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.
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!