Migraines are moderate to chronic headaches with throbbing or pounding pain on one side of the brain. Some migraine sufferers get them several days a month, while others may experience severe attacks over 15 days every month, for approximately three days. Scientific research suggests that the causes and symptoms of migraines are because of food/drink goods containing preservatives and additives.
Foods that trigger migraines have often have certain preservatives or flavor enhancers for protection and taste:
1. Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer and found in Chinese foods, including sauces and some meats. You can find the ingredient in meat tenderizer Accent, and canned and packaged foods. MSG can trigger a migraine attack within 25 to 30 minutes, with symptoms of abdominal discomfort and dizziness. Food labels may have a substitute for MSG as yeast extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, or HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein).
Tyramine is a natural compound found in cured meats, aged cheese, fresh baked cake/bread, and other foods. It can trigger a migraine by narrowing the blood vessels or by vibrating the body’s biochemicals. Migraine sufferers should eat those foods in moderation or exclude them from their diet altogether. Beer is a popular alcoholic beverage that contains tyramine and can cause a migraine attack, when consumed in excess.
Nitrates are preservatives used as an additive for cured or smoked flavoring, food coloring, and food poisoning prevention. Hot dogs, bacon, ham, pastrami, sausages, and pepperoni are examples of foods comprising the preservative. People who suffer from migraines usually have an attack within minutes to several hours after eating the food. They must avoid foods with potassium and sodium nitrites and nitrates.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, such as NutraSweet, that is sweeter than granulated sugar and low in calories. After NutraSweet entered the market in the early 1980s, reports surfaced of its users experiencing headaches. Researchers suggest the artificial sweetener may offset a migraine in people, if they consume between 900 and 3000 mg per day. Aspartame is in cereals, yogurt, and breath mints to reduce the calories and add a sweet flavoring without the sugar.
MSG, tyramine, nitrates, and aspartame are common flavor enhancers and preservatives found in many foods and drinks. You will find these ingredients in packaged and canned meats, cereals, and other foods. Sugar-free soft drinks have various types of artificial sweeteners and can trigger the symptoms of a migraine. For testing, try to eliminate the foods gradually to reduce and eliminate attacks.
Statistics show that migraines are most common in women than in men, with 14 out of 100 women to 7 out of 100 men. It can affect children equally in both genders, approximately four to five boys and girls out of 100. Only two out 100 people have chronic migraine headaches and need medical treatments and medications. Other symptoms of migraines in children may include nausea or vomiting followed by the migraine.
Overtime, migraines go away in women after menopause or during pregnancies. People who experience migraine headaches, whether moderate, severe, or chronic, should avoid stress and foods with additives and preservatives. You should set a regular sleeping schedule and consume organic foods and drinks. Sleep, diet, and strenuous activities are all associated with offsetting migraines.