Meat for migraines? Say what? But, if you’re really looking to banish your migraine woes like me, you might want to consider switching up your diet to an animal-based diet —think Paleo, Keto, or Carnivore diet. Meat-based diets are becoming increasingly popular for their many health benefits, with individuals completely reversing type 2 diabetes, healing from autoimmune diseases, and weight loss!
But how can cutting out certain food groups help with migraines? Let’s take a closer look at why an animal-based diet might be your ticket to migraine relief.
- 1. You Might Find Trigger Foods More Easily Eating Animal Foods?
- 2. You’ll Get More Nutrients from Whole Foods (And Maybe Ditch the Plant-Based foods?)
- 3. You Could Reduce Inflammation in Your Body Going Animal-Based
- 4. Weight Loss Can Help Reduce Migraine Severity
- 5. It’s Easier To Stay Hydrated on Animal-Based Diets
- 6. Improved Digestion Can Lead To Reduced Pain
- 7 Improved Sleep Quality Can Lead To Fewer Migraine Attacks
- The Wrap – Try an Animal-Based Diet?
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1. You Might Find Trigger Foods More Easily Eating Animal Foods?
Animal-based diets cut out several major triggering food groups, such as grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, known to have the most plant toxins. (Examples include: potatoes, tomatoes, kale, spinach, strawberries, nectarines, etc.)
The plant foods we consume contain enough chemicals to kill insects and other small animals to keep the plant growing strong and protect itself. While this isn’t enough of a toxic load to kill a human, many sensitive peeps like migraineurs have reactions that wreak havoc on our entire systems.
That means that if you’re prone to migraines from eating certain foods, it’s much easier to identify the trigger foods when they are completely eliminated from your diet. Plus, by removing potential allergens like gluten and histamines, you can reduce inflammation without having to guess which foods could be causing the issue.
Note: When you go animal-based, you can still go slowly without eliminating all non-animals from day one! You’ll have much better success rates if you do what I call the ‘Reverse Elimination Diet’. I start by adding all the nourishing grass fed meats, than slowly start dropping away problem-child foods 🙂
2. You’ll Get More Nutrients from Whole Foods (And Maybe Ditch the Plant-Based foods?)
Animal-based diets focus on whole foods and real ingredients that are packed with nutrients to provide energy and aid in digestion. Beef, fish, poultry, eggs, (some dairy if you can tolerate it) all have a superior nutrient profile compared to plants, and plant-based diets.
Also, by avoiding processed foods and extra sugar, these diets keep blood sugar levels steady and eliminate those sugar highs and lows that can trigger migraines in some people. (Note: Migraineurs are almost all glucose sensitive!)
Ok, Ok… Now, you might have heard that red meats are taboo (or could even trigger migraine!) But hear me out! Eating all-natural grass-fed beef can actually reduce headaches and migraine pain. Plus, red meat is one of the highest sources of biological protein, B vitamins, CoQ10, niacin, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. (And… Both B2 and CoQ10 are proven sources of reduced migraine frequency)
My neurologists put me on CoQ10 and B Vitamin supplements 20+ years ago! This is not new news, but supplements are not absorbed the same by the body as real food! And no matter how much you take, you still need to get most of these beneficial migraine nutrients from meat!
So go ahead, treat yourself to this mouthwatering flank steak tonight for optimal health!
3. You Could Reduce Inflammation in Your Body Going Animal-Based
Inflammation is one of the primary causes of migraine attacks and diseases in general. On an animal-based diet, you will consume more anti-inflammatory fatty acids like omega 3s while reducing sources of inflammation like processed food, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats like trans fats or vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids (which can cause inflammation).
Again, we can be popping that fish oil to get our omega 3’s, but getting our vitamins naturally from food has the most significant impact.
According to a National Institute of Health Study, chronic head and migraine sufferers who increased their omega-3 fatty acids (while reducing omega-6’s) saw few headaches, less stress, and overall improvement in their well-being
So, grab the salmon for your next meal! Just make sure it’s wild-caught 🙂
Finally, decreasing our inflammation helps reduce the severity of our migraines over time by balancing out hormones in the body naturally rather than relying on medication alone.
