Foods that Trigger Migraines

Foods that Trigger Migraines

A migraine is a dominant and recurring headache leading to extreme throbbing pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Migraines can go on for hours or days and sometimes even longer. Women are more prone to migraines as compared to men. The migraines mostly affect people of ages between 10 and 40, after which they seem to improve and finally disappear. Migraines are triggered by different things, including bright lights, fatigue, and weather changes, among others, causing brain changes. 

One of the best ways to prevent migraines for those affected is to pay attention to one’s diet. Processed foods, preservatives, and food additives are considered to trigger migraines and should be avoided. Other foods that trigger migraines include:

1. Eggs

Eggs are known to be very healthy foods, but when eaten too often, the body becomes sensitive to them, leading to an immune response. The immune response is responsible for the inflammation that triggers migraines. To prevent migraines triggered by eating eggs, one should reduce the frequency in which they are eating eggs in a week and only eat eggs from birds that are pasture-raised fed on insects, not grains. Cracking the egg yolk when cooking leads to oxidizing the available cholesterol and can trigger migraines

2. Alcohol

Alcohol itself does not usually cause migraines, but withdrawal from it the following day causes migraines. Beer and red wine are believed to be more of triggers because of the tannin and sulfite preservatives used in their making process. Alcohol triggers migraines by causing vasodilation in the brain, suppressing the production of testosterone, and slowing down liver function.

3. Processed meats

IARC has classified processed meat as carcinogenic due to the biogenic amines like tyramine and histamine contained in meat preservatives. People who experience incidences of migraines should avoid processed meats and go for the fresh meats instead.

4. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits and other foods with high acid content are likely to cause gastric irritation that triggers migraines. Oranges and other citrus fruits contain tyramine that triggers migraines. To avoid migraines, freshly squeezed juice from these fruits should be taken before chemicals that cause migraines to start forming.

5. Wheat

Wheat is a major trigger for migraines, mainly because it is one of the most sprayed crops. The pesticides and herbicides used contain substantial amounts of glyphosate that have toxic effects on the brain leading to inflammation and headaches. Wheat can be replaced by safer grains like quinoa and spelled.

6. Dairy products

The digestive system of different people reacts to dairy products differently. Some people cannot break down the casein found in milk.

7. Caffeine

Migraines can be triggered by too much caffeine or lack of it. Occasional caffeine use can prevent migraines, but too much of it will increase the incidences of caffeine. Continuous use of caffeine causes dependency that if one consumes 80milligrams lower than their usual consumption of caffeine in a day, they are likely to get a headache. Caffeine can be found in Coffee, tea, and chocolate. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor force the body to react by vasodilating creating a cycle that triggers the migraine

8. Artificial sweeteners

Many of the commercially available processed foods contain artificial sweeteners that are known to trigger migraines due to their synthetic nature. The sweeteners trick the body to release insulin, thinking there is sugar coming. After insulin is produced in high amounts, and there is no sugar forthcoming, the body releases sugars into the bloodstream, causing a blood sugar spike that repeats itself.

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