Why Migraine Sufferers May Want to Eat More Fish
“Four days a month really surpasses anything we’ve seen of a pharmacologic preventative,” said Dr Burch, a headache medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr Burch said people struggling with migraines are often motivated to follow restrictive diets to try and find relief from their condition. But so far, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence that a particular diet works. “This is the first time that we have had a solid, solid diet that we can recommend to patients,” she added.
For people who want to try the diet for themselves, the researchers said the easiest way to increase omega-3 intake is to eat more fatty fish, such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna and trout. Some of the best and most affordable options are canned and bagged fish. For vegetarians, good plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids are ground flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Another important part of the diet is to avoid fried, processed, and fast foods, which are typically made with oils that are low in omega-3 and high in omega-6. Beth MacIntosh, co-author of the new study, said extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil and butter tend to contain low amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.
You can use these oils to cook meals or to make your own snacks, like popcorn, hummus, and granola. The researchers also encouraged study participants to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
“Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in omega-6 fatty acids – and they’re just plain healthy,” said Ms. MacIntosh, clinical nutrition manager for the Metabolic & Nutrition Research Core at UNC Health in Chapel Hill.
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