3 Turmeric Curcumin Recipes For Migraines And Headaches

3 Turmeric curcumin recipes for migraines and headaches

Food is one of the most essential pieces of our health program.

When we can get food right, our body breathes a sigh of relief.

But when we can use super-foods like turmeric the right way, we can get an edge in our healing journey that can support us every day, safely.

Turmerics anti-inflammatory benefits are one of the many benefits it has and in this article, we will be talking about 3 turmeric recipes to supercharge your health.

1. “Golden Milk” Recipe

  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Touch of cinnamon
  • Honey to taste

This first recipe is a fusion of my own and Colin from Natura Training Institutes.

It’s a daily dose of warm sweet goodness and really simple to make.

Mix the coconut milk, water, black pepper and turmeric powder together.

Heat them up in a pot so that the turmeric gets activated and black pepper mixes to increase the absorption of turmerics active ingredients…

Then simply add the cinnamon and honey to taste, pour it into a cup and enjoy.

2. “Golden Paste” Recipe

This is an adaptation from the wonderful people at Turmeric Life.

  • 1 Tsp Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Water

Put the coconut oil into a small pot and melt it down.

Add the water, turmeric powder and fresh black pepper.

Let simmer for 7 minutes.

Pour into a container, store and use as needed.

Many start with a 1/4 tsp a day and work their way up.

3. “Golden Smoothie” Recipe

  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Turmeric
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/4 Cup Carrot Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk

Grate ginger and turmeric.

Add banana, carrot juice, orange juice, almond milk turmeric and ginger to smoothie.

Blend.

Enjoy.

Always check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Turmeric may increase the blood thinning effect of some medications.

See our turmeric curcumin for migraines post to learn all of the amazing benefits and studies around turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin here.

Have you ever tried turmeric or do you have a favorite recipe?

Let me know in the comments below and share this post with someone who needs a boost.

3 Turmeric curcumin recipes migraines headaches

migraine headaches from not eating and after eating

3 Amazing tips for migraine headaches from not eating and after eating

One of the largest and most common triggers are from food.

Some studies even call some types of migraine a food allergy.

I’ve seen clients go from daily headaches with migraine aggravations to only occasional headaches by only removing some foods.

But the migraine brain also has metabolic issues and a tough time producing energy which is why headaches from not eating are so common.

In this article, we will be talking about how headaches and migraines from not eating and after eating can be supported so that we aren’t so fragile.

3 Amazing tips for migraine headaches from not eating

Developing symptoms from not eating a meal or simply having to wait longer for a meal is a bad sign. In nature, we would not survive if we developed a migraine after every fasting period.

This is a sign that our body is not reacting normally and we need to take proactive steps to recover our metabolism.

If our brain constantly needs carbohydrates to function, it has probably become very inefficient at producing energy and extremely efficient at absorbing energy.

This means it will be very easy for it to store energy as fat, but not very well equipped to use fat as energy.

Our brain can run on two fuel sources, carbohydrates(sugars) and fats(fatty acids).

If we are constantly eating carbohydrate-rich meals then our brain doesn’t have the chance to get efficient at breaking down and using fats for energy.

And over time, especially with lots of simple sugars, our brain can develop insulin resistance which prevents it from using the carbohydrates as well.

This is a recipe for our brain to break down and lack the energy it needs to function properly and for us to stay migraine free.

So how do we support the repair of this system?

Before we begin, see this graph of some of the biggest triggers for migraines based on a study and look at how high food and skipping meals are.

migraine trigger statistics

 

1. Eat more fats

The easiest place to start is to include more healthy fats in your diet.

This means fats from grass-fed animals, wild fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Do not increase the consumption of conventionally raised animals as their living conditions create a toxic product devoid of nutrition and filled with more problems than they will solve.

Fill the diet with some fats at each meal. They improve absorption of nutrients and provide the fat soluble nutrients vitamins A, D, E and K.

See our article on the top 10 super simple blood sugar stabilizing snacks here.

2. Use longer lasting carbs

Carbohydrates aren’t bad but spiking blood sugar is.

We want to keep blood sugar steady all day, this will give us better hormones, better anxiety, better sleep, improve depressive symptoms, clear brain fog and make our heads much more resilient.

There are a few ways we can balance meals to do this:

  • Make sure we drink plenty of water 30 minutes before a meal and if we have eaten too many carbohydrates we can balance them with water intake
  • Eat protein and fat with every meal of carbohydrates
  • Use complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple ones
  • Avoid over-consumption of caffeine or stimulants

Some sources of complex carbohydrates are:

  • Vegetables
  • Plants
  • Some fruit

Some sources of simple carbohydrates to limit are:

  • Potatoes
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Sugar
  • Candy
  • Alcohol
  • Too much fruit
THE BEST Low-Carb Chocolate-Heaven Cake on the internet – amazing!

3. Practise intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is an amazing practise that used to be the norm which has now turned into a necessary health strategy.

Intermittent fasting is done by simply limiting the window of time that we eat in.

Whereas usually we would eat when we wake up and before bed, leaving our only fasting time to be the 7-10 hours we sleep…

During intermittent fasting we would expand this fasting time up to 16-24 hours each day.

But for the migraine brain this is tough and needs to be worked up to.

We need to slowly wean our brain off of constant sources of food so that it becomes more efficient at making energy from the resources we have.

Remember we can live for weeks without eating any food.

Our body will go through an amazing clean up while we are fasting. It releases growth hormone, helps the brain build new pathways, removes dying cells and cleans up the entire body making it more efficient.

Some tips to adjusting to fasting:

Slowly increasing the time between your meals by half an hour

Taking an early dinner and later breakfast

Eat more proteins and fats as they will last your body longer, keep blood sugar more stable and help your body make the switch from carbohydrate burning to fat burning.

Hydrating properly throughout the fasting time

If you have a broken metabolism make sure to see a nutritionist before starting extended fasts

See this video on Why Do I get Migraines and Headaches From Not Eating And What To Do here:

3 Amazing tips for migraine headaches after eating

Because there have been so many food studies done that have incredible results for migraine sufferers, food is one of the first places to go for healing.

Having a migraine or headache start after eating is one of the main signs that our digestive system is disturbed and we need to become more mindful of what food is impacting us negatively.

If we have leaky gut, if we have histamine issues, if we aren’t breaking down our food or have food sensitivities, migraines and headaches are some of the most common symptoms.

1. Support digestion of food with acid and enzymes

Digestion starts in the brain.

When we think of food, our brain gets started producing all of the digestive juices needed to break that food down, liquify it, absorb it and use it to make us healthy, happy and whole.

There are a few key pieces we have to support with our digestion:

– Think of your food/get mentally hungry

– Remember to chew as much as possible(It should almost be uncomfortable) Our body absorbs liquids, not solids so remember the saying drink your food and chew your water

– Support stomach acid – we need really strong stomach acid and stress actually drops our stomach acid levels – if you have acid reflux its likely you actually have too little acid and food isnt exiting the stomach because of it – use apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to kickstart the acid

– Support your pancreatic and liver enzymes by eating lots of fermented and living foods, remember that the more dead your food is, the more effort it takes to make it a part of you

– Feed your gut bacteria, if they are balanced, they protect you from harm and feed you nutrients – make sure meals have fiber and take a probiotic

2. Histamine, tyramine and other biogenic amines

Migraine sufferers have been found to be low in an enzyme called diamine oxidase or DAO. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down different amines.

This can be a cause of headaches or migraines starting after meals and especially from things like wine, cheese, and Chinese food.

When our histamine or other amine levels get high, they cause big problems like non-stop headaches.

We can test some simple methods to relieve this by eating low histamine rich and histamine releasing foods…

Or taking a DAO supplement which can be found online.

See our article on the histamine migraine connection for more information.

See the pin below for histamine foods to be weary of while testing.

Histamine Intolerance and The Paleo Diet

3. Eat in rest and digest mode

We have two main modes to our nervous system that we don’t directly control but can influence.

The sympathetic mode where we are on high alert and stressed.

And

The parasympathetic mode where we are calm, cool, collected and our body is free to run its systems without strain.

When food is becoming a problem and digestion is compromised, chronically staying in sympathetic mode often plays a role.

When our body goes on high alert, it takes blood away from digestion and reduces the policing our body does on our gut.

Remember that 70% of our immune system is in our gut and for good reason.

