Even though there isn’t one simple solution to prevent migraines, there is a balance that, when achieved in your diet, can lessen or prevent your migraine. It takes diligence and hard work to maintain.
Most foods do not intrinsically contain the right ratio of nutrients to support the brain’s electrical activity and the body’s hydration. To stay healthy and prevent or lessen migraines in accordance with the Stanton Migraine Protocol®, you should start by trying to maintain the ratio of 2 portions of potassium for every 1.5 portions of sodium for the foods in your diet. Most migraineurs feel their best at a 1:1 ratio of potassium and sodium, but starting at a 2:1.5 ratio and slowly working upwards is the best method to find the right ratio for you.
Having sodium and potassium in the right proportions are crucial to achieving Electrolyte Homeostasis and supplying your brain with the nutrients it needs to stop or ease a migraine. We know that when cells in the body do not have the proper balance of nutrients (when they lack Electrolyte Homeostasis), this is what triggers migraines. Read more about how biochemical imbalances cause migraines here.
When it comes to migraine prevention, balance is everything. Since eating is how we supply ourselves with nutrients, it’s important to make our food choices based on what will provide us with the right ratio for Electrolyte Homeostasis. Not too many of us check—let alone memorize–the nutrition facts in the foods we eat. That’s why it’s a great strategy as a migraineur to write down what you eat throughout the day and document the potassium and sodium content.
Most foods don’t have the perfect ratio of potassium and sodium that migraineurs need to stay migraine-free, so the key is a calculated balance. For example, if you’ve eaten a lot of salty foods in a day, look for a healthy dose of potassium-rich foods to counterbalance it. Remember, you need almost two times as much potassium as you do sodium.
When you feel a migraine coming on, though, there are some foods that contain the ideal ratio of potassium to sodium that you should look for—it could prevent your migraine altogether! The foods below contain the right ratio of potassium and sodium. Hint: your grandma’s chicken noodle soup might really be one solution…
- 2% milk (1 cup): 342 mg potassium, 115 mg sodium
- 1% milk (1 cup): 366 mg potassium, 107 mg sodium
- Whole milk (1 cup): 322 mg potassium, 105 mg sodium
- Skim milk (1 cup): 382 mg potassium, 103 mg sodium
- Homemade chicken noodle soup (1 cup): 200-700 mg potassium, 343-860 mg sodium
- Tip: Make a big batch, separate out single portions, and freeze them individually to reheat when you notice a migraine coming.
- Roasted salted pistachios: 1007 mg potassium, 428 mg sodium
- Avocado (Florida or California): 975 mg potassium, 14 mg sodium
- These lack sodium for the right ratio, so eat with a salty dressing.
- Shrimp and other crustaceans (raw, 100 g): 264 mg potassium, 119 mg sodium
- Chicken (raw, 100 g): 189 mg potassium, 70 mg sodium
Since you likely will not strictly eat the foods from the above list, you can take supplements to maintain the right ratio of potassium and sodium. Our electrolyte supplement contains the right proportions of sodium, potassium, and iodine for cell exchange and proper hydration.