Tag Archives: Diet

Diet can impact on likelihood of migraines

An important trigger for headache is the withdrawal of caffeine. If you regularly drink three or four cups of coffee every morning, you may have a caffeine withdrawal headache later in that day if you skip your morning fix.

Other triggers for migraine are monosodium glutamate and nitrites. MSG is a flavour enhancer used in a variety of processed foods, while nitrites are used as preservatives in processed meats such as bacon, sausages and ham.

Changing your diet could prevent headaches

Alcohol is one of the most commonly reported dietary trigger factors for migraine. Vodka and red wines, especially those with a high histamine content, are problematic.

If you are susceptible to dietary triggers that cause migraine, you can adopt an ‘elimination diet’ that avoids the foods and beverages known to trigger headaches. An alternative approach could be to follow a comprehensive diet whose composition may prevent headaches.

Experts in the USA have identified three diets that may help prevent headaches. They are:

• low fat diets that restrict the amount of fat to less than 20% of daily energy requirements
• low carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet
• diets that increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease omega-6 fatty acids.

You might eat more healthily into the bargain!

Energy drink or health hazard?

Last year the World Health Organization branded energy drinks as a “danger to public health”. Caffeine is the most common stimulant in these drinks, but some brands contain other stimulants, such as guarana and ginseng.

Think before you drink…

The amount of caffeine in an energy drink can range from 80 mg to over 500 mg: a cup of coffee contains around 100 mg. Like other fizzy drinks, energy drinks are high in sugar. A 250 ml can of Red Bull, for example, contains around 27.5g.

Caffeine enters the bloodstream within 10 minutes of consuming the drink and peaks over the next 15-45 minutes, triggering a rise in heart rate and blood pressure. Within an hour, the effects of the caffeine will begin to subside and a sugar crash may occur. Energy levels will begin to feel low and tiredness will set in.

Individuals who consume energy drinks regularly may experience caffeine withdrawal in the 12-24 hours after consumption, which includes symptoms such as headache, irritability and constipation. Think before you drink….

Small, practical steps the best way to maintain a healthy weight

Forget the latest diet fad. There’s no “silver bullet” solution to keeping your weight down, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Instead it advises that taking small practical steps can help.


Limiting TV time in front of the TV to no more than two hours, walking more, and eating healthily are among the most effective ways of maintaining a healthy weight and preventing excess weight gain, it says.

Maintaining a healthy weight has become increasingly important public health issue in recent years. Over the past 20 years the number of people classed as obese has nearly doubled. Carrying extra weight increases the risk of a range of long-term conditions such as coronary heart disease, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

NICE says that weight gain in adulthood is not inevitable. People should build activity into their daily lives, developing routines and habits that gradually increase the amount of their activity. They should also be encouraged to reduce how often they eat energy-dense food and drinks such as fried foods, biscuits, savoury snacks, confectionary and drinks made with full fat milk or cream.

Breastfed babies better prepared for solid food

Babies that are exclusively breastfed are better equipped to move to solid foods and may have fewer stomach troubles in their early years.

Breastfed babies better prepared for solid food

US scientists have found that a baby’s diet during the first few months of life has a huge influence on the gut bacteria that help digest food and destroy disease causing bugs. These factors, in turn, influence the baby’s ability to move from milk to solid foods and may have longer term health effects.

Babies who are fed only breast milk have a gut flora that seems better prepared for the introduction of solid foods. The transition to solids is much more dramatic for babies that are not exclusively breastfed, a situation that could contribute to more stomach aches and conditions like colic.

This study provides support for recommendations by the World Health Organization and others to breastfeed exclusively during the first six months of life.