Headaches are the worst. Migraines are even worse than the worst headache. For most migraine sufferers, the ability to avoid them is a must. They will usually research what causes them. They will write down in a journal what triggers them. The one thing that they tend to overlook is the food that they eat. Different foods trigger migraines in different ways. Which is why it is so important to learn what foods are your trigger and why. Here is a list of the most common culprits. Maybe you can find what your trigger is so that you can avoid it.
The Five Foods to Avoid
Let’s start off by saying that no one knows exactly what causes a migraine. There have been studies, but nothing is completely conclusive. Maybe that is because there are different triggers for different people. Or maybe it is because science simply needs more information. However, it has been shown that these five foods do cause migraines for most people. Try to eat all natural product. The simpler the ingredients, the better it is for you. Avoid processed foods. Studies also show that these five foods will trigger a migraine. Try to get them out of your life as much as you can.
- Tyramine is a compound that gets stronger in cheese as they age. This can cause migraines. Some cheeses are higher in tyramine than other cheeses. Blue cheese, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, and Swiss are the worst culprits. Either cut these out completely or try to limit them as much as you can.
- MSG is an additive that is used to preserve foods. Watch your labels closely because anything with all-natural additives will usually have MSG. Another hidden word is Hydrolyzed Protein. Soy sauce is just one food source with MSG in it. You should try to cut this out as much as you can, but it is in a lot of popular foods. It is also used at most restaurants.
- Nitrates (Nitrites) This is a chemical that is found in a lot of foods, especially hot dogs and bologna. It helps break down the eats and preserves foods. It has many known health effects but migraines are the top of the list. The cause your blood vessels to swell. Which can cause many other body parts to do the same, including the vessels in your head?
- Aspartame is used in all kinds of products. This is not limited to diet sodas. A lot of “diet” foods have this in it. It is quite a bit sweeter than sugar and just as unhealthy. You can usually taste the difference in your foods when you use it. There are a lot of studies that claim this type of “diet” sweeter has been known to cause cancer. It seems to almost always trigger migraines in those apt to get them. More studies need to be done so that we can learn how and why there is a trigger. In the meantime, cut aspartame out of your life. You will feel better.
- Caffeine is known to cause migraines. Coffee, tea, and even chocolates tend to have caffeine. Even decaf can have trace amounts of caffeine. Try to stay under 200mg of caffeine per day. Don’t try to cut it out of your life all at once. Caffeine is addictive and cutting it out suddenly can cause you more headaches than having a small amount can. Caffeine withdrawal is absolutely no fun.
Foods That Help
Yes, what you eat matters. There are just as many foods that can relieve your migraine or even prevent it. Take a look at some of these examples:
Avocados, yummy headache relief. The healthy fats and magnesium in avocados can help you to relieve your migraine. You can eat them as they are or you can try making them into guacamole. Remember, homemade is going to have fewer preservatives in it than store or restaurant bought.
Citrus foods like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit have lots of health benefits. They boost your immunity. They also boost your mood. It isn’t much of a surprise that they help to ease and prevent headaches. Essential oils applied to pressure points can help as well.
Eggs are another protein-rich food. They are great for helping relieve the migraines. The protein and fats in them will help your body get the boost it needs. Pair them with leafy greens like spinach for an even bigger health benefit.
Water should be your best friend. Dehydration is a huge cause of migraines. It deprives your body of the fluids that it needs to function. Besides migraines, lack of water can cause muscle aches, brain fog, and leg cramps. You should drink 1/3 your weight in water every day.
There are some common lifestyles that tend to cause migraines. There are many reasons why they cause problems and we will look at them.
Smoking causes your body to have many reactions. It can deprive your body of the oxygen that it needs. It can also make your neurons that control pain receptors to flair. Studies show that people who smoke more than five cigarettes a day are more likely to suffer from migraines on a regular basis. So, if you smoke and you have a migraine, stop smoking and you will see a reduction of migraines in your life.
Alcohol dehydrates you. There is no other way to put it. If you drink, you are going to be more likely to suffer from migraines. Heavy drinking can have even more health problems. Avoid alcohol if you want to see some relief from your migraines.
Could it be a hidden food allergy?
Not all migraines are the same. Some are caused by stress or your environment. Some are caused by your environment. Some are caused by the food that you choose to eat. However, new studies are showing that there may be more to migraines than just these factors. Some migraines are actually caused by food allergies that we didn’t know that we had.
Here is the science: certain foods can cause your blood vessels to dilate or constrict. This means that your blood is literally having trouble getting to the parts of the brain that it is meant to be in. The headaches may start mild and then turn into migraines. As these toxins build up because we don’t avoid them, the symptoms begin to get worse.
Another interesting point that scientists are looking at is the bacteria that is in our food. Let’s face it. Even organic food isn’t immune. Even if we can manage to get chemical-free food, your food could have hidden bacteria. The bacteria can come from the people handling the food while picking it, machines during packaging, or even from the place that you bought it from. While washing it can certainly help, it doesn’t guarantee that your food will be bacteria food.
That scenario is if you buy food to cook at home. Eating out can increase the chance that your food will pick up bacteria. Rules are set in place to keep food sanitary and food handler’s hands clean, but those aren’t always as closely followed as they should be. A certain amount of bacterium is even allowed during routine inspections because it is known that you cannot guarantee that all bacteria will be avoided.
What does that mean for you? What does this do to your body? That is simple. It triggers your body’s immune system. It begins to attempt to fight off this bacterium. Some of this bacterium may even attack some of your cells directly. Research is still being done on this subject, but it is thought that some migraines are simply your body’s immunity attempting to rid itself of the bacteria that is attacking you. This study is very new, so there is no absolute food to avoid, yet.
What can you do to help yourself? Keep a food diary. Refer to it often. You may begin to see patterns emerge. You may be able to understand if it is your lifestyle, diet, or an allergy that is making you feel bad. Knowing what you ate and what you are doing to trigger the migraine may bring you some relief. Of course, there is always medications that will help. While there are some great medications available, none of them can promise that you will never have another migraine again. They only promise to help reduce the amount you get and the intensity. It is up to you to be proactive about your own health so that you can feel better.
Now that you have read the entire article, we hope that you have come to understand that your food choices really do matter. Living a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise, is the best way for you to feel your best. You simply must be proactive about your health. The better choices you make, the better that you feel.