While you are at a restaurant or at a party, eat smart to stay away from these foods that trigger migraine. After all, nothing can ruin a good time like one of those blackout headaches.
1. Choose your cheeses with care
Top among food culprits on the migraine triggers list are tyramine or phenylethylamine. These two amino acids are commonly found in aged cheeses such as cheddar, blue, brie, Swiss, parmesan and Roquefort. While a small amount (less than 4 ounces) is considered okay, you’d do best to stick to fresh cheese like mozzarella and ricotta.
2. Puckering up with pickles? Go for raw veggies instead
If you enjoy your burgers and sandwiches (don’t we all?), steer clear of headache triggers like raw onion and pickled foods. That innocuously tangy pile of pickles are really high in tyramine so you might want to swap them out with raw cucumber – for some added crunch and being headache-free.
3. Skip the soy
If you have ever experienced a headache after dining at that fancy Japanese restaurant, this is because soy-based condiments like miso, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce are migraine trigger points. Opt for dishes that are seasoned with fresh herbs, ginger and sesame oil to reduce the risk of that throbbing headache. If you love your sushi learn to like it without having to go dip-dip in sauce. Enjoy Asian food to the fullest by asking for a steamed or grilled entree instead so you can ensure that it is not marinated or glazed in soy sauce.
4. Let go of the leftovers
When food is cooked, the tyramine content tends to go up over time which is one of the causes of migraine. This is especially the case when food is stored improperly, so you might want to exercise caution when eating at parties or at the office – both places where the possibility of food being left unrefrigerated for long periods of time is quite high. Even at home if you are storing leftovers, make sure that you use airtight containers. Try to minimize eating leftover food altogether as they top the headache triggers food list.
5. Sweeten the pot with natural sweeteners
Those sugar-free tablets in your coffee might help your waistline but they are definitely not doing good things for your migraine diet. Aspartame is a common artificial sweetener that is used in diet sodas, low-calorie desserts, sugar-free candies and light yogurts. Indulge the sweet tooth in you with honey, rock candy or jaggery instead.
6. Read food labels for these sneaky additives
Sulfites (preservatives), monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract, hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), sodium caseinate and kombu extract (often used in Japanese foods) are all on the no-no list for migraines.