Foods Allowed on the Heal Your Headache Migraine Diet

A full list of all the foods allowed on the Heal Your Headache / Johns Hopkins Migraine Diet.#migraine #migrainediet #healyourheadache #vestibularmigraine #migraines

Recently I have received a lot of messages from people who are just starting out on Heal Your Headache. It makes me so excited to know that there are a lot of people out there, just like me, who are passionate about their health. I began this diet because I wasn’t complacent with just feeling 60-80% on my meds and supplements. There had to be more. You could have probably told me to walk around on my two hands to feel better and I would have tried it.

Focus On What You Can Have vs. What You Can’t

I understand completely overwhelmed. I remember standing in the middle of the supermarket (which was already a challenge), looking at my book and tearing up. It was like literally everything I picked off the shelves was on the “no” list. This diet, although temporary, gives you the tools you need to make better decisions going forward. I eat whole, natural foods now with REAL spices, not carrageenan, dyes, and “natural flavors” that aren’t really natural at all. Because you now know what to avoid, we will focus on the many, many things you can have.

Is Coconut a Migraine Trigger?

Coconut is controversial. HYH says it’s a “no”, but stricter migraine diets say it’s fine. I’m in the camp that you should leave it in unless you don’t see an improvement in your migraines, but that call is up to you. Perhaps eliminate it if you’re not dairy free, but keep it in if your diet requires you to be dairy free. 

I created two lists of basics that you can print out or save to your phone and carry with you to the grocery store. Hopefully it makes your life a little easier. If I missed something, it might not be on the “no” list. I just wanted to give you an idea of how many things you can actually have!

Foods Allowed on the Heal Your Headache & Johns Hopkins Migraine Diet

Foods Allowed on the HYH Heal Your Headache Migraine Diet #migraineremedies #migrainerelief #migrainediet Foods Allowed on the HYH Heal Your Headache Migraine Diet #migraineremedies #migrainerelief #migrainediet

 

For pdf print outs:
Fruits Veggies and Spices Allowed on HYH

Meat, Cheese, Drinks, Beans, Grains, and Condiments Allowed on HYH

For more information on how to start a migraine elimination diet, see this post

Foods Allowed on Heal Your Headache Migraine Diet | The Dizzy Cook #migraine #healthydiet #migrainepreventative

Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.

83 comments

  1. Kelsey

    This is wonderful!!
    It’s really interesting to read all the “allowed” foods because a) there’s way more than you would expect and b) some of these “yes” options are huge triggers for me, example: agave and cream cheese. Don’t know why but they send me into a killer migraine almost instantly!
    I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to starting a diet for the first time in my life
    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      You’re welcome!! I’m also not a fan of agave either, but it could have something to do with a spike in blood sugar. As for the cream cheese, have you ever checked the ingredients? Some brands contain a lot of gums or additives like carrageenan so it would make sense that you could be reacting to those. 🙂

      Reply

  2. Deborah Kilmer

    Hi Alicia, Are Collard greens okay? My son is on a low fodmap diet for IBS. Finding things that are gluten free (I’m celiac), HYH allowed, and low fodmap gets challenging! This list is super helpful.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Yes, most definitely!

      Reply

  3. Maria

    Hi Dizzy Cook,

    I have had migraines since I was 13 get them at least 2 times a month and they are completely debilitating. I just brought the book thanks to you, I will start the diet next week and hopefully will see some good results. I have one question, maybe you can help me out. I have been lactose intolerant since i was very young ( I reintroduced some lactose like cheese and yogurt) but I cannot drink milk, I have replaced it with Almond milk. But this diet is nut free.. do you have any alternatives to milk that are not nut based? Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Hey Maria – I hope this diet will help in combination with some of the other treatments you’re doing! There are thankfully lots of good substitutes. Rice milk, hemp milk, and oat milk are the 3 most popular. Tempt original unsweetened hemp milk is the cleanest brand I’ve found, and Oatly oat milk is probably my favorite. You can also make your own if you’re up for that!

      Reply

      1. Rachel

        What about coconut milk? Or is coconut considered a nut?

        Reply

        1. Alicia

          Dr Buchholz classifies them as a nut, but really they can be considered a drupe or a fruit. Coconut milk is technically not allowed, but many find they do tolerate it well. Unless you’re dairy free, I recommend eliminating it in the beginning as the diet says, but it could be one of the first things you test out.

          Reply

  4. Cindy

    I was just diagnosed with VM 3 days ago. This all started 1 year and 2 months ago. Im dizzy 24/7. Seeing your blog and your personal story helps me cope. Thank you for that. I work but struggle everyday. My neurologist put me on the B2 and Magnesium for migraines but upset my stomach. I use magnesium oil now and eat seeds. But it was my ENT at UCSF that diagnosed me. Ive just started Nortripilyn and have been on low dose Ativan for a year. And now ordered the book mentioned for recipes. Hope this helps me. I was also eating yogurt every morning and lots of avocados. So we’ll see what cutting that out does. I love a cup of coffee in morning and that actually helps my morning dizziness but will eventually cut that out too. Thanks again for your blog

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    Are canned vegetables and fruit no good? The ingredients on them seem fine. Or should you avoid most things in a can?

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      They’re ok! Some say they do better with frozen than canned, but overall it’s fine.

      Reply

  6. Kathy

    Hi Alicia,
    I am 2 months into the HYH diet and have a couple of questions. My Doctor gave me the Johns Hopkins handout and recommended the HYH book. There’s are discrepancies between the handout: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/otolaryngology/_docs/Migraine%20patient%20handout.pdf and the book that I hope you can help with.
    1. Seeds – the handout lists them in the Avoid column but the book says they are OK and you use them a lot. Pretty safe for most people?
    2. Beans – list says to avoid garbanzo and doesn’t clarify others such as black beans. I would really like to include them in my diet as they are a good source of protein for me. Thoughts?

    Thank you so much for your website and recipes! They have been a life saver for me.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      I believe seeds are under the “limit, reduce or avoid category”…which isn’t super clear on the handout. HYH totally allows seeds. Seeds can be higher in tyramine, so it’s something to watch for. However, I find very few people have issues. In fact, most nuts are a huge trigger for me, but I can easily tolerate seeds. Seeds are eliminated on another more strict migraine diet called The Charleston diet. It’s totally up to you on what you think you can manage. Perhaps include them for now and then you can think about eliminating them if you’re not making progress.

      As for beans, I think you’ll be ok with following the beans on the allowed list. There are small discrepancies between the two diets, so I would just pick the one that works best for you. Garbanzos are allowed on HYH.

      Again just remember these lists are just a jumping off point to give you an idea of common triggers and eliminating them all can help calm your brain down, yet it doesn’t mean everything on this list will end up being your triggers. It helps to just pick one to try to follow rather than trying to do them all! Johns Hopkins made this list based on their experience with what patients tell them. Dr Buchholz did the same. And I even do that for Dizzy Cook! 🙂

      Reply

  7. Kathy

    Hi Alicia,
    Thank you! I agree and I will stick with the HYH list and your lists and see how it goes. You could go crazy with the variations! I notice some difference in the two months and hope for more improvement. The diet feels pretty hard sometimes, but your website and recipes have made it easier.

    Reply

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