Migraines are more severe forms of headaches and commonly affect one area in particular of the head. A migraine comes across as pulsating, throbbing sharp pains and if suffered regularly can alter your lifestyle significantly. Aside from the migraine itself, sufferers commonly experience sensitivity to light, altered vision, pain surrounding the eyes, nausea and vomiting.

Quite commonly medication is prescribed for treatment of a migraine, but migraineshould only be used short-term to relieve symptoms, as it does not truly explore why the condition exists in the first place. It is believed that migraines occur when the chemistry within the brain is altered by multiple factors including hormonal, environmental and sensory. Foods, alcohol, certain types of medications and disturbances in sleep are also believed to lead to the occurrence of a migraine.

As research is still being carried out as to the exact cause of a migraine, no treatment has been guaranteed to work, however many foods have been recognised as contributing to migraines. On top of the list is chocolate, cheese, soy-based products and caffeine. If you suffer from migraines frequently it is a good idea to keep a daily record of the food you consume to establish which food groups should be avoided.

There are also certain types of food that are believed to have a positive effect in relieving symptoms of a migraine.

Niacin 

Doctors will usually suggest changes in lifestyle, increased exercise, stress management and relaxation techniques for sufferers of migraines. Alterations in diet has been found to have a dramatic effect on the occurrence and frequency of migraines. Vitamin B3, or “Niacin” has had great results to date. Niacin is an essential nutrient that is required to maintain healthy cells and organs and repair DNA. Many medical conditions are found to be present in those that have a deficiency in niacin.

There are many valuable sources of niacin in natural foods such as yeast, wholestirfry wheat, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, nuts, sunflower seeds, liver and fish. Adding these foods into your diet will ensure your recommended daily intake of niacin is reached. Migraine symptoms will begin to dissipate and may even cease completely. Niacin supplements are also readily available over the counter.

RECIPE/ SHOPPING LIST 

1x bunch of bok choy

3x tbs of sunflower seeds

2x large tomatoes

Choice of meat- fresh fillet of fish or liver steak

Additional ingredients to taste

You could make a leafy green stir-fry with many of the above-suggested foods. You can choose either a fresh fillet of fish or liver steak. Slice finely and place in a bowl. Finely cut the bok choy and tomatoes and place aside. Heat up a wok with 2tbs of olive oil and place the fine slices of meat in the wok and lightly cook. Toss the bok choy and tomatoes into the wok and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Resources: National Institute of Neurological Disorders www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/migraine/migraine.htm

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