Foods that trigger migraines and should be avoided. Find out which ones should eliminate from your diet to reduce migraine attacks.

Foods that trigger migraines and should be avoided. Find out which ones should eliminate from your diet to reduce migraine attacks.

If you suffer migraines frequently, making conscious decisions about your diet could offer some relief. It is known that certain foods trigger migraines in susceptible people, and avoiding them can help control symptoms. Although the triggering factors may vary from one person to another, some of the most common culprits that should avoid:

  1. Alcohol: It has been shown that the consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially red wine, triggers migraines in some people. Alcohol can cause dehydration and delay blood vessels, two factors associated with migraines.
  2. Caffeine: Although small amounts of caffeine can relieve migraines, excessive consumption may have the opposite effect. Stop consuming caffeine can also trigger migraines, so it is important to find a balance. Keep in mind that caffeine is not only found in coffee and tea, but also in certain soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate.
  3. Processed foods: very processed foods, such as cold cuts, frozen foods and snacks, usually contain preservatives and additives that have been linked to migraines. These additives, such as monosodium glutamate (GMS) and nitrites, can trigger headaches in susceptible people.

Note: It is essential to remember that triggers can vary from one person to another, and that what can trigger migraines in an individual may not affect another. Taking a food diary can help identify the specific triggers of your illness.

Trigger foods for migraines

To determine what foods can be triggering their migraines, it may be useful to carry a food diary. It consists of writing down what he eats and drinks, as well as the migraine attacks that he suffers later. If you compare your diet with migraine episodes, you can identify specific patterns and foods that you should avoid.

Based on anecdotal tests and scientific research, several usual triggers of migraines have been identified. It is important to keep in mind that triggers can vary from one person to another, so what can cause a migraine in an individual may not affect another. However, the following foods and beverages are usually considered triggers:

  • Alcohol: red wine, beer and certain liquors such as whiskey and champagne have been pointed out as migraine triggers. It is believed that the compounds present in these drinks, such as histamines and sulphites, can contribute to migraines.
  • Caffeine: although caffeine can provide some relief during a migraine attack, excessive consumption or sudden abstinence can also trigger migraines in some people. It is important to control caffeine consumption and gradually reduce it if necessary.
  • Chocolate: This sweet candy contains caffeine and tiramina, which is known to trigger migraines in susceptible people.
  1. Cheese: cured cheeses, such as blue cheese, cheddar and feta, contain high levels of tiramine, which makes them potential triggers of migraines.
  2. Processed meats: hot dogs, sausages and other processed meats usually contain additives such as nitrates and nitrites, which have been linked to migraines.

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and that there may be other foods that trigger migraines in some people. Consulting a healthcare professional or a dietitian entitled can provide personalized recommendations and guidance to control their migraines through the diet.

The Role of Caffeine in Triggering Migraines

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is found in various foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, chocolate and some soft drinks. It is known that it affects the central nervous system blocking certain chemical substances of the brain that favor relaxation. As a result, caffeine can provide a temporary impulse of energy and improve the alert state. However, for people prone to migraines, caffeine consumption can be a doubl e-edged sword.

Caffeine can both trigger migraines and relieve them.

Caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor, which means that it narrows the blood vessels of the brain. This vasoconstrictor effect can help relieve migraines in some people by reducing the dilation and inflammation of blood vessels, which are common physiological changes associated with migraines. However, the consumption of caffeine in excessive amounts or the sudden abandonment of the usual caffeine intake can cause rebound headache, also known as cephalees by abstinence.

Although some people may find relief from their migraines by consuming caffeine, it is important to note that caffeine can also serve as a migraine trigger for many others. Studies have shown that excessive caffeine consumption, especially in sensitive people, can increase the frequency and severity of migraines. Additionally, the stimulant properties of caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns, which is another common trigger for migraines. Therefore, people with migraines should carefully monitor their caffeine intake and consider reducing or eliminating it from their diet if it exacerbates their symptoms.

