Could upping your fish intake reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches? The answer is yes, according to new research from the National Institutes of Health.
Both Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish and certain nuts and seeds, and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in refined vegetable oils, are precursors to pain-regulating molecules called oxylipins, with those derived from the fish having pain-reducing effects, and the ones derived from vegetable oils having pain-amplifying effects.
Dr Christopher Ramsden and his colleagues decided to test whether altering the relative ratio of these fats in people’s diets had any impact on the frequency or severity of their migraines.
They recruited 182 patients who suffered from migraine headaches between five and 20 days a month, and randomly assigned them to eat one of three diets for 16 weeks: one that raised Omega-3 but kept Omega-6 fatty acids the same; another which raised Omega-3 and lowered Omega-6; and a control diet that included typical levels of both fatty acids.
The diets were designed to be as similar to one another as possible, with the main difference being the type of oil or butter, and the main protein source (eg. oily fish v low-fat fish or poultry), that the participants were provided with.
The group on the high omega-3 diet, rich with oily fish like Salmon and Tuna, logged fewer headaches every month and, crucially, migraines were shorter and less intense.
Unlike most clinical diets, this one is easy to try on your own. The researchers said that the simplest way to increase omega-3 intake is to eat more fatty fish, such as Wild Alaskan Salmon, Atlantic Albacore Tuna and Pacific Black Cod. And Sea to Table makes it simple to stock the freshest of these fish in your freezer for everyday meals. We offer a wide variety of Omega-3 rich seafoods, including the hard-to-find Pacific Black Cod and three types of Wild Alaska Salmon, plus many other species of beneficial seafoods. And to make you feel even better, it’s all Wild, all Sustainable, all American Caught and all flash frozen at Sea or on the dock at the peak of freshness.
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