This area is always interacting with the world and it needs support or else it can easily become compromised.

See this video on the two nervous systems:

The Stress Response and Your Autonomic Nervous System

Some key areas we have to be in rest and digest mode are:

  • Eating and digesting
  • Sleeping and recovery
  • Breathing and thinking clearly
  • Processing emotions from a logical perspective
  • Healing

This means we need to learn the tools we can use to make our body relax.

See our section on the two modes by scrolling down in the article here.

Migraines from not eating and after eating are some of the simplest triggers to correct and having a nutritionist or health coach can be an invaluable tool to do it.

The triggers almost always come from perfectly good reasons that have perfectly good remedies and the more we can understand about the body, the more we can understand how to lower our trigger levels, raise our threshold and live pain-free.

Click here to join our community because we provide the best holistic information for migraines on the web.

If you are still struggling with migraines that last forever and that medication doesn’t touch then read our article on status migrainosus and intractable migraines here.

Do you get migraines from food or missing meals?

Is it always consistent or does it change some days?

Let me know in the comments below and share this with someone else going through the same issue.

Can Gluten Cause migraines and headaches?

Can gluten cause migraines and headaches?

If I found out something could be causing my migraines, I would stop it right away.

With just removing one or two sensitive foods, I’ve seen clients go from daily headaches between terrible migraine episodes, to only having monthly headaches…

In this article, I will be covering the connection between wheat + other gluten-containing grains and migraine headaches.

I will also talk about what to do if you have a serious relationship with gluten and don’t want to break it off.

Can Gluten Cause Migraines And Headaches?

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein.

This protein called gluten is present in all of the gluten-containing grains like:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Farro
  • Durum
  • Bulgur
  • Semolina
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale

and gluten contaminated oats.

But there are many other proteins in wheat and other gluten-containing grains that can be a problem as well.

Gluten has become a big buzz in recent years because of its connection to various inflammatory problems, one of them being migraines and headaches.

But wheat has been eaten for thousands to even millions of years…

Why is gluten a problem now?

Lets face it. We are a very different culture now then we were 100 years ago…

Even 50 years ago.

Let alone 1000 or 10000 years ago.

But our genes don’t change very quickly so they cannot be blamed for the massive changes that have happened in the last 20-50 years…

What is contributing to the massive changes that have created the gluten free diet craze?

3 pieces.

But before I go into these 3 pieces we need to understand leaky gut.

Leaky gut

Our intestines are like a tube of thick carpet and each strand of that carpet has cells that regulate and absorb nutrients.

Between each of these cells is a small space that allows nutrients to get in and out depending on the size of the space and the regulation by the cells.

But when this gap between the cells gets too big, or is forced open by hormones we have in our gut, big proteins can get into our circulation. (think gluten and casein)

When they get through, our immune system can target them and attack them wherever they land.

If they land in our knees, they get attacked there and we get knee inflammation.

If they land in our thyroid, our thyroid gets attacked and we develop metabolic issues.

If we have a leaky brain and they land in our brain, we can get brain inflammation.

This is bad news for the migraine brain.

Watch this short video on leaky gut:

Leaky Gut Explained

Keep leaky gut in mind while we go through these 3 pieces that have created massive changes in our ability to eat gluten.

1. Our environments are different

We have moved out of the rural setting with lots of bugs, bacteria and animals that used to give our body lots of exposure to microorganisms that would both:

  • Stimulate our body’s defences to keep us strong

  • Add to our bodies micro organism population that actually makes us able to break down foods and stay healthier

But we have also:

Moved into more stressful environments that lower our stomach acid and enzyme production which are supposed to help us break down food enough to absorb and not cause inflammation.

Have more exposure to electromagnetic fields that toy with our nervous systems ability to regulate themselves…

And so much more…

How different is a city from a farm?

It would be easier to ask what is the same because there is so much less.

2. Our wheat is different

Today, wheat is processed very differently from before the industrial revolution.

– Our soils have less nutrition

– We use more pesticides and herbicides

– We use genetic modification that has made these proteins less recognizable by our bodies

– We make wheat products differently

Our ancestors and even our grandparents would sour our doughs or just leave them over night so that the enzymes present in these live and unprocessed foods could break down the proteins before we ingested them.

This made it easier on our own digestion.

If our body is having trouble breaking the gluten protein down into amino acids that the body can use as building blocks, then gluten has a higher chance of getting through the gut and causing damage.

3. We are different

Our bodies and the parallel universe of microorganisms inside of us that control everything we do have drastically changed over the last few decades.

  • We are more often born by C-section which prevents moms good bacteria from getting planted into our gut and making us healthy

  • We use more formula and less of mom’s milk which is specifically designed to build our immune system, make our digestion strong and give us more nutrients than any formula can

  • We very frequently use antibiotics that aren’t absolutely necessary, which cause a massive die off of the good bacteria in our gut, giving bad bacteria the chance to take over and create a monopoly

  • We have been raised into a world of safety and security issues that put us on high alert, leading to chronic stress levels that take resources away from regulating our gut functions

It’s impossible to pinpoint one thing as we are all different, our digestions are different, immune systems are different and brains are different. We have different exposures and different predispositions.

But the combination of a weakened digestion + an imbalanced microbiome + a susceptible brain

= neurological issues

Wheat is just a hard to digest protein that becomes the center of the storm.

How do we connect migraines to gluten?

Often those suffering with migraines are found to have little white spots in their brains called white matter abnormalities.(Study)

These white spots come with an increased risk of stroke, dementia and death. (Study)

These abnormalities are found more commonly in migraineurs than in the regular population. (Study)

A small study was done on 9 patients who had migraine, celiac, and white matter abnormalities and found that removal of gluten from the diet resulted in relief from symptoms of migraine and improvement in the white spots. (Study)

But returning to gluten caused it to come back.

Clinical Nutritionist, Chronic Gut & Skin Rash Expert, Gluten Free Foodie, Podcast Host. Dive deeper at www.jenniferfugo.com & www.skinterrupt.com

During regular day to day life, our brain has a protective mechanism called the blood-brain barrier(BBB).

This keeps our brain safe.

But when a migraine comes along, when we are sufficiently stressed, have too little sleep, are exposed to electromagnetic fields all day or drink alcohol…

The BBB leaks and we get a leaky brain. (Read more about leaky brain here)

With foreign particles floating around the brain and activating our immune system… We are primed for a migraine and chronic inflammation. (Review)

See this video on how gluten contributes to brain and neurological issues from Sean and underground wellness:

3 Ways Gluten Attacks Your Brain!

Can gluten contribute to migraines and headaches?

Yes.

But is gluten the primary target? A little yes and a little no.

If you want to stop a food sensitivity that was found to affect 78% of migraine sufferers in this study then taking out wheat is a necessity.

But if you have a leaky gut, your immune system is being sensitized to foods, and they are getting through your blood-brain barrier…

Then you need more tools in your arsenal.

This is why I created the food triggers guide.

But aside from wheat, there are many more foods that can be sensitive.

You also want to heal the gut and restore balance to intestinal bacteria.

If you have an overgrowth of bacteria or a parasite infection which studies have shown upwards of 80-90% of first world people have then removing at least wheat while you heal is a necessity.

And if you want to fix leaky brain then see our articles here and here.

So now begs the question…

What do I eat?

Not gluten, ideally not grains and preferably foods that feed good gut bacteria.

Steer clear of all processed and packaged foods that are labeled “gluten-free.”

There is a massive market for gluten-free founds and it has become abused by the food industry as a way of marketing “healthier” foods when in reality many gluten-free labeled foods are just as bad as the ones with gluten. Poor quality in, means poor quality functioning out, gluten or not.

The problem is that if we develop a sensitivity to gluten, our body can start recognizing other proteins that look like gluten and attack them as well. This is why many people who are gluten sensitive are sensitive to all grains.

If you think you may be sensitive to gluten it would be important to try making your own wheat products yourself, letting them rise and ferment longer and using organic ingredients to see if it is a processing issue and not necessarily a gluten issue.

These are the non-gluten grains you may want to try when steering clear of gluten:

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Wild rice(not technically a grain)

Some people do better with gluten-containing grains in other countries like in Europe where laws on genetic modification, processing and spraying of wheat and other grains is different.

See the Migraineur Food Pyramid for a more complete list of what to eat with a migraine brain.

