Foods that can give you a headache

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Dietary changes and certain foods can trigger migraines.Suffering from headaches or migraines every now then? Well, you’re not alone as many people complain of such problems. Leaving aside obvious reasons like sinusitis, stress and mental tension, lit-tle do people know that their diet could be a culprit too. Surprised? We tell why you should be more watchful of what you eat to avoid that throbbing pain in your head.Tyramine, a culpritTyramine is an amino acid that has been thought to trigger headaches by reducing serotonin levels in the brain and affecting the dilation of blood vessels. Be-cause of their connection to migraines, tyramine con-taining foods are important triggers. These include red wine, cheeses, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, and certain processed meats.Alcoholic beveragesDr Dube says that red wine contains tyramine, phyto-chemicals called phenols, which may be the real trig-gers. For some people, drinking any kind of alcohol can bring on a migraine. Other compounds in beer, whiskey, and wine that deplete levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain could also be trig-gering migraines.ChocolatesThey can act as migraine triggers because they too contain tyramine. But at the same time, the connec-tion could be that women tend to crave chocolate dur-ing stress and hormonal changes, both of which also may trigger headaches. The amount of chocolate can be an issue too, as migraine patients with the diets highest in fat tended to have more frequent head-aches.CoffeeThis deserves a special mention because sudden withdrawal of coffee consumption can trigger head-aches. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan ex-plains, “Coffee is mildly addictive and it temporarily enhances mental alertness and concentration. Sud-den withdrawal can often cause headaches, irritabil-ity and other symptoms that vary in severity from one person to another.” For example, in some people who are sensitive to caffeine, it can trigger migraine headaches, while in others it might actually abort a migraine by relaxing the constricted blood vessels that are causing the throbbing head.SugarNatural sugar is important because all plants and animal store energy chemically as sugar. All form of natural sugar provide about the same energy value — four calorie per gram. Natural sugar is better than artificial sweeteners. Desai says that a very small percentage of people intolerant to the sweeteners suf-fer from headaches. However, this is more common with the sweetener aspartame and not with the new-er sweeteners that use sucralose.