Just reading that the vice president’s wife Jill Biden has suffered from migraines for years brings to light that 12% of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from migraines. More women than men experience migraines especially when going through hormonal changes, have lack of food or sleep, are fatigued or stressed.
Low levels of estrogen and or serotonin can contribute to migraines as well as foods and food additives.
Nutrition and food can play a role in triggering migraines. There may be a category of food which contains an allergen, a biogenic amine or substance that triggers a migraine. Here are a few:
Some common food allergies may cause migraines: Eggs, milk, wheat, legumes,pork.
Phenylethylalanine, Tyramine and Histamine:
Some foods containing biogenic amines can cause migraines. Examples are foods containing phenylethylalanine such as aged cheese, red wine and chocolate. Tyramine which may also trigger migraines is in agesd cheese, processed or fermented sausages, sour cream, red wine, pickled herring, smoked fish, sauerkraut, vinegar, avocado and chicken liver. Histamine, another biogenic amine is found in shellfish, fermented cheeses, fermented soy products, soy sauce, wine and beer, tomato, spinach, egg white, strawberries, chocolate and sauerkraut.
Nitrites are found in most salami, bologna, ham, bacon, pepperoni, some lunch meats and some wieners , smoked fish and aged cheeses and can trigger migraines.
Found in coffee, tea and cola drinks can trigger migraines.
Other possible migraine triggers:
monosodium glutamate (MSG) or the artificial sweetener aspartame.
What to do:
1. Record what you have eaten over 24 hours when you experience a migraine- see if one of these foods or food groups explains the onset.
2. Get fish oil for EPA and DHA: Recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids (healthy adults) : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fish-oil/NS_patient-fishoil/DSECTION=dosing.
3. Drink 6-8 cups water/day
4. Eat regular meals to fuel.