These foods could be giving you migraines


Far from just being a ‘bad headache’, migraines can leave a person bed bound in a dark room or feeling extremely nauseous. While it’s a common condition that affects one in five women and one in 15 men, not everyone will know the foods you consume can have a serious impact on a migraine. While skipping meals can be an even bigger trigger for women, there are some foods and drinks that you can consider cutting back on.

Alcohol: This should come as no surprise, considering too much of it can cause a serious headache in the shape of a hangover. But for migraine sufferers, alcohol, particularly red wine, can be a common trigger. While the reasons for this have not been confirmed, some researchers believe it’s to do with the compounds in wine, such as tannins and flavonoids. Another reason to cut back on alcohol is because it causes dehydration, which in turn leads to a headache.

Cheese: Particularly aged varieties such as cheddar, gorgonzola and camembert should be avoided. This is because research suggests these rich, tasty cheeses contain compounds called tyramines, which may interact with the neurotransmitters in the body and lead to a migraine.

Cured and processed meats: Put down the hot dog and step away from those turkey slices, as it’s these kinds of meats that can set you on a path to nausea. The processed and cured nature of them means they have added preservatives such as sodium nitrate, which scientists speculate can change the chemicals in your brain to cause a migraine.

Aspartame: This is an artificial sweetener which can be found in packaged foods and diet drinks, cereal and puddings.

“It’s one of the first items I ask my patients to cut out of their diets,” Louise Klebanoff, MD, a neurologist with the Headache Center at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, told TIME magazine.

Nuts: A healthy snack, but not the best choice for migraine sufferers.

“I tell people to watch their diets, but don’t be obsessive,” she added. “If every time you eat a handful of nuts and you get a headache in the next four to 12 hours, then it’s probably a trigger.”

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