A Juicy Slice Of Watermelon Can Head Off Dehydration Which Is Often A Factor In Headaches And Migraine Attacks
If youre living with migraine, you probably know that certain foods and drinks can trigger an attack. But even though its important to know what to avoid, focusing on the foods to add to your diet matters, too: It may help reduce the number or severity of migraine attacks or other types of headaches.
Food really is the first medicine, says Wynne Brown, MD, the medical director of integrative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. When youre trying to manage migraine, what you eat and when you eat can make all the difference, she says.
Being open to change in your diet is a good start, says Dr. Brown. Often, we can get in a rut and eat the same things over and over. By adding different fresh fruits and vegetables to our diet, we can reap benefits in terms of water content as well as vitamins and minerals, she says.
A diet with a variety of good foods will make a big difference both in migraine management and overall health and may improve imbalances that contribute to headaches, says Brown.
If youre looking for ways to change your diet to better manage your migraine, here are some expert tips on the foods and drinks to help you on your journey.
Goal Setting Is Your Friend
You may have heard about goal setting for your life and your weight loss efforts, but what about when it comes to giving up sugar?
It can be one of the most effective methods of getting you through withdrawals. There are going to be cravings now and then. When you decide to give up certain foods, your brain starts to tell you that you want more of it.
Think of it in a toddlers point of view. When a toddler is told no, thats all they want to do/eat. They will do anything they can to defy you. Our brains just dont like the word no.
So to get around this, you need to give yourself a reason to ignore your brain. Setting a goal or two will help with that. You have something to work towards. When you give in, you know youre taking yourself away from successfully reaching that goal.
Every time you struggle with a craving, its time to revisit your goals. Whats so important about them and why do you want to reach them? This is why having specific and realistic goals are important.
You may have heard that youre on the verge of diabetes and want to reduce the risk of developing it. Your doctor may have told you that the sugar intake has caused your weight to rise, or you may just want to stop putting your organs under so much pressure. Some people are just fed up of the sugar high/crash cycle that comes from eating far too much sugar.
How To Cure The Sugar Detox Headache
Whether this is your first sugar detox or a monthly wellness ritual to keep you on track, we cannot escape the unavoidable and ever annoying headache that follows. Why does this occur and how can we treat it holistically? In this blog , I am unpacking the science behind the headache and a recipe that will knock it out, so you can keep on keeping on!
P.s. Not even sure what a sugar detox is and if its something you should add to your wellness lifestyle? to learn more about my 10 Day Sugar Detox Program and if it is a right fit for you!
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Tips For Cutting Out Sugar Safely
Glucose is the primary and preferred source of fuel for the brain and body.
However, many people can benefit from reducing their added sugar intake by instead choosing fruits and vegetables, which provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and naturally occurring sugar for energy. Including fibrous, complex carbohydrates can help deter cravings and minimize a sugar withdrawal.
People can increase their chances of success, reduce cravings, and minimize sugar withdrawal symptoms by using the following tips:
Avoid the following foods and drinks:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: Sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks are the leading sources of added sugars, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Drink water and unsweetened coffee or tea instead
- Candies and sweets: These food items contain high quantities of added sugar. Try replacing them with fresh fruit.
- Baked goods: Cakes, cookies, and even certain types of bread contain added sugars. Avoid these refined carbohydrates as much as possible.
- Low fat foods: Food advertised as low fat or fat free often contain added sugars to offset the missing fat.
Combat cravings by:
How To Reduce Your Dependence On Caffeine
One way to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches is to reduce your dependence on caffeine. However, you could end up with even more headaches if you go cold turkey.
The best way is to cut back slowly. You should aim to reduce your intake by about 25 percent each week.
For example, if you usually drink four cups of coffee a day, go down to three cups a day for the first week. Continue to cut back until you get down to one or no cups a day. If you crave the taste of coffee, switch to .
You may consider using a food diary to track how much caffeine youre getting. This will help you cut back on other sources of caffeine, such as black tea, soda, and chocolate. Switching to noncaffeinated alternatives, such as herbal tea, seltzer with fruit juice, and carob may help.
Most people can manage caffeine dependence or reduce their reliance without medical intervention.
You should make an appointment with your doctor if your headaches are accompanied by:
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This Is Where Carb Fits In
There are two types of carb withdrawals, so let me clarify. Right now I’m not talking about when you choose to follow a low-carb diet and you experience carb cravings or crash.
What Im talking about here is when you cut out high glycemic carbs suddenly and then get negative side effects – this carb withdrawal is actually just a form of sugar withdrawal!
