Avoiding foods that
trigger migraines is a high priority for us as migraine sufferers. There are some well known food triggers, but everyone has different reactions to food. It can get a little confusing.
Plus different philosophies have different causes and triggers for migraines. And they often disagree with each others methods.
For example these four potential migraine triggers are taken from the macrobiotic ideology:
Any food that causes fatigue or indigestion can indicate allergy or food trigger;
Any food with additives using “E numbers", for more details please see our migraines and food article;
All micro waved food.
The macrobiotic diet leans towards eating pickled condiments with each meal to aid digestion, which does not suit us migraineurs. Please read our migraine headaches diet for more details on macrobiotics.
Chinese medicine would say to stay away from hot foods due to the Liver Fire Blazing pattern.
You need herbs and foods that nourish the Yin and dispel heat. It would also consider climate, time of year, and the persons individual constitution first.
One example is red skinned apples, ginger and cardamon are considered hot. Green skinned apples, on the other hand, are better, as are cucumbers and soft juicy fruits. These are cooling foods.
Coffee is considered to be hot and too stimulating.
I believe that using these
'diets' or ways of looking at food are not one size fits all. We cannot feed everyone according to
the same rules. But I do favor the Chinese methodology over our
eat what you feel like western diet.
Overall, here is the A-Z list for us migraineurs to consider avoiding:
Any meat that is aged, fermented, salted or smoked – salami,
Citrus Fruit juices
Cola or caffeinated soda products
Cooking with aluminum pans
Cooking with Teflon coated cookware
Cooking with unsaturated oils – Canola Oil
Dairy products (some)
Dried fruits (preserved with sulphites - raisins, figs)
Drinking out of plastic bottles
Eating out of hot plastic take away containers
Eggs (Organic is acceptable)
Green Tea (tannins)
Herbs - see our list on migraine food trigger
High GI foods
Malted Barley Flour
Onions (especially raw)
Oranges and citrus fruit
Snails or escargot
Spices - see our list on migraine food trigger
Wheat and or gluten
Ok, I think that’s close to it for my list. I will add more if I have missed some as I go for more foods that trigger migraines.
Besides completely avoiding the above foods, this combination of biofeedback, vitamins, breathing and doing gentle exercise or yoga works for me.
I had an Irish roommate once that said "don't you know how to breathe already?" I had to laugh but it is important to learn to breathe using the diaphragm. Anyway, give them a try!
Have you tried doing an elimination diet yet? If not, try this one, it's excellent.
Avoiding Foods That Trigger Migraines