Even though gluten is not necessarily the cause for the migraines, it is one of the largest contributors and removing gluten along with healing the gut has been shown to make massive changes in head pains of all sorts.

To get a deeper understanding of migraines and how to heal them join the migraine professional community here.

Do you think gluten could play a role in your migraines or headaches?

Let me know in a comment below and share this with someone else who may benefit.

123 heal your headache diet food trigger list

Making sense of the 123 heal your headache diet / food trigger list

Healing your headache can range anywhere from a minor delay, all the way to years of life-changing habits.

Luckily, we have experts who lead the way in terms of research and treatment with patients of all types of headaches, from migraines, to clusters to trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias and everything in between.

One of these experts who spent many decades in the field is Dr. David Buccholz, the creator of the 123 plan to heal your headache.

In this article, we will be talking about what the 123 plan is as talked about in his book and how we can incorporate it into the new understanding we have of migraines from the most recent research done.

What is the heal your headache diet?

The heal your headache diet was devised by Dr. David Buccholz after many decades of experience treating patients as a headache specialist.

The 1, 2 and 3 of the plan are to:

  1. Stop using quick fix medications
  2. Eliminate the food triggers on his food trigger list
  3. If needed after these two steps, find a great preventive that works for you

Let’s get into the specifics.

Heal Your Headache

The heal your headache 123

The 1, 2 and 3 are based on:

1. Avoiding the quick fix

2. Reducing your triggers

3. Raising your threshold

In avoiding the quick fix section, Dr. Buccholz highlights that medications and painkillers that are commonly used to abort migraines are in fact contributing to the majority of the problem.

He says that when we take a “quick fix” medication that even though we may be getting relief from an immediate headache or migraine, we are actually lowering our bodies’ threshold to trigger.

This is one of the reasons quick fix medications cause rebound headaches or what are called medication overuse headaches.

See the infographic below for some of the most common rebound medications.

Common migraine headache rebound medications

What are our trigger levels and threshold levels?

Trigger level is talked about a bit differently by David Buccholz than by me but it is essentially the sum total of all of the stress on your body.

The higher the stress coming in from all mental, emotional, physical, environmental, dietary etc areas, the higher our trigger level.

Our threshold is the level of tolerance our body has to stress.

We are both born with a predisposed tolerance….

(Some peoples’ bodies can take more of a beating than others)

But we also raise and lower our bodies’ tolerance depending on what we go through in life.

These two are talked about by Dr Buccholz but the way I approach migraines with patients is by understanding a third factor which is our foundations.

Our body is constantly trying to reduce the tension of stresses but also get stronger and increase its tolerance to them.

It does this through its main healing, regenerating and detoxifying systems.

These are the foundation principles and more information on them can be found in our article on the foundation principles of migraine health here.

Reducing your triggers

David Buccholz method of reducing your triggers comes from foods that have substances in them that may cause the dilation or constriction of blood vessels in the brain leading to trigger.

But over the years, the dilating and constricting theory of migraines has been found to be very flimsy and many migraine sufferers do not experience this.

Some of the foods he lists include:

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • MSG
  • processed meats
  • Cheese and other dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Alcohol and vinegar
  • Certain fruits and juices like citruses and those with preservatives
  • Yeast baked goods
  • Artificial sweeteners like aspartame
  • Possible connections to soy and processed proteins

This list is actually quite good and many would see improvement with it.

But it is missing some key points.

1. It is not accounting for individual sensitivities to foods, of which we all have and of which all of them cause our trigger levels to go up.

2. It is not accounting for the most inflammatory foods in our diets which place a huge load on our bodies.

3. It is not accounting for all of the biogenic amine filled foods that can create histamine and tyramine issues in the migraine sufferer. Migraine sufferers have been found to hold lower levels of an enzyme called DAO which is actually supposed to break these substances down and protect us from their damage. (Study)

See the infographic below for a list of often sensitive foods. This is similar to the heal your headache food trigger list but more in depth.

Foods to Eat

This is one of the reasons I created the food triggers guide which breaks the three areas down into simple steps.

Then at the end, I go through a step by step of applying and troubleshooting the food triggers guide and how to go about making the dietary changes.

If you’d like to learn more about the food triggers guide go here.

Raising your threshold

Dr. Buccholz goes on to say how to raise your threshold to trigger.

His approach is mainly through the use of a preventive medication, but this is only once the individual has come off of any quick fix rebounds and has removed the worst offenders from their diet.

This makes sense as preventing something you keep causing is counter-intuitive.

But instead of relying on medications, I like to look at more natural methods of relief. This usually comes in the form of nutritional supplementation.

Nutritional deficiencies are one of the biggest causes of migraines because without having the building blocks for our brain to run its systems, everything starts breaking down and waste piles up.

But when we can fix the deficiency and support the cleaning up of the waste so that it doesn’t damage more brain cells, we can get amazing relief.

There are many amazing supplements to use but this is specific to what is going on with you.

Many find magnesium, CoQ10, and riboflavin to be the star players in their relief and these have been shown to work well and be safe and well tolerated.

Always ask your doctor before making any changes to your routine.

Watch this video to learn about Dr Buccholz’ work.

Heal Your Headache Author David Buchholz Talks Migraine Mechanism

How do we incorporate the 1 2 3 heal your headache plan into today’s understanding of brain, body and migraine health?

The 123 heal your headache plan is a great start but we want to tackle these areas deeper and I personally prefer to use more natural methods and correct deficiencies as opposed to just medicating.

This means we definitely want to:

– Lower our use of “quick fixes” and in some cases, we will want to use more natural supports like turmeric, ginger and other herbs

– Cut out all sensitive, inflammatory and amine filled foods according to the food triggers guide (See our article on the most common migraine triggers)

– Support our bodies and brains with more nutrients that diet may not be able to satisfy, especially if we are not eating a wild meat and organic food diet (See the migraineur food pyramid)

By taking these 3 areas laid out by Dr. Buccholz, we can take the more recent understanding of migraines as a protective mechanism often contributed to by nutritional deficiencies, hormonal dysregulation, structural issues, gut dysfunction and environmental sensitivity and we can take our healing program to the next level to have more pain-free days.

To become a part of this movement because you love natural solutions and learning about your pain join the migraine professional community here.

Have you ever read the book heal your headache?

Let me know what you thought about it in the comments below.

Share this with someone who needs to learn the 123.

Magnesium Glycinate For Menstrual and Vestibular Migraines

Magnesium glycinate for menstrual and vestibular migraines

Any natural, low side effect and safe approach to migraines is very welcomed.

I have found countless migraine clients that are low in magnesium that with simple smart supplementation, they get amazing relief. It is even so pronounced that if they miss a day or two of magnesium supplementation, the migraine monster will come back.

In this guide, we will be talking about magnesium and migraines but specifically talk about magnesium glycinate, vestibular and menstrual migraines.

What is magnesium and magnesium glycinate?

Magnesium is a mineral, commonly known as the relaxation mineral.

It is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and is responsible as a cofactor in over 600 reactions in the body.(1)

Half of the american population consumes less than the required amount of magnesium necessary to keep their body running properly and magnesium has been implicated in:

Type 2 diabetes

Metabolic syndrome

Elevated C-reactive protein

Hypertension

Atherosclerotic vascular disease

Sudden cardiac death

Osteoporosis

Migraine headache

Asthma

Colon cancer

One study even found 75% to be magnesium deficient.(Link)

In one study using IV magnesium sulphate for acute migraine attacks, almost 90% became completely pain free.(2)

But there are some issues with magnesium supplementation that make it more complex than just take this pill every day which we will go into like:

  • Kinds of magnesium

  • Magnesium from your diet

  • Where you are losing magnesium

  • How to improve magnesium utilization by the body

  • Best ways to get magnesium into you

There is also a big problem with blood testing for magnesium levels as blood only contains 1% of our bodies magnesium and isn’t found to be a reliable indicator of how much magnesium we have or need.

Watch this video to learn about signs of magnesium deficiency:

 

 


 

 

Why magnesium glycinate for migraines?

Magnesium glycinate is a form of magnesium that absorbs very well and this becomes crucial when we understand that it is not just about the nutrients that you put into your mouth, but also the amount of those nutrients that get absorbed and used by your body.

Generally, magnesium glycinate and threonate are recommended for their great absorption and utilization by the body and this is what I have found with migraine sufferers.

