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Get Rid of Migraines: Find Your Food Triggers

Get Rid of Migraines: Find Your Food Triggers

Migraine is often described as a severe pain in the area of the head. It is often accompanied by sensitivity to sound and light, nausea, and vomiting.
Some people may also experience a visual disturbance consisting of zig-zag lines, flashing lights or temporary loss of vision.

Migraine and diet:
Food restriction is not considered a treatment for migraine, but knowing which foods trigger symptoms and avoiding them can help some people prevent migraine attacks.Here are some foods that might cause migraine:

1-Tyramine rich food:
•Yogurt
•Aged or blue cheese
•Red wine or beer
•Smoked, cured or pickled meat or fish
•Soy sauce, miso, tempeh

2-Phenylethylamine rich food:
•Yellow cheeses
•Cheesecakes
•Citrus fruit
•Chocolate
•Cocoa
•Berry pie filling or canned berries
•Red wine

3-Histamine rich foods:
•Banana
•Beef, pork
•Beer
•Chicken liver
•Cheese, especially yellow ripened
•Egg plant
•Fish, shellfish
•Processed meat, such as salami
•Tempeh, tofu, miso, tamari
•Strawberry
•Spinach
•Tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste
•Wine
•Yeast and yeast containing foods
•Pineapple
•Citrus fruits
•Chocolate

4-Monosodium glutamate (MSG) rich foods:
•sometimes added as a flavor enhancer in chinese restaurants.
•found in commercial soups, soy sauce, salad dressings, frozen dinners, soup mix, croutons, stuffing, and some chips.

5-Other triggers:
•Aspartame: iced tea, sugar free ketchup…
•Fatty foods
•Ice cream
•Caffeine withdrawal
•Nitrates and Nitrites: Hot dogs, ham, bacon…

How can these foods induce migraine?
Influence the release of serotonin, causing constriction and dilation of blood vessels, or by directly stimulating areas of the brain such as the trigeminal ganglia, brainstem, and neuronal pathways.

How to hold off migraines?
•Check your eating habits: don’t skip meals, drink enough water, eat enough.
•Choose better food: have some fruits and vegetables, avoid packaged and processed foods.
•Have 2-3 healthy snacks per day.
•Keep a headache diary: write the foods you eat each day and the time you eat them. If one food is a trigger, the headache will hit 12-24 hours afterward.
•Manage your stress.
•Go slow when you’re cutting a trigger food specially if your are a child or a pregnant woman.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

 

 

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Christelle Bedrossian