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10 Foods to Avoid That Cause Headaches and Migraines


Migraines are one of the more severe diseases one could get. Although you might not know when the next might occur, you can always watch out and maintain a healthy diet to prevent them. Here are ten foods, which you should think before consuming if you suffer from migraines.

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Alcohol is one of the leading causes of migraines. After all, alcohol leaves people, who do not suffer from migraines, with extreme pounding headaches. Any alcohol might trigger headaches, but dark liquors like red wine are known to initiate migraines.

Tyramine, the amino acid responsible for headaches, is present in alcohols in high concentrations. Red wine and beer are considered as triggers for about 25 percent of people who get regular migraines. In addition to that, alcohol, as you may know, also causes dehydration. That is why you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night and drink water to cure hangovers. Dehydration again causes headaches, thus can trigger a migraine. So if you are a person who suffers from migraines, it is recommended that you lay off of alcohol for your good.

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In addition to containing caffeine, chocolate also contains beta-phenyl ethylamine, both of which are known to cause headaches among people. After alcohol, chocolate is considered as the most common trigger of migraines, having an impact on around 22 percent of the people suffering from migraines. Chocolates are one of the tastiest treats, so people usually develop a craving for chocolate, especially women, as the form an immense craving for chocolate during the time of hormonal changes, like at the start of the menstruation cycle. Chocolate contains high levels of thymine which when introduced to an unbalanced body, like menstruating women, may induce migraines. So if you feel that chocolate does trigger your migraine, then avoid it at all costs.

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Artificial sweeteners became popular in the beginning when the widely known aspartame, came into the market. This artificial sugar was found all around in diet foods, especially low-fat desserts, apart from being sold as a replacement for sugar. Young women started using the product widely to maintain their weight. The sweetener was also recommended to diabetic patients. But in the recent years, there has been some serious pushback against this because of its side effects. Furthermore, it was found that artificial sweeteners also cause migraines. So whenever you have a sugar craving, but you want to maintain your weight, then please refrain from using this, and use real sugar instead as It has been found that calorie content of both is almost equal.

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In the modern day, it has become prevalent for people to go out and buy burgers, fries, etc. in just a matter of seconds. But according to recent research, it has been found that even the healthiest foods purchased from a fast food might trigger a migraine. It is because the food purchased from fast foods has Monosodium glutamate (MSG) added to keep the food fresh for a longer time. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a type of glutamic acid that naturally exists in our bodies, but high amounts of the product might be harmful. Although MSG is considered as safe to eat, it is known to trigger migraines. As MSG keeps the food fresh, other foods and spices have this substance as well, so make sure where you buy your food and make sure it is MSG free. To minimize the risk of migraines, sustain from eating fast food and other MSG-containing meals.

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The kosher, table salt commonly used around the world is sodium chloride. Sodium is an essential mineral for a healthy life. But sometimes we end up ingesting a higher amount of sodium than required by our body. It might be due to consumption of prepackaged food, like chips, etc.

These contain high amounts of salt. When we eat a large amount of salt, the sodium level in our body starts to rise, when the sodium level rises, it also raises our blood pressure. High level of blood pressure can cause headaches, and therefore migraines for some people.

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Caffeine is a very complicated substance when it comes to triggering migraines. It is because on one side Caffeine is known to trigger migraines, while on the other it might also somewhat cure them. It makes consumption of caffeine very confusing for a person who might face regular migraines. For those who do not intake caffeine regularly; they can consume small amounts of caffeine without any risk of triggering a migraine, but if the intake too much, they will end up having a migraine. Now for people who consume caffeine on a daily basis; caffeine is an addictive good so unable to fulfill the daily intake might cause a migraine; moreover, although these people take caffeine every day, a high intake on any day might trigger a migraine. Therefore, it is important to limit your caffeine intake. Remember, chocolate, coffee, and tea, all contain a substantial amount of caffeine, so it is wise to restrict the consumption any of these products.

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Curing is one of the many food preservation techniques, cured meat include, deli meats, hot dogs, hams, sausages, etc. when the meat is cured, it is meant to last a long while before going bad. So nitrate is added to preserve these food items. Nitrate, when ingested into the human body, can release nitric oxide into the bloodstream. Nitric oxide causes the vessels in our brains to dilate. These dilated vessels allow more blood to pass through thus increasing the blood pressure, which in turn enhances the risk of triggering a migraine. So if you suffer from migraines, you are advised to refrain from eating cured meats and eating organic meat instead.

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It is believed that the older the cheese, the better it tastes. It is why people usually tend to eat aged cheese. Cheese contains high amounts of protein at the start, as the cheese starts to age; the proteins start to break down into amino acids. Now one of these amino acids tyramine is known to cause migraines. The more the cheese ages, the higher the tyramine content gets. So migraine patients are suggested to eat unaged cheese instead of aged ones. Feta, Blue Cheese, and Parmesan are known to have the highest content of tyramine when aged. So refrain from eating them if you experience migraines frequently.

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Frozen foods are one of the leading causes for temporary headaches; one might refer to them as brain freeze. Just like these temporary headaches, cold foods can also cause migraines in certain people. To prevent migraines, you are recommended not to eat ice cream, slush, frozen yogurt and other frozen desserts.

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Fermented food has the same concept as the cheese, the longer the fermentation takes place, the more tyramine they have. Tyramine is considered a trigger for migraines. Therefore, fermented foods are also a big NO for migraine patients.

All the types of foods mentioned above may induce headaches in a few people. But not for all so the next time you eat any of the given foods, note down whether you get a migraine or not. If you do then don’t eat the food again and if you don’t get a migraine then feel free to eat the food but with precaution.


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10 Foods to Avoid That Cause Headaches and Migraines

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