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Migraines: Causes and Role of Diet

Migraines: Causes and Role of Diet

Migraine is not just a headache. It is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects over a billion people globally. It is characterised by severe headaches, visual disturbances, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smells. The exact causes of migraines are still unclear, but a growing body of research has shown that diet significantly triggers or prevents migraine attacks. In this blog, we will explore the causes of migraines and the role of diet in managing this condition.

Causes of Migraine

Migraine is a complex condition with many potential causes. It is believed to be caused by changes in the brain’s chemistry and nerve activity, which various factors can trigger. Some of the most common triggers include:


Stress is a well-known trigger for migraines. Emotional stress, physical stress, and lack of sleep can all contribute to the onset of migraines. Therefore, a proper sleep schedule is essential.

Hormonal changes

Migraines are more common in women than men, and many women experience migraines during their menstrual cycle. This is due to the fluctuation in estrogen levels, which can trigger a migraine attack.

Environmental triggers

Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and weather changes, can trigger migraines.


Migraines tend to run in families, implying a genetic aspect as well.

Role of Diet

Diet plays a significant role in preventing or triggering migraines. Certain foods have been shown to trigger migraine attacks in some individuals, while others have been found to help prevent them. Here are some of the most common dietary triggers and preventatives for migraines:

Trigger Foods

Certain foods such as aged cheese, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods can trigger migraines in some people. It is essential to identify your trigger foods and avoid them.


Magnesium is an essential mineral that aids in regulating nerve and muscle function. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraines. Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, almonds, avocado, and dark chocolate.


Dehydration is a common trigger for migraines. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help prevent migraine attacks.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help prevent migraines. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds.


In conclusion, migraines are complex neurological disorders that various factors can trigger. While the exact causes of migraines are still unclear, a growing body of research has shown that diet plays a significant role in managing this condition.

By identifying your trigger foods and incorporating migraine-preventative foods into your diet, you can reduce the frequency and severity of your migraine attacks. Prevention is vital, and a healthy diet is essential for overall well-being, not just for managing migraines.

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