If you suffer from migraines, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from migraines on a daily basis.
From Live Science
This infographic just barely touches on the idea that foods may impact migraines, but it doesn’t really go into what foods may help prevent migraines or which foods may trigger or make migraines worse.
But if you are a migraine sufferer, you may have noticed a correlation between the foods you eat and migraines.
Inflammation in the body and the nerves can lead to migraines.
If you have food sensitivities certain foods can trigger inflammation in the body and when foods trigger inflammation the nerves can become inflamed as well.
Inflammatory foods increase levels of cytokines which sets off a waterfall effect of reactions leading to inflammation and migraines.
By removing inflammatory foods you can reduce inflammation in the body and, in turn, reduce inflammation in the nerves.
So what foods trigger inflammation?
While exact triggers differ from person to person there are a few common triggers to avoid.
Amines– there are a variety of amines (histamine, phenylethylamine, etc.) which are generally found in fermented foods- think aged cheese, chocolate, soy sauce, vinegars, beer, tempeh, etc.
Amines can also be found in foods, especially meats, that have been in the fridge for a few days.
Very ripe bananas and avocados are sources of amines as well.
Caffeine and Medications with Caffeine- Think caffeine helps prevent that migraine?
Although caffeine may initially help prevent the onset of a migraine, when the caffeine is out of your system the body goes through withdrawal which can trigger a migraine.
Alcohol– on top of being fermented, alcohol is dehydrating. Dehydration is a common trigger for migraines.
Citrus fruits, dairy, food additives and preservatives like sulfites, MSG, artificial sweeteners and nitrites can all trigger migraines as well- be aware of processed meats, dried fruits and anything that’s been smoked, pickled or cured.
Avoiding these common triggers and reading ingredient labels may help you to avoid migraines.
One big problem with migraine trigger foods is that they can be tricky to pin down. Often they can be dose dependent or delayed, so identifying them can be a challenge.
Not all migraines are triggered by foods, other common triggers include magnesium and/or riboflavin deficiency, dehydration, low blood sugar, not eating enough and a variety of environmental factors.