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4 Eating Habits That Help You Relieve Annoying Migraines

4 Eating Habits That Help You Relieve Annoying Migraines

Migraine can change your brain

Migraine suffers know what real agony is. Besides the excruciating, pounding headaches, victims must endure the nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound that most often accompany these headaches. All productivity ceases. To make matters worse, a new study discovered that migraines—specifically ones with aura—can permanently alter the structure of your brain.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that those who had migraines with aura showed a 68% increased risk of white matter brain lesions, compared with those who did not have migraines. This terrifying figure prompts us to face the problem of migraine squarely.

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Only relying on migraine drugs may backfire

Taking drugs or painkillers is the usual way to deal with annoying migraines. However, most medications available in the market come with side effects, making the dilemma that much harder. In a recent study published by the journal Headache, two-third of the subjects reported symptoms like sleepiness, fatigue, racing heartbeat and difficulty thinking after taking prescribed medications. So is there a more effective way to relieve migraines than taking drugs? I am glad you asked.

The all-natural solution to preventing most migraines begins with your diet. Learning how to relieve and prevent migraines via your diet involves paying closer attention to what you consume and making a few simple lifestyle changes.

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1. Be careful with foods with hormones

Be careful when choosing meats–especially beef and dairy products that contain hormones. Try to choose organic, fresh cuts of meat and avoid phosphoproteins. A group of phosphoproteins in milk called “casein,” which comprises nearly 80 percent of all the protein in milk, is a major trigger of migraines and other types of headaches. Doctors often seek to eliminate all sources of casein in a migraine patient’s diet. It is commonly listed as “sodium caseinate”, “calcium caseinate” or “milk protein” on many food labels.

2. Avoid foods loaded with simple carbs and processed sugar

Reactive hyperglycemia or a spike in glucose in the bloodstream occurring after you eat has been deemed one of the most surprising causes of migraines according to CNN Health. Excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates such as white sugar and pasta, can cause migraines. When you eat simple carbs, your blood sugar rises and your body then produces extra insulin to break down the sugar. This causes your blood sugar levels to drop dramatically. That spike and plummet of blood sugar can lead to headaches.

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3. Stay hydrated but avoid stimulating drinks

It is common knowledge that dehydration can cause headaches and greatly exacerbates the condition in those who frequently experience migraines. Practitioners recommend that you drink plenty of hydrating fluids- especially water- and limit the amount of alcohol consumed. They also warn that you should avoid large amounts of tea, coffee, soda, and other beverages containing copious amounts of sugar and caffeine which can be triggers.

4. Consume cold food and beverages slowly

Ah yes…the dreaded brain freeze. We’ve all experienced it. It turns out that it is an actual medical condition. It’s called a “cold stimulus headache.” It is characterized by pain in the middle of the forehead or behind the eyes and nose lasting for less than five minutes after rapidly consuming cold food or drink. What’s even more surprising is that some researchers believe that this phenomenon can actually trigger a migraine, so try to take it slow or drink your beverages with less ice.

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Research is definitive; migraine sufferers are more likely to have changes in their brains than are people who didn’t have migraines. By making a few simple dietary changes and being cognizant of your eating habits, you can greatly reduce the number of migraines experienced and minimize changes to the brain.

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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