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Foods Rich in Potassium That Don't Trigger Migraines

By Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

Potassium is found in many foods, and your body needs potassium to maintain fluid and mineral balance; it also plays a role in maintaining blood pressure. People who take diuretics or have high blood pressure need adequate amounts of potassium in their diet, according to Drugs.com. Some high-potassium foods—such as figs, papaya and raisins—have been shown to trigger migraines, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, and should be avoided by migraine sufferers.

Fruits

Adults need 2,000 mg of potassium each day, according to Drugs.com. Fruits rich in potassium that do not cause migraines include cantaloupe, prune juice, honeydew melon, mango, and pears. Fruits with moderate amounts of potassium that do not cause migraines include peaches, and watermelon. These fruits do not contain tyramine, common migraine triggers found in high-potassium fruits such as bananas and oranges. Tyramine causes blood vessels to expand, explains the American Headache Society, and might lead to migraine-like symptoms.

Vegetables

Vegetables rich in potassium that do not trigger migraines include sweet potatoes with the skin, white potatoes with the skin, pumpkin, mushrooms, beets, artichokes, greens, okra and Brussels sprouts. Vegetables with moderate amounts of potassium that do not trigger migraines include green beans, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, peas and zucchini. These potassium-containing vegetables also do not contain the migraine-triggering chemical tyramine. The American Headache Society suggests eating small, frequent meals throughout the day to prevent hunger and limit large intakes of migraine-chemical triggers.

Proteins

Protein foods rich in potassium that do not cause migraines include salmon, dark meat turkey, lean beef and sunflower seeds. These high-potassium protein foods do not contain nitrates or food additives such as monosodium glutamate, or MSG. The mechanism behind how nitrates and MSG cause migraines has not been determined, according to the American Headache Society. In fact, the few studies that have been conducted do not show a direct link between nitrates, MSG and migraines. Most information related to food triggers and migraines is provided by the migraine sufferers themselves, explains the American Headache Society.

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