Research shows that 13% of adults suffer from migraines in the U.S.—that’s 38 million people. Furthermore, at least 5 million U.S citizens experience at least one migraine attack every month.
But what exactly causes migraines? While it’s still a mystery, some researchers believe it may be a mixture of genetics, irregularities in the brain’s blood vessel system, and abnormalities in the brain’s chemicals.
But what most people don’t know is that their dietary choices can also trigger migraines.
The Connection Between Headaches and Certain Foods
Not only can certain foods trigger migraines, but dietary habits also play a major role. For some people, fasting or skipping meals also lead to headaches.
That’s why doctors always recommend migraine sufferers to start making dietary and lifestyle changes. But what are the foods one should avoid when they have a migraine?
Adding aged cheese to your diet is a bad idea if you take Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI).
Foods that contain tyramine are important to cut out. These include:
- Aged cheese
- Red wine
- Alcoholic beverages
- Processed meats
Along with these foods, there are certain types of cheese that should be avoided completely:
- Blue cheeses
- English stilton
Overall, food additives should be avoided as they contain chemicals that are hazardous to our health. Food additives contain nitrates and nitrites which can lead to headaches.
Avoid processed meats (especially meats preserved using salt) and confectionaries. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that’s found in Asian cuisine and soy sauce, and is also known to trigger migraines.
Sometimes, cold foods and frozen desserts can also cause migraines in certain people. Gulping your drink too fast or eating ice cream can also lead to a “brain freeze.”
Some frozen desserts also have preservatives which can make the problem worse. Those who suffer from migraines are sensitive to ice cream, for example.
If you’re a coffee and chocolate lover, we have some bad news. Caffeine can trigger migraines because it has “vasoconstrictive” properties that cause the blood vessels to narrow. This restricts blood flow and leads to headaches.
Having caffeine on a daily basis isn’t good for health anyway. But if you have frequent migraine attacks, it’s best to cut back on your consumption.
Making changes to your lifestyle and diet can help control the problem. Along with leafy greens and fruits, it’s important to take enzyme supplements that boost immunity.
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