Tuesday, July 16

Having Migraines Often? These 12 Foods Might Be the Cause

Are you experiencing migraines often? These are the foods that can cause it.  

One of the worst things after a toothache is migraines. While the biggest triggers for them are usually lack of sleep and stress, some foods can give you serious headaches if you consume them in large quantities or even daily.

According to a recent survey, 27% of people with headaches think that specific foods cause them. It is important to note that while caffeine is commonly known to cause headaches, several other food additives can lead to the same unpleasant outcome. Here is a list of the most frequently occurring foods that cause headaches, listed in no particular order.

migraines, foods that cause migraines
Photo by baibaz from Shutterstock

1. Cured meats

Cured meats are super delicious and easy to have as a snack or when you’re super hungry and you have to grab a bit on the go. But, as you may know, deli meat isn’t exactly the healthiest choice out there. According to scientists, cured meats are among the foods that trigger migraines. Why? Well, most of them contain nitrates that are supposed to preserve flavor and color for a longer time.

Nitric oxide, which is released into the blood by these meals, is considered to widen blood vessels in the brain. Furthermore, one of the causes of headaches is nitric oxide.

2. Aged cheeses

Watch out cheese lovers because, in large quantities, cheese can be a food trigger for migraines! Tyramine is the cause, and cheeses like mozzarella, feta, cheddar, swiss, blue cheese, and brie are full of it. It’s best to stay away from them as much as possible.

3. Alcohol

A glass of red wine when you’re having dinner won’t kill you, but if you suffer from migraines often, it is better to avoid them. Alcohol was mentioned as a trigger by more than 35% of subjects in research who frequently experienced migraines—in particular, red wine! However, if you are at a party and you’re invited to drink one glass, consume it while you also drink plenty of water since alcohol alone causes dehydration, one of the main causes of migraines.

4. Chocolate

Among the foods that cause migraines, it is likely to be chocolate. Like caffeine or alcohol, chocolate is probably one of the most common triggers for headaches. Doctors say that it affects around 22% of people who experience migraines. We know it’s tasty, and everybody loves chocolate, but if you suffer from migraines often, you might want to reduce its consumption.

5. Artificial sweeteners

A lot of people are actively trying to reduce their sugar intake throughout the day, and because it isn’t that easy to give up that sweet tooth that easily, there are a ton of foods that contain artificial sweeteners that can help us indulge without worrying about our physique. While this is partially true, these sugar alternatives are among the foods that cause migraines.

Sadly, migraines may result from these sweeteners. It is believed that aspartame, in particular, causes migraine attacks. Skip drinking diet soda and switch to a glass of water instead and make sure you eat at your normal lunchtime if you are aware that you suffer from painful headaches.

6. Citrus fruits

Eat plenty of fresh fruit to stay healthy and nutritious, especially because they contain a ton of vitamins, but use caution when handling citrus fruits. While some claim that foods like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes cause headaches, these foods aren’t as frequent as some of the other items on this list. It might be helpful to keep track of your migraine episodes and see if they’re triggered by citrus foods, so you will know if you must avoid them or not.

Migraines are terrible, that’s for sure, and if you experience them a lot, you know it might become exhausting. While pills don’t work anymore, you can try out the iTHERAU Migraine Ice Head Wrap. The hot and cold treatment migraine ice head wrap’s flexible form allows it to support and compress the face, eye, and head to efficiently target all painful areas. It provides immediate pain relief for tense eyes, cranial muscles, facial tension, and stress. The product is available on Amazon for $17.99. 

7. Spicy foods

For all the people who love spicy foods, this is bad news since they are among the foods that cause migraines very badly. Of all the hot foods, chili peppers are arguably the most likely to cause migraines. Research suggests that they most likely respond to certain brain pain receptors known as TRP receptors, which reduce the threshold for migraine development.

8. Nuts in general

Other foods that cause migraines are nuts of all kinds, but they are also derived from nuts, and the best example here is peanut butter. Moreover, dried fruits naturally have high concentrations of phenylalanine, a substance that can provoke migraines. This also applies to dried fruits such as apricots, dates, figs, and raisins.

9. Caffeine

To drink or not to drink coffee, that is the question. Well, according to various surveys, coffee drinkers say if they don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning, they will have headaches and won’t function properly throughout the day.

In actuality, migraines and headaches can result from excessive caffeine consumption and caffeine withdrawal. Did you know that caffeine can help alleviate severe headaches? In fact, some headache medications even contain caffeine as an active ingredient.

migraines, foods that cause migraines
Photo by Bigc Studio from Shutterstock

10. Foods rich in monosodium glutamate

Our bodies naturally contain the sodium salt of glutamic acid, which is known as monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a food additive that may be found in a variety of foods. Although some experts associate it with migraine symptoms, it is thought to be safe to consume it.

Some of the foods that contain monosodium glutamate are instant noodles, potato chips, cup soups, store-bought salad dressings, ketchup, processed meats, and fast food in general.

11. Pickles

Pickled and fermented foods, including old cheeses, can have elevated tyramine contents. Pickled cucumbers, pickled jalapenos, kimchi, and kombucha are a few of these foods. If you still feel the need to treat yourself to pickles sometimes, it’s best to eat them moderately and then drink as much water as you can.

12. Frozen foods

Last but not least the foods that cause migraines are the frozen ones. It may sound strange, but eating frozen foods like ice cream or milkshakes can make your head hurt. First, there will be light headaches that will become unbearable migraines afterward. Furthermore, it is super important to remember that drinking super cold foods whenever your body is overheated can also lead to unwanted migraines.

Bottom line:

What can you do if you have already eliminated these foods from your diet but the migraines are still present? First, don’t panic by thinking that something very bad is happening to your body. Before jumping to conclusions, start a headache journal and write in it everything you ate during the day when you had migraines.

Try to also eat regularly, and if it’s possible, never skip meals. Make sure you rest enough during the night, and if it’s possible, nap during the day when the migraine kicks in. One natural way to alleviate migraines is through light exercise, such as yoga, meditation, or pilates, which can help reduce stress. If the migraines persist even after you’ve made these changes, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.

Are you experiencing frequent migraines? Maybe you are dehydrated. See here the 12 Signs You’re Way Too Dehydrated and your body is trying to tell you. 

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