Saturday, November 22, 2008

Migraine food triggers

There are many foods that can trigger headaches and migraines. Not only can specific foods trigger a headache, but dietary habits can also play a role. Fasting, dehydration, or skipping meals may also cause headaches. By tracking your headache episodes through your headache diary, you may be able to identify specific foods that trigger your headaches.

Published surveys have found that the most commonly reported food triggers are cheese, chocolate, alcohol, bananas, and citrus fruit.

What Foods Trigger Headaches and Migraines?

Tyramine-containing foods:
• aged cheeses (Blue cheeses, Brie, Cheddar, Stilton, Feta, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, Swiss, Processed cheese
• aged, canned, cured or processed meats
• certain beans (fava, broad, garbanzo, lima, pinto, Italian, lentil, soy, navy, pole, string, peas)
onions, olives, pickles, pickled herrings, avocados, raisins, canned soups, bouillon cubes, dried soup packets, sauerkraut, anchovies
• nuts and seeds including: Peanuts and peanut butter, soya products as well as the bean itself, Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds
• Red wine, beer, whiskey, vermouth, Sherry, and champagne
Food additives:
• nitrates and nitrites (Hot dogs, Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Luncheon meats and deli-style meats, Pepperoni, Other cured, dried, or processed meats
• MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is a food additive/flavor enhancer found in soy sauce, meat tenderizer, Oriental foods, and a variety of packaged foods - almost universal use in all processed foods it can be disguised on food labels as sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed proteins, or autolyzed yeast (and almost 50 other names!)
• Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners
• Benzoic acid and its associated compounds
• Meat tenderizer, seasoned salt
Cultured Dairy products:
• sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt
Other Foods:
• Potato chip products
• Chicken livers and other organ meats
• Smoked or dried fish
• Bread, crackers, and desserts containing cheese – including pizza
• Certain fresh fruits including ripe bananas, citrus fruits, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple
• Dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates)
• Soups made from meat extracts or bouillon (not homemade broth)
• Raw garlic
• Chocolate ice cream, pudding, cookies, cakes, or pies
• Cheese sauce, macaroni and cheese, beef stroganoff, cheese blintzes, lasagna, frozen TV dinners, mixed dishes (aka; Casseroles)
• Anything fermented, pickled or marinated
• Sourdough bread, fresh baked yeast goods (donuts, cakes, homemade breads, and rolls)
• found in chocolate and cocoa; beverages such as coffee, tea and colas; also found in certain medications
Vitamins, minerals, and medications:
• Some aspirin medications that contain caffeine.
• Some heart medications
• Excessive amounts of Niacin (Niacinamide is fine).
• Excessive Vitamin A (over 25,000 I.U. daily)
Most symptoms of Food Additive-Induced Headaches begin within 20-25 minutes after consuming these products. They include:
• Pressure in the chest
• Tightening and pressure in the face
• Burning sensation in the chest, neck, or shoulders
• Facial flushing
• Dizziness
• Headache pain across the front or sides of the head
• Abdominal discomfort

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