See this pin for different types of magnesium and what they are good for:

The Supplement Shack

Kinds of magnesium

We need to understand the different kinds of magnesium because this can make all of the difference. When we are reading labels we want to see that the amount of elemental magnesium is our desired dosage.

If the label just says “magnesium citrate” but doesn’t have an elemental magnesium amount then the actual amount of magnesium molecules might be far less.

Like we talked about above, magnesium glycinate and threonate seem to work well but the thing with magnesium is that everyone responds differently.

200Mg of mag glycinate may work for your friend but not for you and this is why your own experience is most important.

Make sure to try different kinds, in different amounts at different times of day if what you are doing isn’t working for you.

Your body will make you well aware when you’ve taken too much. Because it is the relaxation mineral if you take too much or a kind your bowels don’t tolerate it may literally relax your bowels to the point of diarrhea.

Magnesium from diet

A supplement is just that, a supplement to an already solid program. Your core program is your diet, this cannot be avoided.

Our food is full of magnesium if we are eating the right foods and this is where the majority of our magnesium should be coming in.

The key here is that all of the nutrients that come bound up with the magnesium improve the body’s ability to use it and put it into important places like the brain.

Foods you must include in your diet for magnesium and other vitamins and minerals that improve its use:

  • Seafoods(Mollusks, weeds)
  • Wild rice
  • Leafy greens(Collards, beet greens, spinach, kale, mustard greens, broccoli sprouts)
  • Nuts and seeds(cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds)
  • Organ meats especially liver
  • Dark chocolate 80%+

 

See this pin for some of the best food sources of magnesium:

Top 10 Magnesium Foods

From Visually.

Where you are losing magnesium

Magnesium is known as the stress buffer.

It helps our body deal with stress but because of this, we have what is called the MBR or magnesium burn rate. (3)

The more stress, tension, illness, and exercise we have, the more magnesium our body is burning and the more magnesium we require to keep our brains a float.

You are constantly using magnesium and other nutrients and that is why having a solid nutritional base is the most important first.

Add these factors up to see how much magnesium you are “burning:”

  • Dependance on “junk foods”, processed, packaged, fried, excess empty calories
  • Medications
  • Mental/emotional stress
  • Structural tension and trigger points
  • Food allergies
  • Toxicity
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Pops, sodas, colas
  • Smoking
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive menstruation
  • Diarrhea

But just food is usually not enough for our magnesium needs unless we live a very de-stressed life and live on a completely organic/wild diet.

Over the years as we have continued to over plant food into our soils and do a really bad job of putting the nutrients back in, magnesium levels have dropped dramatically.

Our soil is over farmed and our top-soil that holds all of the microorganisms that make nutrients available to the plants are dead. This is one of the reasons organic farming is healthier.

Now we need to understand absorption.

But if you want to understand everything there is to know about hormonal and menstrual migraines and headaches see our full presentation on the 3 Linchpins That Destroy Hormones and Leave Your Brain in Pain click here.

How to improve magnesium utilization by the body and the best ways to get magnesium into you

Magnesium, just like every other mineral, vitamin and nutrient requires a number of others present so that it gets used by the body.

Some of the main nutrients that should come along with magnesium are:

  • Zinc
  • B vitamins(especially B6)
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium
  • Bicarbonate
  • + all of the nutrients you are most likely deficient in as a migraine sufferer

The next piece is to understand urine alkalinity and acidity.

When your urine is alkaline, you will excrete less magnesium and when it is acidic you will excrete more.

As long as you aren’t taking diuretics, making sure your urine is alkaline by using something as simple as pH strips is a key factor in making sure the magnesium isn’t being leeched out of your body.

Usually, acidic urine is the dark yellow urine.

The best way to make sure urine is alkaline is to get lots of potassium, this is best acquired through vegetables.

Then there is the issue of compromised digestion and intestinal parasites which can reduce the amount of magnesium you absorb, require lots of magnesium to deal with and parasites can actually steal it.

If digestion is compromised then supplementing is likely still a good idea but you can boost magnesium intake through:

  • Topical magnesium spray
  • Epsom or magnesium salt baths

One of the fastest ways to get the most magnesium right into your tissues is a hot Epsom or magnesium salt bath with 1 cup Epsom or magnesium flakes and 1/2 cup baking soda.

But a topical magnesium spray like magnesium chloride is an easy way to apply magnesium throughout the day and it can also make an effective deodorant when mixed with an essential oil.

It is important to remember that those with kidney disease should speak to their doctor about magnesium supplementation first.

Magnesium Glycinate Menstrual Vestibular Migraines

Magnesium Dosage

Again, magnesium tolerance and effectiveness seems to be different for everyone.

Usually starting at a total of 200mg a day and ideally spreading multiple doses out throughout the day but at least twice a day is good so that your body has more chances to absorb it when it needs it most.

It is generally found that 400-600mg a day works well but some require doses of 1000mg-1500mg a day to start receiving enough.

See the product below from fullscript which is a professional supplement brand dispensary.

Magnesium Glycinate - Bio-Max Series - Hypoallergenic-250 capsules

After a prospective baseline period of 4 weeks they received oral 600 mg magnesium daily for 12 weeks or placebo. In weeks 9-12 the attack frequency was reduced by 41.6% in the magnesium group.”(Study)

Menstrual migraines and magnesium

One double-blind placebo-controlled study on menstrual migraines found that magnesium was more effective than placebo and that magnesium deficiency may play a role in how low your threshold to migraine trigger is. (Study)

Generally, if you are not supplementing with magnesium daily then at least starting with it on the 15th day of your cycle and into your period.

Vestibular migraines and magnesium

This study found that patients on these prophylactic therapies one of which was magnesium showed a decrease in duration, frequency and intensity of vestibular migraines.

Thedizzycook who is a chronic vestibular migraine sufferer takes a magnesium supplement daily and recommends it as well.

When dealing with magnesium and migraines it is important to understand:

– The kind of magnesium you are taking and what your body will tolerate

– Foods and activities that lower magnesium levels in the body

– How to get magnesium through diet as well as the cofactors and conditions necessary to keep it in your body

– Some of the fastest and most convenient ways to absorb magnesium

Before you start supplementing, learn what is contributing to your migraines here and what foods you should be eating for them here.

If you want to learn more about migraines because you are looking for better answers then join our community of over 15,000 members here.

Have you ever tried magnesium? Let me know in the comments below and share this with someone who needs more magnesium in their life.

See our video on menstrual migraines below:

Magnesium Glycinate - Bio-Max Series - Hypoallergenic-250 capsules
Turmeric Curcumin For Migraines and Headaches

Turmeric Curcumin For Migraines and Headaches

Turmeric has studies showing its effectiveness for:
– Ulcerative colitis(1)
– Skin health(2)
– Lupus(3)
– Alzheimer’s(4)
– Metabolic syndrome(5)
– Liver toxicity(6)
– Depression(7)
– Cardiovascular disease(8)
– Low serotonin(9)
– Chronic fatigue syndrome(10)
– Post surgery healing(11)
Turmeric is a super star in the natural health world and for good reason.
It’s shown to be an even stronger anti-inflammatory than aspirin and ibuprofen.(12)

But what can it do for migraines?

In this article I’m going to talk about turmeric curcumin for migraines and how you can use it in your own health program.
Migraines can be incredibly tricky because they can be caused and triggered from so many different areas.
From hormones going out of whack,
To tension in our musculature,
To missing sleep and meals,
Migraines have one of the broadest ranges of triggers and causes of all diseases.
But luckily for us, they have one common connection behind them all…
Oxidative stress.
This prospective study found that nearly all migraine triggers are associated with oxidative stress. (13)
Lucky for us, Dr. Borkum explains that, “it seems likely that migraine attacks are not simply triggered by oxidative stress, they actively protect and repair the brain from it.”(14)
So we want to support this process.
Lower oxidative stress so that it doesn’t trigger a migraine and help protect and repair the brain from it.
Turmeric is amazing for oxidative stress. (15, 16, 17)
What makes the body create oxidative stress?
There are 3 areas we need to look at:
– Mitochondrial dysfunction(18)
– Excitotoxicity(19)
– Inflammation(20)
These all play key roles and turmeric curcumin is an all star for each of them.

