Preventing and treating migraines
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a migraine. Eating regularly, drinking plenty of water or other caffeine-free drinks, and eating magnesium-rich foods can be beneficial.
Eat at regular intervals
This is really important if you suffer from migraines or other types of headaches. Low blood sugar, caused by insufficient food, is a well-known trigger, especially when combined with fatigue and/or stress. Skipping meals, having fast-food snacks, and following drastic weight-loss diets can also cause attacks.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration is another trigger for headache and migraine. If you don't drink enough during the day, the body takes fluid from the blood and other body tissues. The blood vessels constrict in an effort to conserve body fluids, and this can cause a headache. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, especially when you are exercising or drinking alcohol - alcohol consumption is a major contributor to dehydration, so drink plenty of water after you drink alcohol.
Boost your magnesium intake
Eating foods rich in magnesium can help treat migraines. Magnesium deficiency may be due to reduced dietary intake, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, or genetic problems, and can result in blood vessels in the brain constricting, which can cause a migraine. You should aim to boost your daily magnesium intake to the RDA (300mg for men and 270mg for women), to help increase the flow of blood to the brain.
Plant foods such as grains, pulses, and vegetables are rich in magnesium, whereas refined foods have a low content - processed grains, for example, lose up to 80 per cent of their magnesium. Boost your daily intake by eating bran and wheat cereals for breakfast and by substituting brown rice for white rice at dinner. All nuts and seeds are good sources of magnesium too. Magnesium-rich vegetables include broccoli, spinach, and Swiss chard. Taking a magnesium supplement may also be helpful.
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