4. Weight Loss Can Help Reduce Migraine Severity
Weight loss is one of the main goals of animal-based diets such as paleo, keto, or carnivore because they focus on healthy eating patterns rather than calorie restriction or fads.
Research suggests a direct relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) and migraine frequency and severity. Losing excess weight reduces tension on nerves throughout the body, which helps relieve migraine pain significantly over time while also helping maintain overall health and well-being.
By removing carbs, sugars, and processed foods through an animal-based diet, individuals often lose weight which, in turn, helps to alleviate head pain and migraine. (And provide more energy to move more!)
5. It’s Easier To Stay Hydrated on Animal-Based Diets
It’s long been known that water plays a big role in preventing migraines since dehydration can lead to headaches and migraines. (Even for individuals who aren’t prone to migraines!)
Low water intake levels or electrolyte imbalances due to excessive sweating disrupt our electrolyte balance and influence how much our (or how hard) blood is circulating in the body. Migraineurs often have low blood volume and need much more sodium than others.
Animal-based diets focus heavily on salt & sodium intake – which migraine sufferers desperately need! Plus, increasing your healthy fats help retain water within cells for extended periods. Hence, it is easier than ever before to stay properly hydrated!
Of course, keep the water coming! Dr. Stanton, of the Stanton Migraine Protocol, recommends drinking 8oz with salt every two hours, per day. And then, of course, sodium-salty meats at meals!
I’ve been using LMNT Electrolytes daily –which has personally made a HUGE difference for me!
I’ve been taking these electrolytes for years! Made with the Keto Diet in mind, these have NO sugar and only 1 carb per package.
6. Improved Digestion Can Lead To Reduced Pain
Improved digestion is another benefit of animal-based diets since they eliminate processed foods and added sugars which we know can lead to digestive discomfort. This gut pain has been linked directly with increased frequency and severity of migraine episodes, so avoiding digestive distress will help prevent them from occurring regularly!
Wait, isn’t it hard to digest meat? Not really. Contrary to popular belief, meat doesn’t sit and rot in your gut! The beef actually leaves the stomach in about 2-3 hours and is fully digested in about 4-6 hours. Our digestive systems are made to eat animal foods quite well because it’s designed to get a wide range of nutrients from animal-based foods!
Still struggling with digestion? Look into digestive enzymes! I’ve been using this one that’s helped me during my transition to animal foods:
Pure Encapsulations Betaine HCl Pepsin | Digestive Enzyme Supplement. Buy on Amazon!
Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes
The digestive enzymes I take with every meal! Great for those transitioning to an animal-based diet.
Plus, improved digestion also leads to better absorption of nutrients – leading directly towards improved overall nutrition, health & well-being! Win-win!
7 Improved Sleep Quality Can Lead To Fewer Migraine Attacks
Sleep quality plays a massive role in determining how often someone experiences migraines (or poor health in general!) Negative sleep quality has been linked with higher frequency & severity of migraine attacks. While conversely, improved sleep quality has been associated with fewer occurrences & reduced pain levels related to migraine headaches.
Animal-based diets help improve sleep quality due to their focus on nutrient-dense whole foods, which provide all the essential vitamins & minerals necessary for a good restful night’s rest! Many ketovore/carnivore dieters have found that they also have deeper and uninterrupted sleep.
Migraineurs tend to have sleeping disorders and less deep sleep than the rest of the population because of their overactive and always on brains! Try some milk before bed – there just might be something to it!
(Note: If you can tolerate it, milk is also an excellent choice for those suffering from migraines before hitting the sack. It helps stabilize blood sugar (just enough carbs to avoid a crash overnight), and it so balances electrolytes since it’s equal in both sodium and potassium.)
The Wrap – Try an Animal-Based Diet?
Eating an animal-based diet isn’t just a trend — it’s actually good for your health, healing, and overall well-being! Not only does it make it easier to identify trigger foods that may be causing your headaches, but it also helps reduce inflammation, encourage weight loss, improve digestion & increase hydration levels, all leading to improved sleep quality, which ultimately results in fewer migraine attacks overall!
So what are you waiting for?
Give animal-based diets a try today for some much-needed relief from chronic migraines! Let me know how you’re doing and if meat is helping your management of migraines! 🙂 (I really want to know!)
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