-caught meats.
Simply eating more natural foods and less processed foods will increase antioxidant levels in the blood. Antioxidants attack oxidants such as excessive sugar, carbohydrates, and refined grains. Processed food, such as orange juice, can have antioxidants, but they end up reducing your antioxidant levels because the excess sugar causes oxidation and depletes the antioxidants. While it’s unclear if supplements work, especially when added to processed foods, eating natural foods has been proven to increase antioxidant levels (learn more).
This is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Read more.