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Eating more fiber may reduce the risk of severe headaches or migraines, a recent study shows. For every 10 grams of dietary fiber consumed, the risk of severe headache or migraine decreased by 11 percent.

The study involved nearly 13,000 people living in the United States. Participants provided information about their regular dietary fiber intake and the number and severity of their headaches or migraines.

People who consumed the highest amount of dietary fiber (more than 22 grams per day) were 26 percent less likely to report experiencing severe headaches or migraines than those who consumed the least amount of fiber (less than 7.8 grams per day). For every 10-gram per day increase in dietary fiber intake, the frequency of severe headaches or migraines dropped by 11 percent.

Dietary fiber refers to the indigestible components of plant-based foods. The fermentation of dietary fibers in the gut produces molecules that modulate immune function by way of T regulatory cells, such as the short-chain fatty acids.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendations for combined fiber intake vary according to age and sex. Women need between 22 and 28 grams of fiber per day, and men need between 28 and 34 grams per day. Most people living in the United States only get about half of the recommended amounts of fiber daily.

The findings of this study suggest that consuming dietary fiber protects against severe headaches and migraines. Obtaining enough fiber when following a ketogenic diet may prove challenging. Learn how to include fiber in a ketogenic diet in this episode featuring Dr. Dominic D'Agostino.

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