Symptoms Of Cutting Added Sugar From Your Diet
Cutting added sugar from your diet may lead to physical and mental symptoms.
How the body reacts to giving up sugar is different for everyone. The symptoms and their severity will depend on how much added sugar you were taking in through sweetened foods and beverages.
Some people find that their symptoms last from a few days to a couple of weeks.
As your body adapts to a low added sugar diet over time and your added sugar intake becomes less frequent , the less intense your symptoms and cravings for sugar are likely to be.
You may find that your symptoms are worse at certain times of the day, such as between meals. Stress may trigger for sugar, so you may find that your symptoms feel worse during times of stress.
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Keep Your Hunger Under Control
One of the best ways to fight against the sugar cravings and withdrawal symptoms is not to give your body a reason to need sugar. You can do that by controlling your hunger cravings.
Remember one of the symptoms is the feeling that youre hungry. You will usually crave the bad stuff: its easy, and thats what will give you a quick boost, right? Well, its not going to give you enough energy throughout the day.
You can avoid the hunger cravings by focusing on a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you get your three large meals or six small mealswhichever way you prefer to eatthroughout the day. Dont forget snacks if you opt for large meals during the day.
When your hunger is at bay, you wont feel as lethargic. Theres no need for your brain to start telling you to eat, and make you crave all the sweet, sugary goodness thats really bad for you.
But what about those snacks? You need to eat something, right? Well, that brings us to the next way to deal with your sugar cravings.
Opt For The Natural Sweet Foods
Switch your chocolate bars for fruit and yoghurt. Sure they wont taste as great at first, but you will get the natural sugar from them. Your brain takes in that youve had something sugary.
The benefit of the natural sugar from fruits is that they are released over time. Your body doesnt get an instant high, and you dont have the sudden release of insulin. Theres no need for your body to get used to levels of insulin and you dont feel a sudden crash afterwards.
Fruits are also full of fibre and vitamins. They keep your body healthy, and you will feel fuller for longer. That one snack will last you until your next meal, rather than you feeling like you need something else to eat during the day.
And this trick doesnt just have to work for your snacks. You can incorporate naturally sweet foods into your diet on a daily basis.
Start adding more ginger or lemon juice into your meals. Look at some nutmeg, cinnamon and even coriander to your meals. They are all naturally sweet, so you feel like youve had the sugar that your body is craving.
When it comes to dessert, enjoy a fruit salad with pineapples, melons, and even mangos. They tend to be the sweeter options available, and youll feel like youve had a treat. Enjoy every piece, and try with some natural yoghurt flavoured with some lemon juice, ginger or even nutmeg. These additions just trick your brain, so you fuel the craving on a daily basis.
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But What About Sugar Addition And Its Association To The Brain
This is called sugar withdrawal headache. We often see this playing out when an individual has a stronger addiction to sugar, meaning they have regularly consumed high amounts of sugar for a period of time and have now quit cold turkey. To prevent severe headaches, fatigue, or even flu like symptoms, I recommend eliminating only added added sugar first then work up to natural sugar to perform my 10 Day Sugar Detox Program. But, why do we get this headache? Studies have shown that when one is chronically exposed to high amounts of sugar, the brain makes less dopamine and dopamine plays an important role in pleasure, motivation, and mood. This leads to mood irritability and even withdrawal induced headaches. Finally, in 2009, a team of scientist from Boston College and University of Montreal linked excess glucose to decreased cognitive function and increase in memory loss.
When it comes to protecting your brain and its health, do not let a headache interfere with you and your wellness goals! When my headache is at its worst, I like to drink a warm anti-inflammatory tea.
Natural anti-inflammatory properties can be found in ginger, lemon, and turmeric especially when combined together to make a delicious and meditate tea!
Balance The Blood Sugar With Your Diet
Naturally sweet foods will still lead to some blood sugar. There are also carbs that youll need to consider that tend to break down quickly and sugar in the blood.
Balancing out the bad with the good is a sure-fire way to balance out your blood sugar levels. You can do this so easily too: just add more protein, fibre, and fat.
Remember that the protein and the fibre will break down in the body slowly. You dont get the same response to your blood sugar, and you wont end up eating far too many calories. But how does the fat help?
To start with, the body needs fat for a healthy brain, especially omega 3 fatty acids and other unsaturated options. Fats will also help with the absorption of some vitamins. Youll have a healthier body overall, and your organs are supported throughout all their processes.