Mitochondrial dysfunction

Every single one of our brain cells has mitochondria which we use to take the building blocks from our food and create energy.
If we aren’t receiving enough nutrients or our mitochondria are becoming dysfunctional from things like:
– Poor circadian rhythms
– Antibiotics
– Chemical toxicity
Then the chain of conversions our mitochondria has to go through to create energy gets cut off.
If the chain is going:
A=>B
B=>C
C=>D
D=>E
E=>F
And it runs out of the necessary nutrients to go from C=>D then it will start to create byproducts which can create oxidative stress and start to damage the cell and the brain around it.
This means we want to keep nutrients flowing and dysfunction down.
And guess what?
Turmeric is there for us in the study titled, “Curcumin alleviates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes.”(21)

Excitotoxicity

Regularly, our brain cells go through periods of being excited and periods of being at baseline.
This is needed for them to properly conduct messages, repair and clean out any waste build up.
But when a brain cell gets a signal from something like glutamate that causes it to excite, if the glutamate doesn’t eventually leave or if too much shows up at once, this excitement can lead to excitotoxicity.
We want to avoid this because excitotoxicity can end in brain cell death and the creation of migraines.(22)
This little spice that’s used so liberally in eastern cultures is actually protective for our brain cells against excitotoxicity.(23)

Inflammation

Inflammation is a big buzzword and one of the most well-known benefits of turmeric curcumin.
It’s a natural reaction created by our body to prevent infection, heal and repair.
Small acute amounts of inflammation are absolutely necessary.
But long-term exposure to inflammation on a chronic scale can become very detrimental to our brains and tissues.
Even the next generation migraine drugs that target CGRP are doing their part to reduce the inflammation caused by CGRP.(24)
It’s a no brainer when you suspect oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction or excitotoxicity…
Turmeric is one of your best tools.
Cognitune covers 10 of the largest benefits from turmeric curcumin in their article 10 health benefits and uses for turmeric curcumin supplements here.

So how do we use turmeric curcumin for migraines? + recipe

The indian culture has used turmeric for over 4000 years in every dish imaginable.
But there are a few rules to get a strong therapeutic effect:
– Combine it with a healthy fat
Having a good fat source with turmeric helps the body absorb some of its nutrients as they are mostly fat soluble.
– Make sure to add some fresh cracked black pepper
One of the active ingredients in black pepper called piperene has been shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.(25)
– Heat it for a short period on low
Heat has the amazing ability to release nutrients from hard bonds that make them less absorbable by the body. Using a low temperature for a short period gives it a good boost without destroying the beneficial nutrients.
– Use the whole turmeric root when possible
There are many beneficial nutrients that all work synergistically to create the effects of turmeric apart from just curcumin so whenever you can, use the entire root as opposed to an extract.
The best way to get turmeric’s benefits:
This recipe is from the turmeric user group and has been tested by thousands of people.

It’s really simple.
Take the turmeric and water, bring it to a simmer and simmer it down until it gets thick.
When it’s no longer very hot but still warm, add in the oil and fresh cracked black pepper.
Keep in the fridge and start with a quarter teaspoon twice a day.
If needed you may work your way up to 3/4-1 teaspoon 3 times a day.
Always check with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes and see Webmd for interactions.
The benefits of turmeric are high and its safety profile is great making it a strong addition to any brain health protocol not just migraines.
For more awesome information about migraines or headaches join the Migraine Professional Community here.
To understand how food can affect both migraines and headaches read our post on the migraineur food pyramid here.
Let me know below if you’ve ever tried turmeric and your experience with it. Share with someone else going through migraines or headaches with the links below.
Nitrates and Migraine Headaches

Nitrates and Migraine Headaches

A study found that the mouths of migraineurs contain many more microbes with the ability to modify nitrates than non migraineurs.

What are nitrates/nitrites and why should migraineurs care? 

(Nitrates and nitrites are used interchangeably)

Nitrates are a small but still significant piece of the migraine puzzle as many migraineurs and studies say that foods with nitrates affect them and their attacks.

Nitrates are regularly turned into nitric oxide by the body and act as vasodilators, causing blood vessels to expand.

Many foods high in nitrates are known to be migraine triggers along with many drugs that contain nitric oxide.

Viagra raises nitric oxide and is known to trigger migraines in 10 out of 12 migraine patients

Nitric oxide raises CGRP which is thought to be responsible for migraines and is one of the latest targets in pharmaceutical migraine drugs so that CGRP levels can be reduced.

Piggybacking on my last article about the connection between all migraines, nitrates are known to cause oxidative stress and many foods that contain high levels of nitrates are known to be carcinogenic like bacon.

There is also a connection between nitrates and nitrosamines which are a carcinogen and this is said to be why nitrates from vegetables are safe but from meat are not.

What foods contain nitrates?

Most of the foods that have nitrates that may be harmful to migraineurs come from processed meats and packaged foods.

The nitrates that are added to foods are thought to be some of the biggest culprits.

Foods like bacon, sausage, lunch meats, most cured meats, ham, and hot dogs are all processed meats and have been linked to increases in colon cancer as well as migraine attack risk.

What can we do about nitrates turning to nitrosamines?

The most important things to do are to avoid ingesting unnatural sources of nitrates/nitrites and to have a diet high in antioxidants as well as vitamins.

Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along with fresh pasture raised organic meats to provide all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we need to keep nitrates from getting out of control.

Do any of the above-listed foods trigger your migraines?

Make sure to read our articles on the migraineur food pyramid and the histamine migraine connection to understand more about food triggers.

Leave me a comment

Can A Diet Solve Chronic Migraines? (Part 1)

The 1983 Study that completely eliminated migraines in 78/88 children using just diet…

What about the 1979 study of migraineurs that suffered for 20 years and after doing an elimination diet 85% became completely headache free and 100% improved?

And the 2007 food allergen study that had 44 of 47 migraineurs completely stop having migraines altogether?

There’s something here…

But there are thousands upon thousands of diets out there, how do you know which one will work for you?

And can a diet give us freedom from the migraine monster?

Atkins, paleo, south beach, low fat, high fat, elimination, high protein, high carb etc etc etc….

Its endless…

But how can that be?

How can there be so many different diets?

At the end of the day it comes down to you.

Just as different as we are on the outside, we are on the inside.

For example, we know fiber is good for us, but too much is bad and for some people, fiber makes everything worse and will aggravate bowels to give you those hair trigger migraines…

So why is this?

Why does one person’s ideal healthful and healing diet consist of meats and fats and why does someone elses consist largely of vegetables and fruits?

It can be a complex answer especially in cases of chronic diseases where our body is trying to deal with things like bacterial, viral and fungal infections…

But I’ll make it simple for the majority of us.

It comes down to nature + nurture.

Our nature is the genetic blueprint we received from our ancestors and how their bodies, bowels and genes adapted to the environments they lived in.

For example, if your ancestors are norwegian then they only had fruits and vegetables available in some of the summer months because as soon as the ground froze their entire source of food would have become wild game like rabbits, deer, elk, fish etc.

This means that over time their bodies would naturally adapt and the microorganisms in their guts would change to be able to break down and absorb more of the proteins and fats in animals.

But if your ancestors are Thai and fruits and vegetables grew all year long in abundance then they would have adapted to a diet of more fruit, vegetables and fish.

We can call this natural genetic inclination to certain foods to be our primal pattern diet.

But then…

We live our lives and come into contact with nurture.

Nurture becomes an extremely strong force for our bodies day to day adaptation to environment and with millions of cells dying and regenerating a second we can change in our nutritional needs VERY quickly.

For example, if I hit a heavy workout comprising some cardio, low reps with high intensity, extended eccentric motions on my lifts and a stretching and rolling out routine after  (all of this basically means it was a hard workout) then my body will switch from wanting fruits and vegetables to needing muscle meats and organs and I will not recover and repair properly without them.

But the reverse is true too.

If I do nothing but lay around, don’t have much physical strain and have no need for the healing and repairing mechanisms of my body to be on full power, then I can easily get through a day on some nice and light fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrition and help me detoxify.

This is also true with the seasons. When the weather is hot and sunny, we have little appetite for heavy foods and meats. We want something light and sweet like fruit.

But when it gets cold , when the ground freezes and snow falls, we need those heavy hardy foods to sustain us and keep us warm and balanced.

So this is where we meet ourselves today.

This gives us a simple and practical way to approach nutrition.

When we can take the basics of nutrition like eating whole foods, going organic, only eating pastured and wild meats, and making sure we listen to our bodies MANY signs and symptoms of satisfaction or anger after meals…

Then we can apply nature + nurture.

