Guest Post by Victoria Brodsky, Head of Nutrition, MigraineChecked
If you’re a migraineur, you know that your migraines may be triggered by a wide variety of factors: stress, changes in weather, fasting patterns, and of course, certain foods or beverages. Many foods, like dark chocolate, aged cheese, beans and dairy have a bad rap, since migraine sufferers have self-reported these foods or beverages as definite migraine triggers (even though there still lacks significant scientific evidence to confirm that this is true).
However, no matter whether it’s scientifically proven that certain foods can trigger the physiological changes that cause migraine, the best way to prevent your migraine is to be mindful of potential food triggers that are specific to you. Here are some tips that can help identify potential food triggers that may help avoid a migraine.
1) Track your food.
Not only will writing down everything you eat and drink allow you to quickly identify certain foods or eating patterns that may have triggered your migraine, but simply tracking your food can help you keep your weight in check. Studies have shown that overweight or obese individuals are often more likely to experience migraines or chronic headaches and that losing weight can help reduce the occurrence of migraines [1, 2].
2) Eat clean.
You may have seen this trend on Pinterest or in magazines, but clean eating is not just a fad – it usually sums up how a healthy, balanced diet should be. Clean eating means your diet is made up of mostly whole, fresh, unprocessed foods like fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains (foods without a label, or very few ingredients). By simply cutting out packaged and processed foods, you are limiting what your potential food triggers may be instead of trying to dissect a bunch of long ingredient labels.
3) Utilize free tools.
There are many resources out there that can help you identify food ingredients that may trigger a migraine. MigraineChecked does just that. When you scan a food or beverage bar code, it will tell you whether or not it contains a “common” migraine trigger ingredient. What’s most helpful is that it bolds the ingredients that triggered the warning, which can you pinpoint exactly what might be a problem you and your migraines. It’s available for iphone and Android phones.