Are the benefits of fatty fish ever going to end? Already noted for being great at supporting cardiovascular health and a healthier brain, new work is showing they may affect migraine headaches.
Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel may help reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches, according to a new study.
But the benefits of fatty fish might not be entirely enough on their own. For the best results, eliminating omega-6 fatty acids, like those found in vegetable oils, is required.
Changing fat intake might not be a magic bullet for migraines, but the study indicates it may play a role in the formation of migraines, which can lead to serious pain and major reductions in quality of life.
Omega-3s, and a healthful nutritious diet in general, are associated with lower inflammation and improved immune response.
In America, people simply don’t eat many omega-3s. There is also an unhealthy disparity in the omega-6:omega-3 ratio.
Omega-6 fatty acids aren’t necessarily unhealthy on their own. Like omega 3s, they are polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, they do different things. A diet too high in omega-6 and too low in omega-3 may promote inflammation.
Ideally, many health experts believe the optimal ratio for omega-6 to omega-3 falls somewhere better 4:1 and 1:4. That ratio for the American diet far exceeds that, projected at about 16:1.
The study found that participants who ate a diet lower in vegetable oil and higher in fatty fish had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in total headache hours per day, severe headache hours per day, and overall headache days per month, compared with diets low in fatty fish.
Trying to include more fatty fish in your diet is the recommended way to boost omega-3 intake. Cutting back on vegetable oils for cooking, and using low-omega-6 options like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or butter may be better.