[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ietary changes and certain foods can trigger migraines. Suffering from headaches or migraines every now then? Well, you’re not alone as many people complain of such problems.
We tell why you should be more watchful of what you eat to avoid that throbbing pain in your head.
A headache is a discomfort or a pressure-like sensation in the head. A migraine is a common type of headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. Dietician Dr Sunita Dube agrees that one’s diet can affect headaches and says, “A family history of migraine, apart from stress, food and beverages may be responsible for up to 30 per cent of migraines. If you consider some other triggers such as hormonal changes, stress, sleeping habits, and depression, it’s possible that the percentage is actually higher.”Tyramine, a culprit
Tyramine is an amino acid that has been thought to trigger headaches by reducing serotonin levels in the brain and affecting the dilation of blood vessels. Because of their connection to migraines, tyramine containing foods are important triggers. These include red wine, cheeses, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, and certain processed meats.
They can act as migraine triggers because they too contain tyramine. But at the same time, the connection could be that women tend to crave chocolate during stress and hormonal changes, both of which also may trigger headaches. The amount of chocolate can be an issue too, as migraine patients with the diets highest in fat tended to have more frequent headaches.
This deserves a special mention because sudden withdrawal of coffee consumption can trigger headaches. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan explains, “Coffee is mildly addictive and it temporarily enhances mental alertness and concentration. Sudden withdrawal can often cause headaches, irritability and other symptoms that vary in severity from one person to another.” For example, in some people who are sensitive to caffeine, it can trigger migraine headaches, while in others it might actually abort a migraine by relaxing the constricted blood vessels that are causing the throbbing head.
Natural sugar is important because all plants and animal store energy chemically as sugar. All form of natural sugar provide about the same energy value four calorie per gram. Natural sugar is better than artificial sweeteners. Desai says that a very small percentage of people intolerant to the sweeteners suffer from headaches. However, this is more common with the sweetener aspartame and not with the newer sweeteners that use sucrose.