For anyone whose experienced them, migraines can ruin your day. The pain is so extreme, that it often leads to nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound. This is the reason that most people with migraines just want to crawl into a dark place and be left alone until it subsides.
Unfortunately, migraines are experienced more often by women than men – over 85% of chronic sufferers are female (1). But this doesn’t mean that something can’t be done about migraine pain. Remedies like this migraine-busting grape juice is a great option for anyone looking for a little bit of relief.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine differs from a regular headache in its intensity, duration, sensation and causes. A headache usually only lasts a couple hours and feels like a dull pain squeezing the head. A migraine on the other hand, is a severe throbbing pain, usually concentrated in the front or one side of the head that can last for several hours to days.
While headaches are spontaneous and don’t come with any other symptoms, migraines are the opposite. With a migraine, you become hypersensitive to light and sound, experience visual auras or “see stars,” and may have a change in mood. You can also experience an unusually acute sense of taste or touch. Migraines can even start while sleeping, while headaches do not.
Psychological changes can occur before and during a migraine, including (2):
– Feeling fearful
– Trouble with memory
Physiological changes that can accompany a migraine include:
– Numbness or tingling in the hands or face
– Double vision or loss of vision
– Loss of balance
– Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms of a migraine begin a day or two before the actual onset of a headache, such as:
– Stiff neck
– Frequent yawning
– Strange food cravings
What Triggers a Migraine?
There are many different ways a migraine can be triggered. While scientists have yet to identify a cause, there is one thing we know – the trick to avoiding migraines is to avoid what creates them in the first place.
Migraine triggers are unique to each person, and it’s not uncommon for someone to have multiple migraine triggers. With that being said, the most common migraine triggers include:
– Food: salty or aged foods like cheese and salami. Any food that is highly processed, or foods that trigger inflammation in the body like gluten, eggs, soy, GMO foods, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
– Nutritional deficiencies: if you’re constantly missing out on meals, you’ll likely have migraine attacks. When it comes to migraines, there is a strong link to the lack of riboflavin and/or B12 in the body (3).
– Preservatives and sweeteners: artificial sweeteners like aspartame and splenda, as well as food preservatives like monosodium glutamate (MSG).
– Sensory stimulation: unusually bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells can set off a migraine headache (flashlights, bright sun, perfume, paint, cigarette smoke, etc.).
– Hormonal changes: hormonal shifts are a common trigger for women – estrogen levels that change during these times can trigger a migraine attack. Also, hormone replacement therapy or birth control can also trigger or worsen a migraine.
– Medications: like vasodilators (nitroglycerin).
– Stress: constant mental and physical stress can damage your mind and body if you’re not able to control it effectively (and it triggers migraines).
– Sleep cycle changes: not getting enough regular, routine sleep. “Making up” for sleep doesn’t help, either.
– Weather changes: changes in barometric pressure can trigger migraines.
Migraine-Busting Grape Juice
While there are many different ways for relieving a migraine headache, grape juice seems to be one of the best. As mentioned above, there is a strong link to the lack of riboflavin and/or vitamin B12 in the body. Some studies have even shown a 50% reduction in migraine frequency after regularly consuming riboflavin (4).
What’s a great source of riboflavin? Grapes! This nutrient is found in the seed of grapes – so keep this in mind for the recipe (you’ll want grapes with seeds!).
Grapes also contain magnesium, vitamin B12, C and K, as well as plenty of antioxidants to keep your immune system strong.
While it is convenient to just go out and purchase grape juice from the grocery store, this won’t really fix your migraines much. Grape juice from the store is often loaded with sugar (which can trigger a migraine attack) and they don’t contain the seeds from the grape that contain riboflavin (the migraine-busting nutrient).
The best way to make a migraine-busting grape juice is by using the whole grape, skin, seed and all.
Another thing you can do in addition to drinking this juice is by investing in an all-natural migraine stick made from essential oils. Essential oils are extremely effective when it comes to relieving migraines, and product created by Migraine Sticks is incredibly convenient and can be carried with you wherever you go!
Here’s how to prepare fresh grape juice at home:
Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)
– 7-8 lbs of fresh seeded organic grapes
1. Wash your grapes and pluck them from their stems.
2. Pureé the grapes using a high-speed blender, or put them through a juicer (a masticating juicer works best, as the masticating action will crush the seeds).
3. If you’re using a blender, you can strain the grape juice in a cheesecloth.
4. Store in a large mason jar in the fridge – it should last 1 week.
Whenever you feel a migraine coming on, drink at least one cup of this grape juice. If you want to make it ahead of time, you can make the juice and freeze in 1-cup portions in mason jars.