By Karen Appold
If you suffer from migraines and are looking for a way to prevent them, adding riboflavin, magnesium, and/or CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to your diet could make them less frequent.
Studies show that migraine sufferers who take 400 milligrams (mg) per day of riboflavin (vitamin B2) appear to get significantly less migraine headaches. Taking riboflavin does not seem to reduce the pain level or length of a migraine, however. In one study, people who took riboflavin had more than 50 percent fewer headaches.
Riboflavin is essential for the body’s energy production at the cell level. Some research suggests that migraine sufferers may have a genetic defect that inhibits their cells’ ability to maintain energy reserves. Insufficient energy could trigger migraines.
It can be difficult to consume enough riboflavin in your diet to prevent migraines. Foods that contain riboflavin include:
- brewer’s yeast
- enriched flour
- green vegetables
- organ meats
- wheat germ
- whole grains
- wild rice
Migraine sufferers often have lower magnesium levels than people who don’t get them. Several studies show that magnesium may reduce the frequency of migraines in individuals who have low magnesium levels. Some studies also suggest that magnesium may help women who get migraines along with their periods.
The body requires magnesium, a mineral, to sustain normal muscle and nerve function, maintain heart rhythm, keep a healthy immune system and develop strong bones. Magnesium is integral in at least 300 biochemical reactions.
Adding 200 to 600 mg of magnesium to your diet daily might help to prevent migraines. Magnesium can cause diarrhea, however. Take a lower amount if this is a problem.
Magnesium relaxes the arterial walls, which allow blood and oxygen to flow more freely. This helps to reduce stress, which is a huge migraine trigger.
Foods high in magnesium include:
- dark chocolate
- dried herbs
- dark green vegetables
- nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews)
- seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
- whole grains
Studies suggest that CoQ10 may help to reduce the number of migraine attacks. One study showed that individuals who took CoQ10 got 50 percent less migraines.
CoQ10 helps to create energy inside the body’s cells. Low energy production can result in migraines.
Take up to 300 mg of CoQ10 daily to prevent migraines, in two or three doses.
Don’t take CoQ10 if you have bleeding disorders or diabetes, or are using blood thinners. CoQ10 can alter how your blood clots and change blood sugar metabolism.
Foods containing CoQ10 include: