Friday, 7 July 2017

Foods you should and shouldn't eat if you want to avoid migraines

foods you should and shouldn't eat if you want to avoid daily ailments

In todays world health is a real buzz word and everywhere you go you can't avoid the latest spill from experts. Food is a massive part of keeping healthy and you can't fail to see the articles that say you can't eat this or you shouldn't eat that. It can all seem quite overwhelming and leave you wondering if there's any truth in all the talk. Whilst I wouldn't believe everything I read - and everything in moderation is always a good idea - some foods can certainly help or exacerbate a daily ailment.

If you suffer from PMS
Premenstrual syndrome or PMS as its commonly known is a woman's nightmare. Aching boobs, erratic mood swings, cramps and bloating are no fun and can make you a nightmare to be around one week every month. If you eat a normal, balanced diet with limited junk food you're less likely to suffer with PMS as your body has the right elements it needs to run efficiently. As well as keeping to a regular diet there's other ways you can help alleviate PMS.

bright berries can reduce pms symptoms

Add to your diet

  • Bright spices and berries - Products like Turmeric and blueberries have been found to fight inflammation which can help to reduce the symptoms of PMS. 
  • Dairy - calcium is not just good for your bones, it can help with PMS too. Scientists found that women who have high calcium levels in their diet rarely suffered with PMS. Try to consume it as naturally you can - for example drink a glass or milk or have a few chunks of cheese.


  • Alcohol - Alcohol as you probably know is the root of all evil - if drunk in excess of course. It can mess with your blood sugar levels and this can lead to low energy. Alcohol can also play a part in reducing your B vitamins which are vital in the production of serotonin which can help regulate your mood. Progesterone metabolism can also be affected.

Acid reflux
Heartburn may be fairly common - but that uncomfortable burning sensation is no one's ideas of fun. Heartburn is typically caused by a raise of pressure in your stomach, which is why those who are pregnant regularly suffer from it. So what should you be eating to avoid it?

Add to your diet

  • Sugar free gum - Chewing gum helps to increase the production of alkaline saliva which will neutralise the acid in your stomach. 

avoid mint tea if you want to avoid heartburn


  • Mint tea - by drinking peppermint tea you're stopping the effective release of acid from your stomach. 
  • Spicy foods, tomatoes and oranges - acidic foods don't necessarily cause more acid, but they can aggravate inflamed tissue making your heartburn worse. 

Poor sleep
If you've tried every sleep remedy possible and you still can't sleep it's incredibly frustrating. Don't despair just yet there's a simple way to get a better night's sleep by adjusting your diet.

add oily fish to your diet for a better nights sleep

Add to your diet

  • Salmon - Oily fish is great for poor sleep as the DHA found in Omega-3 fats helps with the release of melatonin which will help lower anxiety and allow your mind to relax. 
  • Cherry juice - the pure stuff is also great at raising melatonin helping your mind to relax. Trials showed that if you drank it in the morning and two hours before bed sleep was increased by 90 minutes.


  • Junk food - Junk foods are low in fibre and high in sugar and fat which your body finds hard to break down effectively. The combination of higher sugar and fat causes your body to drop in energy and increase your stress hormones which will in turn have an effect on your mind.

Suffering from low energy
If you find yourself struggling to get through the day - and dreaming of a nap at 3pm - then your body is probably not getting the essentials it needs to function. If you're not skipping meals and you're getting enough water, your diet may be lacking vital iron and Vitamin B. This is what you should and shouldn't be eating.

if you're suffering from low energy eat steak

Add to your diet

  • Steak - One of the most common causes of fatigue is low iron levels and red meat is one of the easiest - and the tastiest- ways of increasing your iron.  Try to eat red meat at least three times a week.   
  • Beetroot juice - if you're a vegetarian or vegan then you're obviously not going to be sticking steaks on your shopping list. Why not try beetroot juice, the plant is full of iron and is great if you're suffering from anemia. Try Beet it (£19.66 for 15 packs at Amazon).


  • Energy drinks - they're may be marketed as a way to increase your energy - but what they actually do is increase your insulin levels, flushing your body with an unnaturally large release of energy. Your body can't sustain this and your natural energy levels are stripped. This will lead to a slump and leave you feeling worse than before. 

Irritable bowel syndrome
If you suffer regularly from bloating, abdominal cramps or diarrhea you might actually have Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is no strict way to treat IBS and it's often diagnosed when other bowel conditions such as colitis are ruled out. There are however some ways you can change your diet to help reduce the effects of IBS.  
eat mushrooms to alleviate ibs symptoms

Add to your diet

  • Mushrooms - Mushrooms that are rich in Vitamin D can help to reduce the signs of IBS. Scientist have found that those lacking in Vitamin D suffer more strongly with IBs symptoms. Don't worry you don't need to start incorporating mushrooms into everything you eat - you can buy Vitamin D in capsule form (£14.15 for 60 capsules on Amazon). 


  • Fodmaps - it sounds complicated but fodmaps stands for fermentable carbohydrates. Gut bacteria can feed on fodmaps which can lead to uncomfortable bloating. Unfortunately fodmaps are in pretty much everything but there is a app that can help to distinguish what ones cause your  body the most irritation. Search for Fodmap by FM to download the app.

If you suffer from migraines you probably go a little mad inside when people refer to them as a 'headache'.  Migraines are caused by the blood vessels in the brain dilating suddenly. Foods like chocolate, red wine and cheese are common culprits but other foods can also make migraines flare up.

Add to your diet

  • Leafy greens, nuts and seeds - It's been found that a magnesium deficiency can lead to migraines. Foods that are rich in magnesium include leafy greens like spinach or pumpkin seeds. If you're not sure on your greens you could always chuck them in with your favourite fruit and create a delicious smoothie.


  • Yoghurt and cheese - whilst dairy is great for the gut it's not so kind on those who suffer with migraines. They're full of histamine which can trigger migraines.
  • Cured meat or leftovers - Another food that is full of histamine is left over meat where bacteria has started to ferment. If you're a sufferer it's best to avoid that day old chicken.


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