Five Foods Linked to Migraines
Do you find yourself prone to migraines and headaches? Your diet just might be the culprit.
Foods containing alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate have been found by several studies to trigger headaches. According to Dr. Noah Rosen of the Headache Institute at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Long Island, N.Y., it’s not at all uncommon for food to be the cause of certain types of headaches—like migraines.
Although many different foods are known to cause headaches in certain people, there are still a few classic examples known to be a trigger in many individuals. If this sounds like you, it’s important to keep a food diary to keep track of your diet, as well as your own Head FX All-in-One Kit for fast headache relief.
Here is a quick look at some foods commonly associated with migraines.
Chocolate often gets a bad rap for causing headaches. Research unveiled at the International Headache Society shows that chocolate may actually have the ability to protect the nerve cells linked with migraines. However, 22% of the individuals in that same study identified chocolate as one of their migraine triggers.
In other words, more studies need to be done on chocolate’s associated with headaches. Dr. Rosen believes that chocolate may be seen unfairly as a migraine trigger, as many people experience food cravings before the onset of pain. This means that craving for chocolate may be the result of a migraine instead of its cause.
2. Red Wine and other Alcoholic Beverages
Red wine contains sulfites, a preservative substance known to cause migraine headaches, especially in people with sulfite sensitivity. Moreover, alcohol encourages increased blood flow to the brain and is a diuretic that causes dehydration—both these factors are known to trigger headaches.
Moreover, people with chronic headaches tend to have worse hangovers regardless of the type of alcohol they drink.
Coffee is interesting because it can both trigger and relieve headaches. If you tend to sleep late during weekends and wake up with a headache, you may be experience a headache caused by caffeine withdrawal.
However, on regular workdays, you may find that a cup of coffee or tea works wonders for removing a headache. Just remember that too much of anything is never good, so limit your caffeine intake. Too much coffee can trigger a headache when you come down from your caffeine fix.
More studies have to be done to verify whether or not cheese causes headaches, but many experts agree that older, aged cheese is more likely to trigger a migraine. This phenomenon may be caused by tyramine, a substance produced by the breakdown of proteins as the cheese ages. The older a cheese is, the more tyramine it will have. So if you plan on avoiding a headache, you may want to limit your intake of parmesan, gouda, Swiss, blue cheese, and cheddar.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food additive that’s also found in soy sauce, has long been shown to trigger cramps, diarrhea, and migraines among a good 10 percent to 15 percent of chronic migraine sufferers. Soy sauce is rich in MSG, but it’s also high in salt, which can cause dehydration, yet another factor that may trigger your headache.
The key to managing your diet to avoid headaches and migraines is to eat in moderation. You don’t have to completely drop coffee, chocolate, Chinese takeout, or the weekend bottle of beer from your life—just limit their intake. And for instant headache and migraine relief, the Head FX All-in-One Kit is there as a quick-fix solution to your woes.
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