Then we can look at our ancestry and see the area our forefathers lived and combine it with the stresses of the day and reactions of our body.

But then again generalities can be wrong because in reality you are still an individual.

You are still on your own journey with your own stresses and problems so the most important part is to check in with your body and learn to recognize the many MANY signs and symptoms it gives us that the meal was good or bad.

Symptoms of a bad meal include:

– Bloating

– Migraines

– Gas

– Abdominal Pain

– Aggravation of any symptoms

– Burping

– Loose Stools

– Brain fog

– Low energy

– Cravings

– Poor sleep

– Jitters

Symptoms of a good meal include:

– A clear hum of energy lasting at least 4-5 hours

– A solid fluffy light brown poop with a natural odor

– Lowering of inflammation

– Satiation

– Calm balanced mood

– Clear thoughts

– Slowly building resilience to triggers

It’s really that simple to eat well but it begins with taking a step in the right direction and finding out what should be on your plate for the individual that is you and not just what’s in the fridge.

This is part 1 of a series on diet so be sure to check in for the next article talking about how to eat to support migraines.

The Histamine Migraine Connection

Mary is a 35 year old career minded mother of two.

She likes to come home from work, take care of the kids and have a nice glass of wine to relax into the evening.

She loves cheese and chocolate but has a feeling the headaches she’s been getting lately could be because of them.

She used to only get mild headaches but they’ve recently(since giving birth) started blowing up into migraines that are just getting worse.

An advil used to give her the needed clarity to be with her family but now even triptans are having a tough time putting up a fight.

But on saturday it was different.

She woke up with one…

And it roared.

There was no stopping it…

The only thing she could do was ask her husband Daniel to cover for her.

She tried everything but it destroyed her day.

Luckily…

Sunday was much better with only a bit of a daze and some fatigue.

But why her?

Histamine has been known to be a migraine trigger for a long time.

A recent study found that 73.3%(33/45) of patients that suffered from food/wine sensitivity and chronic headaches had significant improvement and 8 total remission of their symptoms when going on a low histamine diet.

But it’s not the only one.

In Spain they frequently use DAO(Diamine oxidase) supplementation to reduce histamines in those suffering from migraine.

Studies have also found lower levels of DAO in patients suffering from migraines.

There was also a study that found histamine infusion caused migraine type headaches in patients.

Common signs and symptoms of histamine issues(look familiar?)

  • flushing, profuse sweating, headache

  • rapid heart beat

  • migraine

  • seasonal allergies, food allergies

  • urticaria

  • prickly heat

  • large swollen mosquito bites

  • runny nose, bloody nose

  • car sick, sea-sickness or motion sickness in general

  • itchy

  • irritable

  • nausea, vomiting

  • higher sex drive

  • asthma, exercise-induced asthma

  • stomach ache

  • menstrual cramps

  • chest tightness

  • loose stools

  • skin issues (eczema, psoriasis)

  • insomnia

DAO (Diamine Oxidase)

DAO is the body’s primary enzyme for breaking down histamine before it can become a problem in our blood.

Some of the most common foods we find on migraine diet lists include wine, cheese and chocolate which all contain histamine or block DAO from working.

There is a connection here.

Here is an amazing article on DAO.

The problem is that, as we know, gut health is integral to brain and migraine health.

But a compromised gut means much of our digestion is damaged, and this means enzymes too.

With a lack of enzymes, especially DAO and MAO(monoamine oxidase), there can be an uncontrolled influx of not just hist”amine” but also other “amines” such as tyramine.

What can cause(or contribute to) histamine issues?

– Allergies

– Low DAO levels

– Mast cell activation disorder

– High estrogen and low progesterone

– Genetics: Defective MTHFR gene + more

Let’s break down a few of these into what science already knows and then end off tying it all together.

Allergies

At the base of our understanding, histamine is an absolutely necessary compound and our body uses it all throughout for the histaminergic system which deals with wakefulness, focus, sleep and stomach acid secretion among many other things.

But it is most commonly known as a huge mediator in allergic reactions.

This study found the same people that had migraines, had allergic rhinitis which is a tell tale sign of histamine issues.

The allergic rhinitis group actually had a four times higher rate of migraine than the control.

This is huge and it makes sense when we compare it with studies(12) done on migraineurs that used food elimination diets that had upwards of 85% improvement.

Food is a huge source of allergens and triggers.

This makes it a huge source of histamine release.

Low DAO

This is a tricky one because testing for it is still inaccurate so the best way to know is through taking a DAO supplement that provides DAO enzymes or one that supports DAO production by the body.(Second from doing a low histamine diet)

There are also two other enzymes called MAO and HNMT that play parts in histamine issues but at a lesser extent. If you have tyramine or MAO issues you can check out the article here.

Some people find relief by taking antihistamines like Benadryl but there are 4 different histamine receptors and they are all on different areas of the body.

Antihistamines work by binding up the receptors before the histamine can but this becomes a problem because antihistamines only block some of the different kinds of receptors.

If you want to fix the enzymes in your gut, you need to clean out and support gut function through proper nutrition, lifestyle and health hygiene.

One of the simplest things to do is remove high histamine and tyramine foods such as:

Mast Cell Activation Disorder

Mast cells are present in every tissue of our bodies and deal with many inflammatory and allergic reactions.

They release lots of histamine when activated.

The problem is when we develop things like heavy metal toxicity, parasitic, fungal or viral infections, chronic inflammatory conditions and gut dysbiosis.

Some of the symptoms of these can include mast cells being activated constantly and creating huge histamine issues leading to disorder.

Treatments for mast cell disorder would include:

– Low histamine diet and elimination diet

– Retraining circadian rhythms

– Using nutrients and foods known to stabilize mast cells

– Reducing stress

More can be found about mast cell activation disorder in the article here

High Estrogen and Low Progesterone

Studies often find(not always) that migraines will lessen the farther we are into pregnancy.

There is also a strong correlation between migraines mostly triggering during our actual period(or day before) or ovulation, but not the period between ovulation and the end.

So what’s happening here with our hormones?

Well as we get further into pregnancy, our progesterone and estrogen levels start to skyrocket and there is a balance between them.

Here’s a graph showing our pregnancy levels of progesterone and estrogen.

Did you know? The placenta makes a huge amount of DAO, which is why histamine intolerance and food sensitivities often improve during pregnancy.

But throughout our cycle, there is a different mixture but we still find that when there is enough progesterone, we feel okay.

 Now let’s add in what we know about histamines.

Estrogen is highly histamine releasing through stimulating mast cells as well as DAO blocking. But another issue here is that histamine is also estrogen releasing so we hit a vicious cycle.

estrogen–>histamine–>estrogen–>histamine

There is also lots of evidence to show that menstrual symptoms can be alleviated by lowering histamine intake and causation.

So what is this all saying?

Well it shows us that estrogen getting high and things like estrogen dominance can be huge factors in histamine and migraine issues, but it also tells us that we need that precious progesterone to protect us.

You can find more information on progesterones cycle in my free E-book here and a helpful article here.

Big things include:

– Killing stress from all sources

– Removing endocrine disrupting estrogen mimickers from the environment and makeup

We will bring this all together at the end.

Genetics like MTHFR that contribute to higher histamine issues

Here is a summary of genetically alterable issues from a great article here:

  • MAO: a gene which requires B2 as cofactor, is polymorphic, slower in men and reduces tyramines, histamine and catecholamines (stress neurotransmitters). Hmmmm. Riboflavin is great for migraine sufferers….

  • DAO: a gene which requires B6 and copper as cofactors, is polymorphic a LOT and reduces extracellular histamine (bacteria and food).

  • HNMT: a gene which requires SAMe as a cofactor, is polymorphic and reduces intracellular histamine.

  • MTHFR: helps regulate methylation which is needed to reduce intracellular histamine. Uses B2 as cofactor.”

     

The function of these can be changed by genes and our ability to convert some of the essential nutrients that make them up like B6, B2 and SAMe which coincidentally migraineurs show improvement from supplementing B6 and B2.

But this becomes tricky when we have something like methylation issues because we need forms of the vitamins that have already been converted that our body can put right into action.

