Migraine is a debilitating headache that is characterised by nausea, vomiting, pain on one side of the face ideally, and light and sound sensitivity. This definition was shared by Dr Kandraju Sai Satish, Consultant Neurologist and Epileptologist, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad while talking to the team of OnlyMyHealth.
Migraine can last for 4-72 hours and affects more than 10% of people worldwide, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Talking to the team of OnlyMyHealth, Dr Natasha Tipnis, Consultant Neurologist, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, said, “Certain food items like dark chocolate and wine can trigger migraine headaches.”
Being aware of these dietary culprits can be a crucial step in managing and preventing migraine attacks.
While caffeine can offer relief to some migraine sufferers, it can also be a trigger for others. The key is moderation. Abruptly stopping caffeine intake can lead to withdrawal headaches, so it’s best to maintain a consistent daily amount, and gradually reduce it over time.
Aged cheese like cheddar, parmesan, and gouda contain tyramine, a known migraine trigger, which forms as proteins in the cheese break down over time.
Also Read: Is it Sinus or Migraine? Read On To Know The Difference
Processed and Cured Meats
Processed and cured meats like bacon, sausages, and salami contain nitrates and nitrites, which can dilate blood vessels and contribute to migraines.
MSG Or Ajinomoto
MSG is a common food additive found in processed and restaurant foods and is known for its potential to trigger migraines in some people. Pay attention to food labels and consider cooking at home to control MSG intake.
Alcohol, Especially Red Wine
Alcohol, particularly red wine, is a well-known migraine trigger. The reasons are complex, but alcohol can lead to dehydration and affect blood flow. Consider choosing low-alcohol options and staying well-hydrated when you drink.
According to the University Of Cincinnati- Health, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose can trigger headaches in a small percentage of people. Opt for natural sweeteners like honey or stevia as alternatives to artificial ones.
Chocolate contains both caffeine and tyramine, making it a potential migraine trigger for some people. A study published in MDPI’s Nutrients confirmed that there is a link between chocolate and migraines.
Citrus fruits’ acidity can disrupt the stomach’s natural balance, potentially triggering migraines. If you’re prone to migraines, be mindful of citrus consumption, especially on an empty stomach.
Also Read: Migraines And Sleep Trouble: Expert Lists Tips For Better Sleep
In conclusion, understanding which foods trigger your migraines is an essential step in managing this often painful condition. Since different foods impact each person differently, keep a food diary to track your dietary choices and identify potential triggers. It’s also wise to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a personalised plan for managing migraines through diet. By making informed choices about the foods you consume, you can take control of your migraine triggers and enjoy a better quality of life.