Table: Caffeine Content in Various Beverages

Drink Caffeine content (mg per serving)
Coffee (8 oz) 95-165
Black tea (8 oz) 25-48
Green tea (8 oz) 25-29
Soft drinks (12 oz) 20-48
Energy drink (8 oz) 20-50
Decaffeinated coffee or tea (8 oz) 2-5

Although individual sensitivity to caffeine may vary, it is advisable for migraineurs to be aware of the caffeine content of the various beverages they consume, as well as their personal tolerance levels. It may be beneficial to discuss caffeine consumption with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach to managing migraines and avoiding potential triggers.

Harmful effects of processed foods on migraines

One of the main reasons why processed foods are harmful for people prone to migraines is their high content of artificial additives and preservatives. These additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and nitrites, can act as potential migraine triggers. Research has shown that certain food additives have the ability to activate and sensitize pain receptors in the brain, causing the onset or intensification of migraines. It is important for people with migraines to read food labels carefully and avoid processed foods that contain these additives and preservatives.

Processed foods, high in added sugars, unhealthy fats and artificial additives, can trigger or worsen migraine attacks.

  • Artificial additives in processed foods, such as MSG and nitrites, can act as migraine triggers.
  • Certain food additives have the ability to activate and sensitize pain receptors in the brain.
  • It is important for people with migraines to read food labels carefully and avoid processed foods that contain these additives and preservatives.

In addition to artificial additives, processed foods usually contain excessive amounts of added sugars. Consumption of high sugar levels can cause blood sugar fluctuations, which is known to trigger migraines. In addition, excessive sugar consumption can contribute to the inflammation of the organism, alter hormonal balance and negatively affect the general health of the brain. It is crucial that people with migraines limit their consumption of processed foods to minimize the risks associated with high sugar intake.

Another harmful component that is usually found in processed foods are unhealthy fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats. These fats can promote the inflammation of the organism and hinder blood circulation, which can aggravate the symptoms of migraine. Opting comprehensive and no n-processed foods instead of processed options can help people with migraines reduce the intake of these unhealthy fats and improve their general wel l-being.

Harmful effects Processed foods
They trigger or worsen migraine attacks High content of added sugars, unhealthy fats and artificial additives
Possible migraine triggers Artificial additives (for example, monosodium glutamate, nitrites)
Activation of pain receptors in the brain Presence of certain food additives
Blood sugar and inflammation fluctuations Excessive amounts of added sugars
They promote inflammation and hinder blood circulation Unhealthy fats (for example, trans fats, saturated fats)

The Influence of Alcohol on Migraines

Alcohol is a very consumed drink that contains ethyl alcohol (ethanol), which can have immediate and lon g-term effects on the body. The relationship between alcohol and migraines is complex and can vary from one person to another. Some individuals consider that alcohol can trigger an episode of migraine, while others may not experience any adverse effect. It is important to keep in mind that, although alcohol does not cause direct migraines, it can exacerbate symptoms and increase the frequency and intensity of episodes in people who are already prone to these headaches.

  • Alcoho l-induced dehydration: a possible reason why alcohol can trigger migraines is its dehydrating effect. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, increasing urine production and making the body lose fluids. Dehydration is a wel l-known trigger for migraines, and alcohol consumption can make this condition worse.
  • Changes in blood flow: alcohol consumption can also affect the blood vessels of the brain, causing changes in blood flow. It can cause blood vessels to dilate or contract, which can trigger migraines in susceptible people. The specific mechanisms by which alcohol influences cerebral blood flow is not yet known.

“Alcohol has a complex relationship with migraines, since their effects can vary from one person to another. For some people, even small amounts of alcohol can trigger migraines, while others can find that certain types of alcohol are more problematic thanothers. It is essential that people suffering from migraines pay attention to their alcohol consumption and identify any pattern or trigger. “

In addition to these physiological factors, certain components that are usually found in alcoholic beverages, such as sulphites, histamines and tiramine, have been associated with migraines. It is known that these substances trigger migraines in some people and are usually found in red wine, beer and certain alcoholic beverages. Therefore, it is advisable that people prone to migraines take care when consuming this type of alcoholic beverages.

