Headaches can be transient or they may be persistent. They could be trivial in the case of external injury or may be severe in case of a migraine attack. Pain killers are the regular treatment for any episode of headache, but they may produce severe gastritis, and if you suffer from headaches regularly you probably don’t want to be continually popping pills. Here are my top 10 foods you should seriously consider avoiding to help combat headaches naturally:
Night shade vegetables: including aubergine (eggplant), tomatoes, potatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, paprika and cayenne when heavily consumed cause headaches. This is because these vegetables contain alkaloids that are toxic to those who suffer from frequent migraines and headaches. These alkaloids directly hit the brain and headaches (migraines) are neurological disorders which are triggered by the release of these alkaloids in your body. But then again all nightshades are not the triggers for all the headache sufferers.
Tinned Soups: consist of added preservatives that can cause headaches. The lists of preservatives also include artificial sweeteners and colours. The chemical setup of the brain is disturbed due to these chemicals. These soups also contain MSG i-e monosodium glutamate. This chemical is added in almost every preserved food and seriously disturbs the chemical setup of brain.
Segmented Soya Products: Soya sauce and other soy products are included in our daily use and we unknowingly are consuming them. Soya sauce contains two of the most headache causing chemicals which are tyramine and MSG. Both these are the most common headache triggers. Some of the soy products such as soybean cake also causes headache because it is made by the process of hydrolysis which is actually the process of breaking down the soy protein.
Smoked / Dried Foods: All smoked, pickled, fragmented or marinated meats specially smoked or dried fish causes headaches. When fish is smoked in coal its chemical structure changes. These cause byproducts production when blood starts flowing quickly which causes headaches. By change in chemical structure it is meant that smoked fish contains nitrates and nitrites which become excess when fish is smoked and these accumulated nitrates and nitrites trigger headaches.
Dried fruits and nuts: These foods contain a substance called sulfites, which are basically responsible for triggering the headaches. They cause the same effect of increasing the blood flow to the brain heavily, also all over the body, but especially towards the brain which cause the headaches.
Aged Cheeses: All types of cheese specially aged cheese causes headaches. Cheese like cheddar, Brie, Camembert, Stilton, Emmentaler is among that cheese which should be avoided. Cheese has this chemical substance called tyramine; this substance causes headaches and is also very known substance which triggers headaches. But this doesn’t mean that people suffering from headache cannot consume cheese, cheese like cottage cheese, cream cheese, Velveeta and American are not harmful. But they should also be consumed within a specific limit. But aged cheese is off limits. Cheese that causes headaches include following: Blue cheeses, Brie, Cheddar, stilton, Feta, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Muenster and Parmesan.
Cold Foods: It is a well-known factor that cold foods especially ice creams cause sewer headaches. This sensation is also sometimes called “brain freeze”. It lasts for 25 to 60 seconds. These foods usually cause brain freezes in some people but also causes long lasting pain and sensation called headaches. These types of headaches are felt in the middle of the forehead but for the people who have headache (migraine) problems this painful stabbing sensation is the beginning of a severe full headache.
Chocolate: Chocolate is a favourite food. It is consumed almost in every part of the world. Surprisingly this is the third most important food item that triggers headaches. The excess consumption of chocolate is harmful for people suffering from headache problems.
Caffeine: is a drug which causes alertness, relaxes a person with decreasing fatigue and increase muscle coordination. Tea and chocolate also have caffeine. The surprising element in the headaches caused by caffeine is that caffeine is also a cure for headaches. But usually the high consumption of caffeine like in coffee or chocolates or in colas causes and triggers the headaches. Headaches caused by caffeine are again of two types: Headaches that are caused by excess consumption and also rebound headaches. The heat produced by caffeine is due to increased blood flow.
Alcohol: All types of alcohols should be avoided, especially red wine, Champaign and vermouth. Intake of these drinks causes a heavy quick flow towards the brain. And the byproducts or the impurities produced by the alcohols cause headaches – when the blood flow towards the brain is increased it starts producing byproducts. These byproducts disturb the neurological order of the brain and cause a painful sensation named as headache.
To discuss your individual nutritional needs please contact the Registered Nutritionist Emma Olliff.