Today is a little different for the blog. I suffer from migraines, and yesterday I had to miss work because my migraine was so debilitating.
When I was about 24, I had a bad headache almost every day. Some of the headaches were full blown migraines which would cause me to miss work as well as hinder developing a relationship with my future husband. I tried to get medication for them, but the medication had some pretty awful side effects. I tried to talk to a specialist about the medication side effects and the headaches only to be brushed off as a silly girl who didn’t know what she was talking about. Since I am a pretty stubborn person, I decided to take my health into my own hands. I ended up doing research on migraines and found some surprising information. By changing my diet in some subtle ways, I was able to reduce my headaches. While I do still get some headaches, the days of crippling migraines are pretty rare.
People who suffer from migraines know to avoid a lot of foods like aged cheese, but some foods to avoid might be surprising. If you get migraines, you might want to try to cut these foods out of your diet:
- Aged meat
I love corned beef, but it is no longer on the menu. Some aged or preserved meats like corn beef aren’t easily identifiable as an aged meat. Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, bacon, and even lunch meats are aged/ preserved meats. I am lucky because I can still eat bacon and pepperoni; I do, however, have to be careful about what sandwich meats I eat.
- Yogurt, especially light yogurt
Yogurt has preservatives in it that can really mess with your head. Light yogurt not only has preservatives, but also artificial sweeteners that are migraine triggers. (Seriously if you drink coffee, stick with the real sugar. Those artificial substitutes might be giving you a headache). Interestingly, I can eat Greek yogurt in small amounts.
- Oranges and other citrus fruits
Oranges and orange juice really get to me. Yet limes and lemons I am good with. Thank goodness too because I am addicted to those frozen lemonade things at Chick-fil-A.
Bananas aren’t a trigger for me, but they do appear on several food trigger lists. They contain tyramine, which is also found in aged cheeses.
- Peanut Butter
Hardest thing to give up ever. Apparently a preservative in the peanut butter triggers migraines. This food came as a big shock to me when I read about it on the internet. It is also one of the foods that is not commonly listed on food trigger lists, but I am glad I learned about it because it is one of my biggest triggers.
A quick Google search will provide you with more extensive lists. To see if certain foods effect you, I would suggest trying these foods one at a time in a controlled amount to see if they give you a headache. One good reason to test foods is that some foods might affect you while others don’t. Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t have oranges but other citrus fruits are fine. Without testing citrus fruits, I would have blindly cut out all citrus thus denying myself margaritas for the rest of my life. I clung to the hope that I could have peanut butter, but sadly a cone of chocolate peanut butter delight ice cream convinced me I couldn’t. Sure testing the foods resulted in a headache, but the relief I have felt since knowing to avoid these foods was worth the self-induced pain.
By having fewer headaches, I am able to have a more fulfilling relationship with Trae. When we were dating, my headaches prevented us from going places and spending time together. When we got engaged, I realized I didn’t want a marriage between Trae, myself, and my headaches. By improving my own health, I was also improving my relationship with Trae.
While I still get migraines due to the fact that I am also genetically inclined to have them, I was still able to vastly improve my quality of life through a diet change. Sure, giving up peanut butter was hard and there are days that I really just want Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but quality time with Trae is more important than delicious Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. (It also helps that I have found some delicious almond butter cups!)