Migraine is a complex health condition. Sometimes even unexpected things can trigger a migraine attack. One of the things that often trigger migraine attacks is food. Foods triggering migraines fall into three categories that include common triggers, specific triggers, and inflammatory foods.
Common migraine foods triggers are products that are scientifically proven to trigger migraine attacks. Specific foods are those found to be problematic specifically for you. Inflammatory foods are foods that trigger inflammation in your body raising your risk of a migraine attack. If you know these foods, you can avoid them to decrease your risk of migraine headaches.
Below are 9 common foods that can trigger migraines.
Cheese is a common trigger of migraine attacks. Cheese contains a chemical called Tyramine that forms as a protein in the cheese. Over time this chemical breaks down in your body triggering headaches. It is important to note, that the more aged the cheese, the higher the content of Tyramine.
2. Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have a synthetic nature that can affect your digestive tract. This can exacerbate any flares including migraine headaches. For this reason, it is highly recommended to avoid artificial sweeteners for people suffering from chronic migraines.
3. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are a great source of fiber and vitamins. But they may also become a source of your migraine headache. Some people are more sensitive to acidic foods than others. If you have sensitivity to acidic foods, eating too many citrus fruits may trigger inflammation leading to migraines.
Alcohol is a huge trigger for migraine headaches. Alcohol has a vasodilating effect that can affect the blood vessels in our brain causing migraines. Besides, in high doses alcohol suppresses testosterone causing a hormonal imbalance. An imbalance of testosterone and estrogen in your body may also contribute to a migraine attack.
In fact, over 68 percent of the world’s population has lactose intolerance. But only a few people out of these 68 percent know about their lactose intolerance. When people with lactose intolerance consume dairy products, this can trigger inflammation in the body leading to a migraine attack.
6. Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate is a source of free glutamic acid. When this acid gets into your body, it excites your brain cells, creating unstable actions and triggering migraines. Unfortunately, monosodium glutamate is a common ingredient in many foods on the shelves of grocery stores. On food labels, it can be hidden under names like calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed protein, gelatin, yeast nutrient, etc.
7. Processed meats
Processed meats are a source of nitrates, nitrites, and preservatives. When these ingredients enter your body, they cause swelling of your blood vessels. This can trigger migraine attacks or increase their severity. What’s more, is processed meat are a carcinogen that can increase your risk of cancer.
Caffeine is a part of your daily life since you consume it in coffee, caffeinated drinks, and tea. But high caffeine intake often becomes the culprit when it comes to migraine attacks. Caffeine can cause migraines in several ways. First, it decreases your body’s ability to absorb magnesium. This nutrient is important to prevent migraines. Second, high doses of migraine act as a diuretic and may lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a known migraine trigger.
Shellfish are delicious and nutritious, but they are also a common allergen that can trigger a migraine attack. If you are sensitive to seafood, it is recommended to refrain from eating shellfish. Besides, shellfish are the source of heavy metal. Eating them every day can lead to poisoning.
The bottom line
For people with migraines, the elimination diet is often recommended. By eliminating certain foods from your diet you can reduce the severity, frequency, and length of migraine attacks. If the elimination diet doesn’t help, visit the migraine center. The highly-trained specialists will help you get rid of the migraine.