Foods that Trigger Migraine

24 Aug
2015
By Amelia Smith

There is a surprising link between the food we eat and migraine. Some food items are known to trigger migraine attacks while there are certain foods that help to relieve the pain due to a migraine.

Migraines are horrible headaches that hamper the normal functioning and activity of the body. There are various things that can trigger a migraine attack including food items. There are a few classic food items that are common triggers of the migraine attack in people. There is a need to keep an account of those food items that trigger migraine attacks and those which help to ease the pain due to a migraine.

Also Read: Migraines and Headaches- Causes, Triggers and Remedies

Foods that trigger migraine

Here is a list of those foods that cause migraines:

1. Alcohol:

Alcohol is one of the most controversial triggers of migraine attacks. Wine, sherry and beer all are powerful migraine triggers. The major reason behind alcohol causing migraine attacks is the dehydrative ability of alcohol, the dehydration of the body results in a lot of headaches. It is best to refrain alcohol if you feel alcohol is you major migraine trigger.

2. Caffeine:

Many people find sensitivity to caffeine as a result of which people can develop migraines after drinking coffee, tea, or any other caffeinated beverage like cola. Caffeine can work in reverse also to ease a freshly begun a headache.

If you take too much of caffeine, reduce the amount slowly and don’t quit it at once because quitting suddenly may cause unbound.

3. Chocolate:

Although chocolate is itself not a trigger but chocolate urge usually heightens when stress and hormonal changes occur. Both of these, i.e., stress and hormonal changes are good triggers of a migraine attack. So, whenever there is an extreme urge of chocolate you could expect a headache.

4. Leftover food/ food rich in tyramine and tannins:

It is a fact that left over food items tend to get richer in tyramine, especially if the food is not properly stored. Be vigilant about storing the food and consuming leftovers.

Tyramine are found in red wine, beer, overripe bananas, avocados, soy-based food items, etc.

Tannins are found in abundance in coffee, tea, juices, and chocolate.

5. Food containing nitrites:

There are many food items such as Hot dogs, and pepperoni that are rich in nitrites. These food items are known to cause migraine headaches. Nitrites are also found in sausages and preservatives. Stay away from the foods that are rich in nitrites and stay safe.

6. Sulphite rich food items:

Sulphites are yet another food preservatives added to dried fruits and many other processed food items. Dry fruits like prunes, figs and apricots are balanced for long shelf life using sulphites. It is also a major preservative added to white wine and red wine. Avoid these sneaky foods rich in sulphites and steer clear of the headaches due to migraine.

7. Common additives in food item:

Many food additives are known to increase the chances of a migraine. Such items include MSG, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, HVP, HPP, sodium caseinate, etc. Check your food labels carefully and avoiding buying those containing a lot of additives.

8. Aspartame:

Aspartame is the popular artificial sweetener. It is reported to trigger migraine attack in some people. Candies those are sugar-free, and certain diet beverages contain this artificial sweetener. Avoid such foods if aspartame triggers a migraine in you.

Anti migraine food items:

As mentioned earlier there are certain food items that help to relieve the pain due to a migraine. These foods are called anti-migraine foods and pain-safe foods. The anti-migraine food items are acknowledged using a careful scientific and anecdotal evidence of pain relief. Here are a few of them:

1. Ginger:

Ginger is well known through the ages due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Ginger finds its mention in various anecdotal studies for relieving the migraine headaches. Ayurveda has also mentioned ginger for relieving pains and headaches.

2. Celery:

Celery has anti-inflammatory properties because of the presence of flavonoids in abundance. Various naturopaths recommend celery for the migraine headaches.

3. Chilli:

According to various researchers, the capsaicin rich chillies are good for those suffering from pain and headaches due to a migraine. Chilies are also rich in Vitamin B2 and magnesium, both of which have an anti-migraine effect.

4. Sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes are very old, and popular vegetables use in the household. This humble vegetable is very good to fight migraine headaches. It is rich in antioxidants; hence, is super good for those who are suffering from headaches and pains.

This article is a brief account of a few migraine trigger and anti-migraine food items. The guide will help you to distinguish your trigger item and avoid them. The list is very long you should yourself be vigilant and try to find your migraine triggers and fight a migraine sensibly.

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Amelia Smith

Nutritionist, herbalist, health and medicine writer and yoga enthusiast, Amelia Smith, is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.

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