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Migraine Triggers

Many migraines are food-related, meaning that there are food-based triggers for migraine

Keep a food journal to discover what triggers you.

headaches. Stress can contribute, but the effects of food on the body are generally not well appreciated.


For instance, dairy products are a major trigger for many people, followed by poultry, including eggs. Other food triggers are wheat products, chocolate, beef and red wine.

Obviously, the fast food culture prevalent in America is not helping migraine sufferers. The typical fast food breakfast includes eggs and cheese (dairy) on either a biscuit, croissant, bun or tortilla (all made from wheat). A typical lunch will include the wheat bun or sandwich bread with either a hamburger (beef) or chicken (poultry), often topped with cheese (dairy). Add in a sugary beverage and a migraine may be on the way.


Other triggers are tannins, found in red wines, food additives – such as MSG, which is almost always added to make poor quality food “taste” better – artificial sweeteners and food colorings. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a known neurotoxin. The artificial sweetener aspartame is even worse. Many common food colorings are considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing).


Obviously, fast food options aren’t good options at all. Convenient, sure. But profoundly unhealthy. Morgan Spurlock’s classic documentary Super Size Me made this very clear.

Generally speaking, the kinds of foods carried in the aisles of most grocery stores are no better. If it comes in a colorful box, carton or bottle, chances are it contains things that aren’t helping you feel better.


Try avoiding these kinds of “foods” for a week or two. Instead, you can fill up on foods high in magnesium, such as fresh, organic spinach and other dark leafy vegetables. Raw, unsalted nuts like almonds and cashews are also great snacks.


While your body is detoxing from bad food and you’re giving it whole-food tools to help it heal itself, try supplementing with feverfew, an herb that can inhibit blood vessel dilation that can lead to migraines.


If you have access to a juicer, fresh celery can soothe the circulatory system. Add fresh spinach, cucumber, parsley, carrots and a banana for a well-rounded drink.

Keep a daily food diary listing what you eat and at what time, followed a couple of hours later by how you feel. This will help you connect your general moods – and possibly your migraines – with what might have brought them on. You could be surprised by what you find.

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Presented by Choku-Rei Wellness & Coaching -- Modesto, CA

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