Youll also feel fuller. You get rid of some of the cravings, especially as you feel youve been naughty anyway. Try to eat more cheese or dairy products to give your body the nutrients that it needs and trick your brain into eating something to combat the cravings.
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The Effect Of Sugar On The Body
When you eat sugar, your brain releases;dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical. Your body associates it with a reward. Logically, you may know that sugar is bad and can lead to adverse effects, but your reward center drives you to just keep eating, says Michele Promaulayko,;;and creator of;Sugar Free 3.
When you cut back on added sugar, or eliminate it from your diet completely, your body has to adjust to not getting regular hits of dopamine from that particular source. Meanwhile, levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that;causes neurons to fire, rise. This can cause the nervous system some distress, leading to aches and pains in the body;and sugar withdrawal symptoms;such as:
Watermelon Provides Fluids To Keep You Hydrated
Interesting fact: Watermelon is actually considered a vegetable because of the way its grown, although some people would argue it belongs firmly in the fruit category because of its sweet flavor and higher sugar content.
Watermelon also has a lot of water in it. Its actually 92 percent water, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Getting plenty of water both by drinking it and by consuming foods that contain lots of water will help you stay hydrated.
Getting enough fluids is important for all aspects of health, including migraine, says Brown. About one in three people with migraine say dehydration is a trigger, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
Many fruits and vegetables can have a hydrating effect, and the fresher it is, the higher the water content, says Brown.
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The Connection Between Sugar And Headaches
The body requires glucose to manage virtually every vital function. The body converts the carbohydrates and sugars you eat into glucose, which provides energy to the cells to carry out their tasks. Some cells and organs also use other types of fuel, such as fat, but the brain powers itself exclusively on glucose.;
If your blood glucose level becomes too high or too low, it can affect certain hormones that cause the blood vessels in your brain to constrict or dilate and cause a headache. You can think of a sugar headache as the brains warning signal that something is amiss with your blood sugar level.
Sugars Not Really That Dangerous Is It
Surely your body can deal with sugar, cant it? After all, it has already handled the sugar youve fed it, and cavemen ate fruit without an issue, and thats full of natural sugars!
Well, theres different between the cavemens natural sugar foods and our refined sugar foods. Cavemen had fruit as a small part of the diet. They focused on meats, berries, nuts, seeds, and eggs. They ate the stuff that they could get while hunting and gathering. There was no added sugar. In fact, it wasnt really until the 15th century that we started to eat more refined sugar in our diets!
The body has had to adapt quickly. Whenever we eat sugar, it needs to release insulin to combat the increase in our blood sugar levelsthe blood sugar levels are the reasons we get that instant high after eating refined sugars.
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First All Know Who The Real Enemy Is
Were looking at you, added sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrateyour bodys main source of energythat occurs naturally in many foods that are part of a healthy diet, including fruit, vegetables, milk and whole grains. Added sugar generally refers to sugar thats added when foods or beverages are processed or packaged, such as sugar from syrups, honey and concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. It also refers to sugar that you add yourself, like what you sprinkle on your oatmeal or into your morning coffee.
The problem with added sugar is that it adds calories without providing any essential nutritive value. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories per day from added sugar . Thats about 25 grams or 6 teaspoons. Keep in mind, one 12-oz can of cola contains nearly 40 grams of added sugar!
While Hensrud doesnt quite view sugar as addictive, he believes it exhibits some of the traits and it can become a habit. So part of cutting down on sugar is breaking the habit. He suggests easing into the process by cutting down on any added sugar or using healthier sugars like pureed fruit. As for sugar substitutes, there really isnt a free pass. Some of the substitutes might trick the brain into consuming more sugar at other times.
Its Taxing To The Pancreas
The pancreas needs to release more insulin into the body. Just think of the damage youre doing to it by doing that! Just think of the damage youre doing to your body overall!
If your pancreas has to work harder, it isnt going to work as long. Just think about how we use up our energy throughout the day. If we do a lot of hard work in a short space of time, we need longer to recover. The problem is your pancreas isnt going to get that break that it needs. Youre forcing it to work, and work, and work!
Now think back to yourself and if you kept pushing yourself when you need a break. Youre eventually going to run out of energy, and your body will pack in. People collapse from exhaustion and end up making themselves ill. Youre going to force your pancreas to stop working effectively or even at all.
And its not just your pancreas that is affected when you do this. Your other organs, especially your liver, are forced to work harder. Theyll find it difficult to keep up with the stress youre putting them under, so will end up damaged sooner.
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