Diet Mistakes That Can Trigger Headaches and Migraines

Although the exact cause of migraines is still unknown, experts agree that severe headaches can be provoked by the medicine you take, abrupt changes in your endocrine system, and lack of sleep among other reasons. Your eating habits also affect the way you feel. According to studies, about 10% of people suffer from migraines that are triggered by mistakes in their diet.

We made a list of the most common food products that can provoke migraine attacks.

1. Food additives

Additional chemicals in foods usually have no nutritional value and can have negative effects on your health. So if you often have headaches, try to stay away from the following additives:

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG — E621) is a common meat tenderizer and flavor enhancer. This preservative is one of the main ingredients of Asian foods, soy sauce, processed foods, and canned vegetables. It can spark a migraine within 20 minutes of consuming it.
  • Nitrates and nitrites are usually found in processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, ham, pepperoni, bacon, as well as some heart medicines. When these additives get into your body, your blood vessels start swelling and it may cause a severe headache.
  • Aspartame (APM) and sucralose (E955) are artificial sweeteners that can be found in diet soft drinks, sports drinks, sugar-free products, and even in children’s vitamins. If you are sensitive to these additives, you can get a migraine attack after taking them.
  • Red and yellow food coloring is usually found in candy, ice cream, potato chips, sodas, crackers, jams, cereal bars and many other products. They are made of petroleum, the same ingredient used to make motor oil, which is certainly not good for your health.

2. Cold foods

If you are used to eating ice cream or gulping cold drinks quickly when you are over-heated from physical exercises or hot temperatures, you may get a cold-stimulus headache which usually lasts anywhere from 25-60 seconds to 1-2 minutes. CLICK TO CONTINUE READING