Migraine Diet

Diet plays a large role in overall health. Proper eating habits help in the management of many disorders and diseases, including migraines.

At times, migraine sufferers are sensitive to ingredients in the food, including:

  • Food additives, such as nitrites or MSG (monosodium glutamate), commonly found in Chinese foods, soy sauce and packaged foods
  • Food coloring

Because certain foods impact individual migraine sufferers but don’t lead to attacks in others, researchers have long thought that people with migraines triggered by foods might actually have a hidden food allergy.

To determine which foods, if any, may contribute to your migraines you must record information on each migraine attack in your migraine journal. By writing down when migraines occurred, what you recently ate and details of each migraine symptom, you can help determine if your migraine triggers include food and drink.

Missing meals

For some people, food and drink are migraine triggers. For others, missing meals or overindulging in a specific type of food can lead to an attack.


Fasting and skipping meals disrupts the body’s chemical balance. For example, a 1995 study of 1,056 people over age 65 compared people who missed a meal in three days with those who didn’t. The study found that participants who missed meals had significantly lower levels of several vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, vitamin E, ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, folate and vitamin B6. Several of these substances, such as magnesium, vitamin E, riboflavin and vitamin B6, are used as natural remedies to treat migraines.

Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
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