Unfortunately one of the most popular drugs that many people use on a daily basis is at the top of this list. Caffeine can cause migraines for two major reasons.
First, caffeine acts as a ligand on certain receptors in the brain which are linked with migraines. THis means that caffeine can directly cause migraines themselves.
In addition to that, caffeine itself is a diuretic. Diuretics are bad when it comes to headaches because it signals for the additional excretion of urine, which in turn dehydrates us. It also causes the constriction of blood vessels, reducing blood flow and causing pain to the affected area.
Caffeine is ok if you are drinking 1 maybe 2 cups of coffee or tea daily but anything more than that you want to avoid if you are prone to migraines.
Seeing processed meats on this list shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as they are associated with other negative health effects as well.
Those same nitrites which are bad for your heart are also linked to changes in brain chemistry that are believed to be one cause of migraines.
Hotdogs, deli meats, sausages and other food items that contain processed or cured meats should not only be avoided to prevent migraines but because they are bad for your overall health as well.
Alcohol, like caffeine can cause migraines for two major reasons. One of these reason is dehydration, which alcohol is known to cause. Dehydration thickens the blood, which makes it more difficult to flow. In response the heart increases its pressure and force to push the blood where it is destined to go.
This extra pressure and stress on the blood vessels, many of which reside in the brain are one cause of migraines.
A second cause of migraines through the use of alcohol is due to certain compounds found in wine which actually provide positive health benefits as well. The same group of heart healthy antioxidants are believed to be the cause behind migraines as well.
Red wine in particular is beneficial to our health so you don’t need to completely eliminate alcohol from your diet. Just don’t drink it in excess and especially be aware on days where you are drinking both alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
The science isn’t definitive one way or another when it comes to citrus and migraines however it is a potential culprit when it comes to causing migraines. Citrus fruits contain a chemical compound known as furanocoumarins which are known to alter the effects of certain medications.
These compounds are so strong that they can completely neglect or conversely amplify the effects of certain medications, and is why many people are advised to avoid these foods.
It is believed that these furanocoumarins could be interfering with some of the chemistry in the brain that is responsible for migraine headaches.
Aspartame is a compound that has been under a lot of scrutiny as of late. Aspartame was developed in the lab by scientists as a low calorie sweetener that could be used as an alternative to sugar.
Aspartame’s role in migraines is more of an observational one than a proven one found in clinical studies. Even so many experts believe that it can play a role in the development of a migraine.
Aspartame is a food additive found in many foods in the supermarket today that you would otherwise not realize. It is in everything from diet soda, to baked goods, cereals and more.
Chocolate has been long associated with migraines however researchers do not know definitively if i does cause migraines. Chocolate contains a large variety of chemicals which can interact with our own body chemistry, that including caffeine as well.
Many people have reported cravings for chocolate before the onset of a migraine attack, but it is still unknown if chocolate cravings are a symptom or a cause of the problem.
MSG is a preservative that is well known because of its prevalence in certain foods, especially Chinese takeout.
MSG is another type of salt, and can act similar to other salts in that it promotes dehydration. Dehydration as we know constricts blood vessels, which can cause headaches such as migraines.
MSG is an additive that is easily avoidable and isn’t naturally found in most foods. MSG is found mainly in processed foods.