Nearly 30 million Americans are affected my migraines. Hopefully you read my first migraine article treating migraines with nutrition. Now we can learn what is best to stay away from in order to avoid migraines.
Sometimes it takes multiple effects to trigger a migraine. For instance, emotional trauma and certain trigger foods maybe have to combine forces against your noggin in order to bring you down. Also, sometimes the triggers might not take effect for a long time. Sometimes days may go before the migraine comes, which makes tracking the causes of migraines difficult and not all kinds of migraines can be treated successfully with medicines or drugs. Here are the things you may wish to avoid:
- Aspartame. Though aspartame supposedly passes through the body without being digested, we can clearly see that is somehow false. Frequent intake of this unnatural sweetener is shown to sometimes cause intense migraines. This can be found in many low calorie desserts or candy, gum and mints (look at labels).
- Monosodium glutamate or MSG (similar to aspartame) is a common food additive and can be found in many sweetened foods. Be careful, MSG is not always on the label because sometimes it is a byproduct of other substances. Consumption of this chemical can have many negative health effects including intense migraine attacks.
- Nitrates, which are found in processed meats, are known to loosen blood vessels and cause migraines.
- Phenyletyhamine, theobromine, and catechin are deemed to be head ache causers. These substances are unfortunately found naturally in Chocolate. If you’re having migraines, you might want to reconsider your love for this tasty and potentially migraine causing treat.
- Tryamine is an amino acid found in cheese (especially aged cheese), wine, beer, other alcoholic drinks, and to a smaller extent, bananas, avocados, beans, yogurt, sour cream and nuts. Trymine is known to cause headaches.
- Histamine is the chemical that when elevated can create inflammation, cause panic attacks, and headaches. It can be found naturally in food, be created by fermented food and artificial food additives. These include wine (especially red wine), beer, champagne, eggplant, spinach, food dyes, preservatives, cheese, raw egg white, apricot, peach, pineapple, prunes, pineapple, raisings, strawberries, tomatoes, shellfish, processed meats, old left over meat, soy beans, red beans, margarine, cinnamon, curry powder, nutmeg, flavored syrups, flavored frosting, olives, chocolate and cocoa, flavored, milks, cider, tea, and carbonated drinks,
- Sulfates, found in wine, beer, and other alcoholic drinks tomatoes, wheat, milk and citrus fruits
- Though caffeine reduces intra cranial pressure, caffeine withdraws are known to cause migraines.
- Dehydration may be the cause of migraines. Plenty of water should always be consumed to for a healthy lifestyle. Also be careful not to replace water consumption with other drinks like coffee; unless you want to have kidney stones, but I don’t recommend them.
- It is uncertain why this happens, but salt is also known to cause migraines. I feel this may only be psychological. Since about 5 years ago when I had too much, even the smell of salt can easily trigger migraines for me. Nonetheless, be weary of too much salt consumption.
- Saturated and Trans fat may cause high cholesterol and are inflammatory, which increases chance for migraines. Don’t confuse unhealthy saturated and trans fat with healthy unsaturated fats. Some unsaturated fat may actually reduce migraine attacks.
- Obesity or increased amounts of belly fat appear to increase the risk of migraines in some people under the age of 50, especially women. This may just be a precursor to high cholesterol which could be the actual cause.
- Allergic reactions to food and other things can cause increased levels of migraine causers, largely histamine. Be couscous of known allergic reactions.