Migraines can't be cured with a couple ibuprofen. They're all but full impossible to stop once they start, with sensory sensitivity, nausea, blurred vision, and more compounding the pain. But these 11 easy recipes that prevent migraines can help you stave off the mother of all headaches before it even comes.
In this case, prevention really means that these recipes don't include any foods that are known to trigger migraines, which there are actually a lot of. Dr. Teshamae Monteith, a member of the American Academy of Neurology, lists these as examples: alcohol (specifically red wine), high-nitrate-containing processed meats (hot dogs, cold cuts, cured meats), aged cheese, chocolate, MSG, artificial sweeteners, citrus, nuts, and spicy or salty food. Anita Mirchandani, M.S. R.D. C.D.N, a clinical nutritionist and registered dietician, adds that excess caffeine, sugar, and additives should be avoided as well if you suffer from migraines.
That might seem like an intimidatingly long list of foods to avoid, but it's not impossible. Both experts recommend a diet full of whole grains and veggies to give your body the nutrients it needs to stay in tip-top shape and to keep migraines at bay. Specifically, foods that are particularly hydrating are important, as dehydration is a common cause of headaches, according to Mirchandani.
But it's important to note that "migraines are caused by underlying issues such as dehydration or hormonal changes, or some people are more prone to them," Mirchandani explains. One cannot simply state that the foods listed above will cause a migraine because every body responds differently to different foods. What's most important is for you to get to know your own body to nail down what hurts and helps you, as that will give you a better chance of prevention.
The following recipes won't cure your migraines by any means, but they're full of ingredients known to be beneficial to migraine sufferers.
1. Carrot Ginger Soup
Got 20 minutes and a bag of carrots? Then you're pretty much ready to make Healthy Happy Life's carrot ginger soup, which only requires four ingredients. The orange veggie base is good for your noggin, and you can add maple syrup (shout out to natural sweeteners) for flavor and even more migraine prevention. It's a no-brainer.
Heads up, if you are going to use maple syrup to curb your sweetness cravings, make sure you get one that is labeled 100% pure. The Migraine Research Foundation lists artificial sweeteners as one of the most common triggers for sufferers, so ensuring you use natural sweeteners in moderation can benefit you.
2. Cucumber Sorghum Salad
Naturally Ella offers a fresh take on the classic cucumber salad with this sorghum recipe that will be refreshing on a mundane weeknight. The site warns that sorghum cooks a bit longer than some grains, so it's best to prepare this one in advance.
3. Honey Mint Melon Salad
I love this honey mint melon salad, courtesy of Wholefully, as the answer to your sweet-tooth cravings instead of migraine-inducers like chocolate. The combination of mint and fresh melon will totally fulfill your needs, and the cute melon balls make it a great option for a party dish.
4. Dairy-Free Cream of Asparagus Soup with Coconut Collagen Drizzle
This soup, courtesy of Feed Me Phoebe, relies on asparagus and fennel for its main flavor, but the additions of coconut milk, lemon, and parsley will keep you on your toes.
5. Spaghetti Squash
Literally all you need to make Love and Lemons' fresh squash-based alternative is squash, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Bam.
6. Vegan Twice Baked Faux-Tatoes
The name of this recipe ("faux-tatoes") from Oatmeal With A Fork is a bit misleading, because there is a baked potato in there. But the name comes from the fact that the recipe calls for you to scoop out the inside of a baked potato and to fill the shell with a cauliflower mixture instead. Coconut oil and nutritional yeast will make you feel like you're tasting butter and cheese, without the migraine-inducing after effects.
7. Vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Sub in gluten-free shells — gluten may trigger migraines in some people, according to Healthline — to these vegan sweet potato quesadillas, courtesy of Pickles and Honey, and you'll have a brain-friendly meal that the whole fam will love. You might want to skip the onions if you're being extra cautious, as Cleveland Clinic reported that some people have claimed that it triggers their headaches.
8. Roasted Sweet Mini Peppers And Asparagus
The key to this recipe from Tori Avey is simplicity, as you'll only need 10 minutes of prep to throw it together. The finished product will give you a sweet veggie mix that's as comforting as it is colorful.
9. Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Peas, and Basil Vinaigrette
Courtesy of Two Peas And Their Pod, this recipe is basically a green veggies bonanza, so your brain will be as happy as your tastebuds after you finish the dish. The mix of zucchini, asparagus, peas, and yummy balsamic vinegar will refresh you.
10. Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Carrots
If you're a Brussels sprouts fan, here's a nicely balanced dish made up of veggies, maple syrup, and dried cranberries. The recipe is courtesy of Damn Delicious, and you'll want to make this all the time — not just around Thanksgiving.
11. Snap Pea Radish Slaw
Making Thyme For Health's snap pea radish slaw is great because of its versatility. The combination of snap peas, radishes, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar will give you a tangy dish that can work as a side or an easy afternoon snack to have waiting in the fridge for when the kids get home from school. Pro-tip: this one is best the day you make it, so prep it in the morning rather than the night before.