A great place to find out about these genetic issues is by going through 23andme.com 

Here is a list of other possible histamine issue contributors:

Other things that can cause histamine issues:

  • Genetic susceptibility (MTHFR, DAO, MAO, HNMT, PEMT…)

  • Pathogens (a number of which produce histamine or block methylation)

  • Nutrient deficiencies (B12, folate, B6, B2, B1, Zn, Cu, C, methionine)

  • Nutrient excesses (histidine, protein excess in general)

  • Medications (antibiotics, antacids and even antihistamines (long term))

  • Nutrient demands (stress, anxiety, lack of sleep)

  • Hormonal insufficiency (adrenal fatigue)

  • Hormonal excess (estrogen)

  • Lifestyle (excessive exercise, alcohol(kills DAO))

  • Diet (fermented foods, high protein intake, aged foods, leftovers, citrus, fish)

  • Environment (high pollen counts, mold, mildew, dust mites, natural gas leaks)

  • Associated conditions (leaky gut, IBD, IBS, SIBO)

Bringing it all together:

With migraines, we need to be careful.

But we also have to make sure we deal with healthcare professionals that don’t separate your organs and send you to a different doctor for each one with a problem.

Your healthcare provider should look at the entire picture and look at ALL the symptoms you have going on and see what’s common.

The reason migraines don’t get fixed is because we just focus on the head or the brain and fail to look at the deeper picture and how connected our entire body is. Our gut health will 100% affect our brain health.

But at the same time, nitpicking chemical reactions can be time-consuming and consume lots of money for laboratory testing and supplements.

This is why we have to go back to the source of all this pain and the master controller of every single one of the trillion reactions a second in our body.

We have to approach our dynamic system with dynamic solutions.

We can always fall back on the foundation of our health and the foundation of the good functioning of all our body’s systems.

The foundation principles to health are thinking, breathing, eating, moving, sleeping and drinking and without having these in order, almost everything else is minor.

But when we have those functioning well we can support ourselves with things like:

– Gut healing herbs, supplements and foods (like peppermint, glutamine and okra) and correcting issues like SIBO

– Taking an extremely high-quality multivitamin like Pure multi

that contains methylated forms of vitamins

– Supplementing with CoQ10, vitamin C and E, fatty acids, probiotics, B12, bioflavonoids, proteolytic enzymes, honey and NF-KappaB inhibitors

– Testing for hormone levels and things like natural progesterone supplementation

– Retraining circadian rhythms through avoiding late night blue light, EMFs in the bedroom and blood sugar spiking

– Supplementing with DAO which you can find through the professional brand supplement dispensary link below

– Removing alcohol

– Removing inflammatory and immune activating foods which is individual to you but casein and gluten are common across the board

– Removing histamine and histidine rich foods the biggest culprits of which are old, aged, smoked, canned, cured, fermented, pickled and packaged and processed foods (good list here)

– Use a product called Purewine in any wine you drink to remove histamines and sulfites

If you’re still confused and want a deeper understanding of histamines and healing the body by dealing with the root cause of what’s making you sick then sign up for our webinar here

Some helpful articles are herehereherehere and here.

See our video on histamine and tyramine diets below

Do you suspect a connection to histamines with your migraines?

The Migraineur Food Pyramid

We all know there are healthy foods and not so healthy foods.

And the science behind food is now well passed foods that are healthy or not, even if mainstream knowledge is still far behind.

So why are we developing chronic illnesses like migraines(15%), fibromyalgia(6%), diabetes or prediabetes (1 in 3), alzheimer’s(2%), autism(1 in 68 children) and risk for heart disease(1 in 2) at such alarming rates?

Well science has now started focusing on our ability to digest, assimilate, absorb and eliminate foods as critical in developing into healthy humans, or progressively weakening the genes we pass on.

This is the next step in knowing what foods are and are not favourable for us to eat, especially for migraineurs.

No longer will we be tricked into believing grains and dairy are the main staples in our diets by government subsidized industries only to find out years later that many of the foods touted as “healthy” are the opposite (Ex. Low fat, low sugar, fortified, enriched).

We now know that we need to listen to our body and its reaction to foods to know if it sits favourably with us or in turn causes our body more issues than it solves.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
― Hippocrates

Spoken thousands of years ago but still as true today.

When we want to heal, to reduce sensitivities to foods, to build our immune system, help provide the nutrients to repair our brains and our guts, to clear up our skin or just to stop the flurry of symptoms we keep battling with.

 Food is there for us.

Unlike many of the modern chemicals used in healthcare today, food has been with us since the beginning of time as our source for health, nourishment and energy.

And most people will find these foods, the ones that work best.

The oldest and most primitive foods that have the least processing and oldest introduction into our diets.

Things like leafy greens, fruit, meat and honey are integral parts of what we scavenged, gathered and hunted for.

It was only up until 10,000 years ago that grains were introduced and very different grains than today’s modern wheat.

We never had the technology to process and strip foods into their individual chemicals, picking them apart for the pieces that trigger our taste and satisfaction receptors most, but leaving our bodies wanting more in terms of nutrients.

When we went hunting for meat, we ate the whole animal, skin, bones, organs, muscles, everything was used in one way or another and with good reason.

Our organs contain huge sources of nutrients that naturally balance those found in muscles(which is most of what eat).

When we went foraging we would eat whatever we found in its whole and complete form(No, noodles didn’t exist in nature).

Many times it would be raw, unpasteurized, wild(organic is close, biodynamic is closer) and covered in dirt that was host to millions and billions of microorganisms that would feed our gut and balance our microbiomes.

When we couldn’t finish something or we had too much, we would ferment, cure, smoke, pickle, jar, sour and so much more.

This would add to the nutrient density and microorganisms that evolved with us to create strong adaptive human bodies and minds.

So let’s get down to the base-ics.

Now of course we have to remember that we are all individuals and as with many things in health, “it depends.”

So the base here is high quality animal proteins(no grain fed or conventionally raised) and delicious non-starchy vegetables.

These can both be eaten frequently to appetite.

There are over 200,000 edible plants and well over 1,000,000 edible animals on earth so get creative because variety is important.

Animal Proteins:(Make sure to include bones and organs to balance glycine and methionine)

(3+ times per day)

Beef, lamb, pork, ox, bison, rabbit, goat, deer, buffalo

Chicken, turkey, cornish hen, goose, duck, pheasant, quail, ostrich

Wild fish like salmon, cod, tilapia, catfish, squid, shrimp, oyster, clam, mussel, eel, bass, anchovy, halibut, trout etc.

 To avoid:

Processed, packaged and low quality meats(conventionally raised) and meats that contain high histamines and tyramines( for those sensitive)

 Non starchy vegetables:

(Eat liberally)

(3+ times per day)

Peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, onions, garlic, collard greens, okra, green beans, eggplant, celery, lettuce, tomato etc.

Next up the pyramid we have whole fruits which are amazing and are okay being eaten every day depending on the place we find ourselves and how good our blood sugar regulation is.

 Whole fruits:

(Careful with overdoing because of fast sugars)

(3-7 times per week)

Banana, currant, grape, guava, kiwi, litchi, mango, papaya, apple, avocado, berries, date, fig, persimmon, pomegranate, apricot, cherry, pineapple, plum, peach, grapefruit(careful with medications), lemon, lime, orange, watermelon, honeydew etc.

 To avoid: 

All processed and refined fruit products like packaged juices.

Next is healthy fats and oils which can be used wherever palatable and liberally as long as you don’t have gallbladder or fat digestion issues.

Fat is good, saturated fat is good and the sources of the fat are crucial despite the decade of fat demonization and low fat craze that did nothing for our health.

Avoid all refined oils and low quality fats that are not organic, pastured or wild.

 Healthy fats and oils:

(To tolerance)

(1-3 times per day)

Extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin avocado oil, walnut, macadamia, coconut and oils made by low temperature manufacturers like Omega nutrition, Flora Inc, Rapunzel, Dr. Bronners etc.

 Other good fats include: 

Butter, ghee, tallow, suet, lard, duck fat etc.

 To avoid:

Vegetable oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, any hydrogenated oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil etc.

These oils are toxic waste products and should not be eaten by anyone, especially a migraine sufferer.(They are largely over sprayed and processed)

Next we have starchy vegetables which we should show some restriction with and only eat 2-5 times a week as they have a fair amount of carbohydrates and don’t digest well with proteins.

Again depending on your blood sugar, hormones and gut(and many other factors) this can change but they can be easily overdone.

 Starchy vegetables:

(3-6 times per week)

Carrot, beet, potato, yam, yucca, corn, parsnips, plantain, pumpkin, taro, winter squash etc.

