Effect of Diet on Headache Pain

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Effect of Diet on Headache Pain

A study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain has concluded that diet can have a significant impact on headache pain.  The paper, which was just published in November 2019, reviewed all previous research that examined the link between how people ate and the prevalence and severity of headache/migraine.  The current available evidence suggests that a ketogenic diet may have a protective effect on nerve tissue.  Ketogenic diets feature a high intake of good fats and a very low intake of carbohydrates.  This combination creates a metabolic state where your body uses ketones for energy.  This makes your body very efficient at burning fat, often leading to weight loss as well.  Olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, eggs and low carb vegetables (greens) are hallmarks of a keto diet.  Sugary foods, grains, fruit, beans and root vegetables should be avoided.  The researchers also found that a good balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is important.  In general, headache/migraine sufferers should increase their omega 3 and decrease omega 6 fatty acid consumption. Omega 3’s are found primarily in fish, flaxseed and walnuts, while omega 6’s are found in soybeans, corn, sunflower oil, meat and poultry.  Eggs contain both types of fatty acids.  Diet therefore, appears to have a major impact on headache pain.  As always, be sure to talk to your doctor before making any wholesale changes to your diet.

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