Millions of people suffer from migraines on a regular basis. There are many reasons why the often-disabling event occurs, with food being amongst the top culprits.
Diet links back to a number of conditions, affecting a lot about an individual’s wellbeing. When it comes to migraines, the responsibility pinned on food differs. Some stats say that diet is responsible for around a third of headaches, while other reports, such as from Dr. Fred Freitag of the Milwaukee Medical College of Wisconsin, say that food could be responsible for up to 60% of migraines.
The finger of blame is pointed at a vast range of food types and additives, from amino acid salts to chocolate, cheese, and alcohol. When you add caffeine into the mix, the responsibility of diet for migraine occurrence only goes up.
Top Foods to Avoid for Migraine Control
The two big foods to avoid, when trying to prevent migraines, are caffeine and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Just a couple cups of coffee a day can be enough to start triggering migraines, while MSG can be a little difficult to spot in foods, put also plays a pretty big role.
To lower your risk of migraines, there are other key foods to avoid as well. Primarily, these are foods that contain tyramine, an amino acid. Some foods that you could consider eliminating from your diet, or closely monitoring, include:
- Sour cream
- Ripened cheeses
- Certain nuts
- Tofu and other soy-based foods
- Broad, fava, and lima beans
- Fruits – figs, citrus fruits, papayas, avocados, and raisins
- Cured meats
Behind the Scenes
The reasoning behind the link between food and migraines is believed to be due to the stimulating effect that certain foods have, causing the constriction of brain blood vessels. Why this can trigger some people, and not others, is believed to be because some people don’t have the enzyme that is needed to deal with tyramine effectively, allowing it to have more of an affect on the body.
Foods high in additives can often causes a headache to appear within a short timeframe, around 30 minutes. In contrast, the disposal of tyramine can cause migraines to be triggered and result in headaches that don’t appear for up to 24 hours.
Top Foods to Add to Your Diet
Just as there are foods that can cause migraines, there are foods that can help your body to prevent them. Some of the key foods that you should be including in your diet, are:
- B vitamin rich foods, such as: whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and beans.
- Magnesium rich foods, such as: spinach, edamame, whole wheat, and peas.
A Healthier Looking Future
The best way to reduce your migraine risk is to keep track of the food you’re eating and see which foods lead to a migraine occurring. Just a few changes to your diet may drastically reduce the number of migraines that you have to cope with.
Worried about the number of migraines that you have, and need advice on where you stand with health insurance? Call us today for professional advice on all areas of insurance.