Next on the list is legumes, these are similar to starchy vegetables in that they contain complex carbohydrates so they shouldn’t be overdone and using methods like soaking and sprouting help reduce some of the legumes natural protection against digestion.

 Legumes:

(Except soy)

(1-4 times per week)

Butter bean, haricot, cannellini, red kidney, adzuki, chickpea, pea, lentil etc.

 To avoid:

Soybean(and all its products)

Next on the list we have full fat dairy.

This is particularly different from most milks in regular stores because it is whole milk. Whole and complete. Not altered by manufacturing, raised in natural conditions fed a grain free diet.

If you have to worry about your raw dairy source being contaminated with pathogens, you are buying from the wrong sources.

Of course dairy is one of the highest migraine trigger foods and this should be taken into account. Most of the population is said to be unable to properly digest dairy because of the lack of curdling ability and enzymes that get lost after the age of breastfeeding.

“Casein is the primary protein in dairy. It shares structural similarities with gluten, a highly problematic grain protein that can shred the intestinal lining and lead to severe auto-immune issues.”(1)

 Whole Milk Products:

(0-2 times per week)

Cow’s Milk(Goat milk is better), cheeses, sour cream, kefir, butter, buttermilk, curd, yogurt, ghee, ice cream etc.

 To avoid:

Processed, pasteurized, conventionally raised milk, milk products or milk derivatives etc.

Next we are getting a little nutty but be careful because nuts and seeds contain lots of PUFA’s which can be inflammatory and exacerbate gut issues as well.

When we choose nuts and seeds we want to make sure we are getting them raw from good quality sources so that mold does not form in the drying process like it does with peanuts(actually a legume) and pistachios which makes them more likely to need to steer clear of while healing.

Remember to “soak your nuts” as it helps remove the phytic acid which blocks absorption of nutrients and prevents digestion.

Remember nuts are great sources of fat that in moderation, can help regulate blood sugar levels.

 Nuts and seeds:

(Eat sparingly 1-5 times per week)

Almond, cashew, macadamia, hemp seed, hazelnut, coconut, poppy , brazil nut, pecan, walnut, sesame, cocoa, chia, water chestnut etc.

 To Limit:

Peanut, pistachio

Next on the list we have one that really rustles peoples jimmies. Grains.

One reason is because grains are found in all processed and packaged foods. The other is because that’s all many people know how to cook.

Even with both of these reasons, you don’t need grains and often times grains can create many more problems than they are worth.

They’re not very nutritious and come with protective chemicals that prevent digestion and absorption of minerals like phytic acid.

That along with having lots of carbohydrates that fragile migraine brains just do not need.

Again, (and I’m really trying to drive this home) it all depends on your individual self and your body’s reaction to foods. If you’re still getting chronic migraines, change what you eat.

There’s a reason our ancestors soured their breads and grains, it helped pre digest them. So if you can, at least soak them, sprout them if you can and definitely try ferments.

For grains and grain alternatives go here

 Grains:

(Limit 1-6 times per month)

Teff, oats(certified gluten free), wild rice/quinoa (technically not grains), amaranth, buckwheat

 To limit:

Corn, wheat(and other gluten containing grains), millet, barley, rye, couscous etc.

 

Then we come to mushrooms.

Mushrooms are great, unless your vitality is low enough that you present with chronic disease.(Often)

Oftentimes mushrooms will end up feeding many of the bad guys that make our bodies worse.

But not always, because, that’s right you guessed it, it depends.

Medicinal mushrooms are amazing sources of adaptogens and can help us overcome chronic disease as well, so just be careful with them.

Mushrooms:

(Sparingly 1-6 times per month)

Chaga, lion’s mane, maitake, reishi, shiitake, chanterelle, morels, truffles etc.

Now for the good stuff.

What exactly are “healthy sweets”

Well, it depends on your body and how much room you have to play with. 

But we’re going to stick to the basics and create a baseline to understand healthy sweets.

A healthy sweet is a whole food that contains simple sugars which make it sweet.

Just because a can of pop has 30g of sugar and a 100 gram serving of dates has 63g of sugar, does not make it worse than the pop.

Unless you have diabetes and a sensitivity to dates…

There’s always some wiggle room in any statement but the point here is that a whole food which means any food that comes from nature and is unprocessed contains what we call nutrient complexes.

A nutrient complex has carbohydrates, fats, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, cofactors, minerals etc.

Whereas when a single nutrient is isolated into crystal form like sugar, it becomes one single chemical and completely devoid of all nutritional value other than its calories with the example of sugar.

This creates huge problems when it comes to absorption and use by the body because the body needs some nutrients to make use of others. For example, some vitamins are much more readily absorbed when taken with a healthy fat source.

This is where the term “4 white devils” came from describing table salt, white flour, pasteurized milk and white sugar.

With all that said, we are going to focus on what you can use to create healthy sweets. If its packaged… beware.

So let’s get on with it.

 Healthy Sweets:

(1-7 days per week in small amounts)

Raw honey, stevia leaf powder, blackstrap molasses, whole fruits, yacon syrup

Be really careful with:

Maple syrup, dates, juiced blended and cooked fruits

 To Avoid:

Aspartame (Equal, nutrasweet, natrataste blue), sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame k (Ace k, sunette, equal spoonful, sweet one, sweet ‘n safe), saccharin (Sweet ‘n low, sweet twin), xylitol, sorbitol

Next up we have an odd category not usually seen on food pyramids but it’s important.

The same way we classify things like alcohol and cigarettes as a drug, we need to do with all chemicals we use in a recreational manner that has negative consequences.

Sugar has been shown to be one of the most addictive substances known to man and its addictive properties equal to that of cocaine and heroin, even lighting up the same areas of the brain as drug abuse.

Just try not having any carbohydrates for 10 days, you will go into serious withdrawal.

But not because your body cannot function without it.

Because we can use fat for fuel when there is no sugar.

And in times of fasting that’s exactly what our bodies do.

And it’s incredibly restorative and healing, if we aren’t chronically sick and cannot handle the change.

But that’s another story. What’s important is that we need to recognize these foods that we eat provide no nutrition to us, they are simply empty calories and usually full of highly disruptive chemicals that take more resources from us than they give.

So these are exactly the same as things like alcohol and cigarettes… We use them to “feel good” and for recreation. But they should be only that, not any kind of staple.

And in chronic disease like chronic migraines, be very careful with how recreational you’re feeling and if your body can take the stress.

 Recreational drugs:

(0-10 times per month)

Sugar, cookies, alcohol, candy, cakes etc.

To avoid:

The above when healing

Next on the list we have a very small category not because its bad, but because we use very small amounts of them.

Herbs/spices/extracts are amazing for adding flavor, healing properties and variety to our meals and protocols.

We just don’t use a very large quantity of them so there is no base amount. 

Of course as with everything else, watch out for preservatives, additives and poor quality products(like oils)

Find reputable brands that have actually been tested to contain what they say they do.

The list of these is too numerous to type out and we all know what they are so just make sure you play around with them and use them in diet and life for your own health and support. 

One of the easiest things to do is play around with different types of flavor to help you find what the actual flavor is that brings you to satiety. Often it’s not amount.

And last but definitely one of the least we have soy. 

Avoid it as an additive in anything such as under the name soy lecithin which is very common in all processed and packaged foods.

If you have hormonal issues, avoid consumption as well.

If absolutely necessary, when eating soy, only eat fermented and organic versions such as:

Tamari, miso, natto, tempeh

 

Again, remember it  comes down to your ancestry, stress load and illness on how the different ratios of foods will affect you.

For example some people will not tolerate carbohydrates because of illness or not be able to process fats effectively without a gallbladder etc.

So that’s it!

Well… 

Not really.

Food is always developing(so are our bodies) and I’m sure there is more I could add in here but this is the foundation for all health!

To make this easier to remember and to offer more information(and possibly a Q&A) we hold regular presentations which you can sign up for with this link.

Disagree? Let me know in the comments below

The FREE 5 Most Common Mistakes Of Hormonal Migraines E-Guide teaches you:

– Why hormones are the most important focus around why your migraines and headaches keep triggering

– How PMS is common but NOT normal and why it needs to be addressed to be pain free in the long term

– The 5 most common mistakes why hormones stay broken, why so many women become migraine free with pregnancy and why birth control is not a solution