One out of every ten Americans suffers from migraines, a very strong variation of a headache that is characterized by a throbbing sensation. It can occur along episodes of nausea, sensitivity, and vomiting, and it appears that food and estrogen have a significant role on whether they occur and on how to prevent them.

Migraines affect women more than men. Sometimes it can be linked to muscle contractions and mood changes, but most of the time food has an effect upon the ailment. A particular food may help to reduce the pain, or it may even trigger it. But it seems to be different for every person.

Certain food and estrogen may trigger migraines
A recent study suggests that food and estrogen have a significant role on whether they occur and how to prevent them. Credit:

On the other hand, a recent study published in the journal Neurology indicates that women with low estrogen levels are more likely to develop migraines on their menstrual periods, suggesting a link between migraines and the essential female hormone.

Foods to fight migraines

The reason why an actual cure for a migraine has not been developed is that of the inherent placebo effect in research. When performing a study of a vaccine, for example, patients need to be given dummy shots to rule out possible placebo effects, which do have an effect on the body.

A study performed in 2015 showed that among its 130 participants, those that received a placebo treatment also reduced the frequency of their migraines, although not as much as the others who did receive supplementation containing magnesium, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10. Another study followed a similar procedure but added vitamin B12 to the supplements. Similar results were since a migraine appears to have a deep correlation with placebo effects.

Grains and seeds such as raw cashews, quinoa, pine nuts, flax and squash seeds seem to have a very strong effect in reducing migraine because they provide lots of magnesium, vitamins, and minerals, with little to no sodium. These seeds and dry fruits can also be taken in the form of butter, but only if the butter is natural. Many suggest almond and sesame seed butter.

Low estrogen causes migraines

The body’s reaction to estrogen takes into account the whole nervous system. The most important nuclear estrogen receptors require the hormone to be present to work properly as neurotransmitters. It appears that about 70 percent of women experience a great reduction in the severity of their migraines during pregnancy when estrogen levels are about 30 times higher than on the average menstrual cycle.

A study was carried out by Dr. Vincent T. Martin, MD. An artificial menopause was induced on the participants who were suffering from migraines. Then, some received a patch with estradiol, while others had a placebo patch. There was no variation in the placebo patients while the ones that received estradiol saw a decrease in their headaches.

The bottom line dictates that any food that contains magnesium may help reduce migraines, although it is not sufficiently proven, yet. Seafood such as clams, trout, mussels, calamari, mackerel, and cod, are all great additions to any diet, besides containing migraine-reducing magnesium. In the case of women with migraines, it appears that receiving a healthy amount of estradiol has a painkiller effect due to the balancing of the patient’s neurotransmitters.

Source: Neurology