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Are there any particular foods that should be avoided for migraines?

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Are there any particular foods that should be avoided for migraines?

Did you know that over a year, one in two people will experience a headache, and one in eight will experience a migraine?

The way you live your everyday life can influence how often headaches occur, and in some cases they can be aided by eating or avoiding certain foods. So if you suffer from headaches, here are five things the research evidence indicates are worth trying to help manage or avoid them!

Increase your water intake

On average you must drink around 8-10 cups (2-3L) of water a day, so it always helps to increase your water intake if you’re not drinking enough. It’s also been proven to provide some relief to those suffering from headaches and migraines.

If you’re out and about, it’s always good to take a water bottle with you wherever you go, and if you’re working or studying from home make sure you have a drink bottle next to you so you’re prompted to drink more throughout the day.

Monitor your caffeine intake

Have you had your morning coffee yet? If you’ve decided to give today’s coffee a miss, chances are you might get a headache due to caffeine withdrawal. In saying that, caffeine can also relieve headache symptoms due to its analgesic (pain relief) effects.

If you know caffeine is a trigger for you, try to monitor your symptoms and find a balance that suits you best!

Avoid fasting

Do you like to have an early dinner and a late breakfast? Well, you could be experiencing headaches due to fasting. These headaches are most likely to occur when fasting for a blood test or medical procedure, or if you’re following a ‘fasting’ weight loss diet, or very low energy meal replacement diet.

Fasting headaches are also likely to be emphasised by caffeine withdrawal, so if you’re fasting for a medical test or procedure, check to see what fluids you’re allowed to drink within your fasting period!

It’s also been found that those who experience migraines are less likely to experience a headache if they eat a night-time snack. If this sounds like you, try having a slice of wholegrain toast with a topping like cheese and tomato or avocado and tuna, or a serving of sweet potato and zucchini fritters with a nice cuppa before bed.

Reduce your alcohol intake

Had a few too many drinks last night and are paying for it today? Alcohol induced hangovers are never fun, and headaches are a classic symptom (among other things).

Alcohol can trigger tension-type headaches, cluster headaches and migraines, so it’s wise to drink responsibly, boost your water intake, don’t drink on an empty stomach, and if you know alcohol is a trigger for you; try to avoid it where possible.

Eat your leafy greens!

For some, migraines can be connected to diet with some of the more common triggers being cheese, chocolate and alcohol.

A recent study showed that women with low dietary folate intakes had more frequent migraines. Folate can be found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, chicken, eggs and citrus fruits.

If you’re unsure of whether you need to boost your intake of folate rich foods, use the Healthy Eating Quiz to check your nutrition, diet quality and variety!

Need some recipe inspiration? Here’s some recipes that are high in folate!

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz