Suffering from migraine? These tips may help you

By Anju T K, Intern Reporter
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According to a new study, eating a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids lessens the frequency and severity of monthly migraine attacks.

Omega-3s and omega-6s are both considered essential fatty acids, which are required for good health and must be taken from the diet because our bodies cannot produce them. Humans used to ingest about equal amounts of both fatty acids.

However, omega-6 fats are now found in considerably higher proportions in the usual American diet. Some health experts consider this as a positive: many studies have revealed that omega-6 fats found in vegetable oils and other high sources of omega-6 fats are favorable to cardiovascular health.

Others say that this is problematic since omega-6 fats have been proven to induce pain and inflammation, whilst omega-3 fats have been shown in tests to have the opposite impact, reducing pain and inflammation.

As per the study, 181 other people who suffer from migraine headaches on a regular basis took part in a research experiment sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to see if a particular diet could alleviate their frequent headaches.


People were assigned to follow a diet that emphasized foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as the oils present in some fish, while restricting foods high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as many vegetable oils.

The advantages of a dietary shift were striking: Headaches had almost vanished after a few months of increasing their fish consumption and eliminating numerous popular vegetable oils. People who followed the new diet also had fewer headaches.

Dr. Christopher E. Ramsden, the lead author of the study and a clinical investigator in the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, said that the findings suggest that dietary changes could be a useful complement to existing treatments for chronic pain. “Many people with chronic pain continue to suffer despite taking medication. I think this is something that could be integrated with other treatments to enhance their quality of life and reduce their pain,” Dr. Ramsden remarked.

Further, People increasingly make a point of consuming foods like cod, tuna, sardines, spinach salads, hummus, and avocados, as well as cooking with olive oil rather than maize, soybean, or canola oils.

However, the research shows that the appropriate diet can benefit certain people who suffer from regular migraine attacks by reducing the quantity and severity of their headaches.

Related: Eating plant-based food may lower heart disease risk in adults & old women