Foods to Avoid and Foods to Use for Migraines

Written by AnaLise on July 10, 2008 – 9:43 pm -

If you suffer from migraines like over 20 million other people in the U.S., you probably have heard many tales – some true and some not – about what foods to avoid so you don’t trigger migraines and possibly a few foods to keep close by in case you get a migraine.  It depends upon the individual, of course, but there can be properties in many foods that actually do create migraines or do help ease them.  No foods have actually been proven to do either, however, there are enough people who suffer from migraines that have talked about the same or similar foods that there may be a link, and it is probably worth it to try them.

According to Keri Glassman who appeared on The Early Show Tuesday, there are several migraine contributors or triggers, such as Tyramine, an amino acid found in aged cheese, wine, chocolate, smoked, pickled and cured meats, eggplant, avocado, raspberries and bananas, as well as some other fruits and vegetables. 

Another big group of contributors includes nitrites, food additives and MSG.  These are often found in Chinese Food, cheese powders, Campbell’s soup, potato chips, frozen meals and some salad dressings.  It is important to check ingredients in these to see if any of these additives are used.  MSG is also packaged under the name of Accent, which comes in a red and white salt-shaker shaped carton.

Other contributors include aspartame (artificial sweetener) which has been shown to make neurons fire spasmodically.  Another strong contributor is alcohol which affects different individuals in different ways. Some people have difficulties with red wine because of the sulfites in it, others cannot drink hard liquor such as tequila or gin without triggering a migraine.

As for migraine relievers, the possibilities are ginger, Omega 3s from fish or nuts, Vitamin B2/Riboflavin, Magnesium and Caffeine.  Migraine preventatives are said to be exercise, sleep, eating and not skipping meals and keeping a migraine diary that will help you determine what you did, ate or drank right before a migraine and see if there is a pattern you need to eliminate.

For those who do not wish to use medications or various treatments, it might be a good idea to give these things a try.  Though not proven, some people with migraine histories swear by these, and you might just find a natural remedy to decrease or eliminate your migraines, just as they have.

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