NUTRITION & SUPPLEMENT
7 Foods that Trigger Migraines
The exact cause of migraines is still unknown, but it’s a fact that this debilitating headache can also come from one’s eating habits.
Ten percent of migraine sufferers have their diet to blame.
Check out your diet for these migraine-causing foods:
The tyramine caused by the aging process done in pickled, aged, smoked, fermented or marinated foods is a migraine trigger for many sufferers.
Watch out for the following cheeses because they are high in tyramine: cheddar, feta, blue, brie, parmesan, gouda, gruyere, Swiss, and muenster.
Fresh cheeses don’t have much tyramine and are safer bets: farmer, cottage, American, cream, and ricotta.
As for mozzarella, it comes in aged and fresh varieties. Double-check labels first.
Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, grapefruits, clementine, and the likes are excellent sources of vitamin C, but they can lead to migraines.
The acid in sour fruits affecting the PH level of the blood, increases migraine-prone people’s chances of getting an attack. Eleven percent of those prone to migraines report citrus as their trigger.
Have these fruits high in vitamin C but are non-citric instead: watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi, mango, tomatoes and dark berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries.
Cold stimulus headaches, as what migraines triggered by cold foods are, last from 25 seconds to 2 minutes. This happens when one quickly takes in something cold when over-heated from physical activities.
Migraine is one of the unfortunate side effects suffered by gluten-intolerant people.
Gluten is a type of protein in grains like wheat, rye, barley, triticale and other foods.
* Monosodium glutamate (MSG — E621) tenderizes meat and adds flavor. However, it has no nutritional value.
This is in Asian foods, soy sauce, processed foods and canned vegetables. Migraine is likely to happen 20 minutes after intake.
* Nitrates and nitrites are in processed meats: hot dogs, sausages, ham, pepperoni, bacon, as well as some heart medicines. They cause blood vessels to swell causing severe headaches.
* Aspartame (APM) and sucralose (E955) are artificial sweeteners that are in diet soft drinks, sports drinks, sugar-free products, and even in children’s vitamins.
Sensitive people can get migraine attacks from them.
* Red and yellow food coloring in candy, ice cream, potato chips, sodas, crackers, jams, cereal bars and many other products are migraine triggers as well.
With these coloring using petroleum, the same ingredient used to make motor oil, it’s no surprise the body reacts by triggering a migraine.
Withdrawing from caffeine and even overdoing caffeine can cause migraines. Limit your intake to 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day. You should take 2 cups only if you’re taking other caffeinated products like chocolate, cocoa, tea, Coca-Cola and painkillers.
Though the debate on which alcoholic drink: red wine, beer, sparkling wine or strong spirits can make your head pound, there is no doubt that once you get a headache from alcoholic drinks, you will either get the typical headache lasting from 30 minutes to 3 hours, or you might get the very infamous hangover.
How to Avoid Migraines
Besides staying away from the list given, observe:
Staying hydrated. The golden rule of at least 8 glasses of water a day applies to migraine prone people because they can easily suffer from dehydration headaches.
Eating 5-6 Times a Day. Not an excuse to pig out, though. Mini meals are the ones advised because hunger can cause headaches.
Taking Vitamins and Minerals. Low levels of folic acid, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamins D, B2, B6, and B12 lead to very bad headaches. Migraine prone people need to buy dietary supplements to get all these vitamins and minerals.
Eating More Fruits, Vegetables and Legumes. These foods’ natural estrogens neutralize the negative effects of the estrogen that our body makes, which include migraines, during our period.