What if you’ve already “cleaned up” your food choices, and are dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free but still having migraines? I’ve had chronic migraine symptoms nearly every day for the last 15 months. So let me tell you, I’ve done a TON of research about migraine triggers.
Would you believe that foods full of health benefits could be a migraine trigger for you?
Here are seven healthy foods that you might want to test for their migraine trigger potential in your body.
- Garbanzo beans / chickpeas (hummus)
- Many fresh and dried fruits: citrus, pineapple, figs, papaya, plums
- Treats like dark chocolate and red wine
Migraine triggers fall into two basic categories: stuff you can control, and things out of your control. You can’t control the weather, barometric pressure, your hormonal fluctuations, stress (sometimes!), or other environmental factors. You CAN control things that go in your mouth: foods you eat and drinks you drink.
Food and drink choices basically come down to a few things. Foods with tyramine, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulfites, and nitrites are the biggest culprits.
The reasons why these substances trigger migraine activity are hotly debated scientifically. But there is enough evidence to give eliminating them a try—especially if migraines are difficult for you.
Tyramine is produced when the amino acid tyrosine breaks down. This process can happen naturally in a food—for example, as a tomato ripens. In the list above, tyramine is the biggest trigger.
Tyramine can also be created as a food is aged or cured (as in cheeses), or through fermentation. When eaten, tyramine constricts and then expands (dilates) your blood vessels, which can cause migraine symptoms.
Nitrites are naturally found in citrus foods or juices and in soy products. They’re also used in processed meats like bacon and sausage. You’ll find them in caffeine and alcohol as well.
Sulfite additives are used to prevent foods from turning brown when exposed to air, such as during the drying process. They’re sanitizers, and prevent the growth of molds and bacteria. They can be naturally occurring in the winemaking process.
Hey, I heard you! You just sighed really loud, and I know it’s frustrating. Believe me, I do know how it feels. We try everything to be healthy, relieve our chronic pain, and then end up with extra migraine activity.
Most likely, you won’t have to eliminate these foods forever. But eliminating them for a short time (2-6 weeks) can give you a clearer idea of which foods trigger you. You may also learn that many of these trigger foods are okay in the absence of other major triggers like hormones or extra stress.
The first step to finding relief is education and awareness. That’s why I’m here for you. Ask me your questions in the comments, and let’s discuss!
Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!