How Migraines and Nutrition Relate – National Nutrition Month GIVEAWAY with @Excedrin
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? There are so many aspects of our lives that can be affected by the things we put in our bodies. I try pretty hard, whether I’m pregnant or not, to be mindful of what I eat and drink. Nutrition plays such a huge part in just the way I feel overall. For some migraine sufferers, paying attention to their diet can even minimize the frequency and severity of their migraines.
I’ve used the My Migraine Triggers app, developed by the makers of Excedrin, to track the causes of my migraines. For me, my migraines are mostly hormone related and during pregnancy, I don’t have too many problems. For some people, their migraines are triggered by foods, or the combination of certain foods and avoiding these foods is imperative. So what types of foods are common migraine triggers? Is there such thing as “food for the brain”?
For some migraine sufferers, a glass of red wine and some finely aged cheese is kryptonite. Why is that? Tyramine. Tyramine is the substance found naturally in some foods, like aged cheese, red wine, and some cured meats. It comes from the breakdown of protein as foods age. After looking on WebMD, I found experts are still trying to figure out exactly how tyramine causes migraines. It could be because it causes your nerve cells in the brain to release norepinephrine . This could lead to a joint effect of the tyramine and the unusual level of brain chemicals causing a change that end up in a headache. So what foods can be high in Tyramine? Aged cheeses, red wine, some types of beer, smoked fish, and cured meats.
Can Alcohol Trigger Migraines?
As adults, many of us can look back on at least one time where we had a little too much alcohol and ended up with a bad headache. That was no coincidence. When you drink alcohol, there is an increase of blood flow to your brain. This can lead to headaches, migraines and other headaches. You also can’t forget that many alcoholic drinks contain Tyramine, and we’ve already heard all about the trouble it can cause.
What are Other Common Food Triggers for Migraines?
The more I learn about migraines, the more I know that almost anything has the potential to trigger a migraine. That’s why it is it so important to track your own headaches if you think you might be struggling with migraines. Using the My Migraine Triggers app is by far the easiest and most thorough way I’ve found. If you’re concerned that you may be eating or drinking something that is triggering your migraines, there are some common foods among migraine sufferers that you might want to take note of:
– artificial sweeteners (like aspartame)
– citrus fruits
– coffee of tea
– tannins (like red skinned apples or pears)
– caffeinated soda
– foods containing MSG
– nuts and nut butters
(Snapshots from My Migraine Triggers App)
What Can I Eat That is GOOD for the Brain?
With all of this talk about what is bad for you to eat and what can have a negative impact on the brain, I wanted to make sure had some yummy good brainy food options. I went back to WebMD for some suggestions and got some great information from my friends at Excedrin too.
Adding some blueberries to your diet can help protect the brain from bad stress and could even reduce the effects of age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s. Avocados are another brain super food. It is a monounsaturated fat which helps healthy blood flow. New studies are also showing that foods rich in magnesium, like broccoli and kale, support healthy brain function. Maybe I should try adding some kale to my salad or making some kale chips!
Sometimes, no matter how good you are at knowing your migraine triggers, or avoiding the culprit foods, a migraine can happen. When it does, you should know that Excedrin Migraine is the #1 recommended OTC brand for migraine relief. Yes, I am an Excedrin Migraine Blogger, but when I am struggling with migraines, Excedrin is my go to for help. (ALWAYS check with your doctor before doing anything, and definitely go see them ASAP if you think you might be suffering from migraines.
In honor of National Nutrition Month, our friends at Excedrin are giving away some great kitchen tools to help you make some great dietary decisions. This is a prize pack that looks pretty cool with some neat gadgets to use. To enter, just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.
Enter to Win:
Prize pack pictured above.
Leave a comment talking about your triggers for headaches
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This giveaway ends April 2nd. Please see our giveaway rules.
Disclosure – I am an Excedrin® Migraine brand ambassador. My journey for a migraine-free experience is my own.