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Eight Foods and Drinks That Can Trigger Migraines

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The causes of migraines are complex and not always known, however there are some foods that might be making you spend hours and even days with that nefarious headache.

There are several studies that have been carried out to investigate this neurological disease that can be so painful that it even prevents the person who suffers from doing their daily activities normally.

Neurologist Thomas Berk, a migraines and headaches specialist, believes there are eight most common foods and beverages that are linked to migraines:

  1. Aged cheese, including Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, Blue and Brie. When cheeses are aged or fermented, the amino acid tyrosine breaks down, this gives rise to tyramine, which is capable of causing headaches and dilating blood vessels.
  2. Sausages, this food contains nitrates used to preserve the color and flavor of cold cuts for longer. This content, according to Berk, is a common migraine trigger from having those and other food preservatives.
  3. Caffeine, the body needs a certain dose of caffeine, but if it is exaggerated or there is a deficiency this can lead to migraines.
  4. Chocolate, this food affects in a relative way due to its caffeine content, so like coffee it could help to reduce or trigger a migraine depending on the dose you ingest. However, it is a migraine trigger in a small percentage of people.
  5. Alcohol – Several Berk patients abstain from alcohol because it causes migraines. Among the most common alcoholic beverages detected by patients is red wine. The neurologist recalled that several natural chemicals in wine are frequent causes of migraines.
  6. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer found in many types of processed foods, including some sauces, and its chemical properties make it a perfect candidate for causing migraines.
  7. Aspartame, although it is not caloric, it is present in countless foods and beverages. In addition, several studies have shown that it is carcinogenic, it can cause Alzheimer’s and even strokes.
  8. Salty foods, limiting the consumption of salt is highly recommended since, in addition to other ailments, it has been proven that it is the cause of headaches.

According to Business Insider, flavor enhancers made from chemicals to create a flavor can also be triggers. However, Berk has ensured that there is no universal food or drink that causes migraines.

For this reason, the neurologist recommends that his patients create a migraine diary where they write down all the foods they consume and when the migraine occurs to detect which could have caused this. 

Subsequently, eliminate that food from the diet for a month and in this way we can verify if migraines are reduced by eliminating that food from the diet.

The neurologist suggested that to overcome migraines, in addition to having a healthy diet, it is necessary to eat on a set schedule to maintain normal glucose levels, you should also sleep well and reduce stress through exercise, yoga and meditation.

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