Possible impact of alcohol on migraines
Alcoho l-induced dehydration
Changes in blood flow
Presence of unleashed migraine substances (sulphites, histamines and tiramine) in certain alcoholic beverages.

The Connection Between Migraines and Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are usually used as sugar substitutes in food and beverages marketed as “dietary” or “sugarless”. They provide sweetness without adding calories, which makes them attractive to people who wish to control their weight or reduce sugar consumption. However, there are indications that these artificial additives can contribute to trigger migraines in some people.

A study published in Headache magazine discovered that Aspartamo, an artificial sweetener of common use, was associated with a higher risk of migraines in susceptible individuals. The participants who consumed Aspartamo declared more intense headaches and a greater frequency of migraines compared to those who did not consume the sweetener. The study also discovered that the withdrawal of aspartamo entailed a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of headaches.

A possible explanation of the connection between migraines and artificial sweeteners resides in its effect on neurotransmitters and brain. Some studies suggest that artificial sweeteners, including aspartamo, can influence the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and glutamate, who play a crucial role in the regulation of pain and physiopathology of migraine. In addition, these additives can alter the intestinal microbiota, which causes inflammation and a greater propensity to migraines.

  • Another study published in the Cephalalgia magazine found a positive association between the consumption of drinks containing artificial sweeteners and the appearance of migraines in previously diagnosed individuals of episodic migraine.
  • In addition, research has shown that artificial sweeteners can trigger migraines in people with predisposition to suffer from them, even in low doses.

Although more research is needed to fully understand the mechanism underlying the connection between migraines and artificial sweeteners, it is advisable that people prone to migraine are cautious when consuming food and drinks containing these additives. Being aware of possible triggers and making informed food decisions can help control and prevent migraines.

High-sodium foods and their impact on migraine sufferers

It is known that sodiu m-rich foods, often associated with processed and packaged products, increase blood voltage levels. When blood pressure increases, it can affect blood vessels in the brain, which can trigger migraines in susceptible people. While it is important to keep in mind that not all people suffering from migraines are sensitive to sodium, it is advisable that those who experience migraines are aware of their sodium intake and consider reducing their consumption of sodiu m-rich foods.

Dairy products and their potential to trigger migraines

1. Dairy products and tiramine: a possible reason why dairy products could be problematic for migraine is their tiramine content. Tiramine is a compound of natural origin found in cured and fermented foods, including certain types of cheese and cultured dairy products. According to research studies, tiramine has been related to the development and exacerbation of migraines in susceptible people. The higher the tiramine content of a certain dairy product, the greater the probability that a migraine episode will trigger. Thus, people prone to migraines should pay attention to the types of dairy products they consume.

Note: It is important to remember that not all dairy products have high tiramine levels. Fresh milk and yogurt, for example, usually have lower levels of tiramine than cured cheese. However, it is always advisable that people with migraines discuss their dietary options with a health professional to determine the best approach to their individual needs.

Dairy products and lactose intolerance:

2. Dairy products and lactose intolerance: lactose intolerance is another frequent condition that can coexist with migraines. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Some people lack the lactase enzyme, necessary to correctly digest lactose. When lactose is consumed and not digested correctly, it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as swelling, gases and diarrhea, which can potentially trigger or worsen migraines.

  1. Reduce dairy consumption: for people with migraines that suspect a possible relationship between their symptoms and dairy consumption, it may be worth considering a test period of reduction or elimination of dairy products of their diet. This approach can help determine if there is a connection between migraines and dairy consumption.
  2. Alternative nutrient sources: It is important to ensure that if the dairy products of the diet are eliminated, alternative sources of nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and proteins are included to maintain a balanced diet. These nutrients can be found in no n-dairy sources such as green leafy vegetables, enriched vegetable milks and lean meats or plant proteins.

Although more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between dairy products and migraines, it is clear that for some people, these products have the potential to trigger or worsen the episodes of migraine. Taking into account their dairy consumption and exploring possible alternatives, people with migraines can take measures to control their illness and improve their quality of life in general.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

Cannabis and Hemp Testing Laboratory
Add a comment