Do bananas help migraines?

Do bananas help migraines


The yellow fruit, which is among the most widely consumed all across the world, apart from being a quick and filling snack, is also rich in many nutrients and minerals. But do bananas help migraines? Yes, bananas do help in migraines. Bananas are a good source of manganese, potassium and dietary fiber which are proven to be helpful in migraines.


Although, they combine many health benefits for people who consume bananas daily but little do people know that Bananas can also help people who frequently suffer from migraines. Bananas are rich in following vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin B6 - 0.5 mg
Manganese - 0.3 mg
Vitamin C - 9 mg
Potassium - 450 mg
Dietary Fiber - 3g
Protein - 1 g
Magnesium - 34 mg
Folate - 25.0 mcg
Riboflavin - 0.1 mg
Niacin - 0.8 mg
Vitamin A - 81 IU
Iron - 0.3 mg

What are Some Migraine Specific Nutrients Found in Bananas?

In earlier days, when somebody used to visit their physician complaining about the problem of recurring headaches, the doctor used to prescribe him aspirin.

However, with the advancement of technology, and new studies which have been conducted by the scientists, for example by the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society, based in San Diego, USA, have concluded that people who suffer from migraines may be deficient in one or more of the following vitamins and minerals:

1. Vitamin D
2. Riboflavin
3. Magnesium
4. Coenzyme Q10

These studies have led scientists to the conclusion that over the counter aspirin may not always be the solution to countering the effects of migraines. As a result, they have started recommending their patients, either supplement of the mentioned vitamins and minerals or healthy diets rich in them.

As mentioned above, bananas are rich in magnesium and also a good source of riboflavin. Scientists believe that having a banana can improve the functioning of the cell organelle mitochondria which is responsible for energy production in the cell.

Riboflavin is the vitamin which stimulates it. Also, an increasing number of migraines are a result of improper gut functioning, mainly due to inflammation. Bananas are a rich source of fiber, which helps reduce inflammation of the gut and in turn, leads to efficient gut functioning.

Do Bananas Help Migraines? - If Yes, How?

Taking forward the discussion from the previous paragraph, we know the deficiency of which vitamins and minerals are responsible for migraines and which of these are contained in bananas that make them a perfect and healthy option for combating migraines. We will take up each vitamin in detail below:

1.Magnesium: It is a very important mineral which is essential for the healthy functioning of the body. Its importance can be gauged from the fact that it is found in almost all our body tissues. However, mainly, it is found in the brain, muscles, and bones.

 According to Dr. Mark Hyman, who is a functional medicine expert, “Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency.”Thus, Magnesium is a major de-stressor. Apart from this, Magnesium also helps improve the quality of our sleep and can help people suffering from migraines.

In a paper by Drs. Mauskop and Varughese, titled “Why All Migraine Patients Should Be Treated With Magnesium,” it is concluded that Magnesium deficiency can promote cortical spreading depression which is the basic mechanism of migraines in the brain, which further contracts the blood vessels, and effects the functioning of Seratonin.

People who add bananas to their daily diet receive a good supply of Magnesium of the order of 34 mg, which helps in combating these effects.

2. Riboflavin: Vitamin B2, also widely known as Riboflavin, is an important vitamin which performs many important functions related to upkeep, repair, and development of cells. It helps in powering the various processes and improves the metabolism of fats and drugs.

 It is an important player in the efficient and proper functioning of the Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. Studies have suggested that people who suffer from migraines have their mitochondria’s functioning improperly.

2018 Migraine In America survey, which was carried out to determine the alternatives to aspirin to treat migraines, found out that 8 out of 10 people used alternative therapies. Also, a study conducted on 55 adults suffering from migraines was done in 1998.

The group was divided into two – One was given a Riboflavin supplement, and the other, a placebo pill. The study concluded that the group with a Riboflavin supplement showed a 50% reduction in migraine cases.

Bananas are an important source of Riboflavin. Thus, eating a banana helps fire up the mitochondrial region of the cell, which in turn reduces the occurrence of a headache. In other words, bananas are helpful in preventing migraines.


3.Dietary Fiber: Many people who have a migraine history, know that migraine attacks can cause an unhealthy gut but little do they know that an unhealthy gut can also be the reason for migraine attacks in people. Yes! It is true.

A new study has found that more than half of the people who were suffering from migraines, reported Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Apart from this, an inflammation gut can also be a cause of migraines in many people.

Besides, the gut is the region where Serotonin is formed. Serotonin, as earlier discussed, is a feel good and happy hormone which regulates the happiness level in individuals. Any alteration in this hormone may act as a trigger for migraines in people.

That said, Bananas are a rich source of dietary fiber, with one banana contributing up to 3 grams of fiber. This dietary fiber helps improve the functioning of the gut and helps prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and also reduces inflammation. Needless to say, it helps prevent recurring headaches.

Daily Consumption of Bananas for Maximum Benefit

We have already discussed the nutrient content of this healthy fruit and how it helps in preventing headaches. Now let us discuss how to make it an essential part of our daily diet. Bananas are the fourth largest cultivated fruits all over the world in terms of monetary value.

 Hence, they are easily available all-round the year. Green Bananas can be ripened easily in warmer temperature and Ripened bananas can be preserved for long by keeping them in the refrigerator. For migraines, it is suggested to make bananas an important part of the daily diet. They can be taken in the morning, mashed with the cereal, or as it is. Making banana a part of your daily diet will greatly help in reducing recurring headaches.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that bananas indeed play an important role in tackling migraines. This is because they contain some essential vitamins and minerals, deficiency of which is a trigger for severe migraines that some people face.

 Apart from tackling migraines, bananas are also rich in other minerals like Potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese and Iron. Needless to say, they are an overall package. Thus, if you suffer from a problem of recurring headaches, or are a health freak who likes to keep the body fit, add bananas to your daily diet and you will see the difference!

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