The Food Additive-Migraine Link

A number of synthetic and industrialized food additives have been linked in clinical trials to migraine headaches.  This latest scientific review found processed foods high in nitrites and monosodium glutamate (MSG) were potential headache triggers for individuals battling migraines.  The solution?  Ditch the highly processed foodstuffs and switch over to a clean diet of whole, natural ingredients free of problematic food additives.  Once you make the adjustment you will be glad that you made the effort–natural, homemade food free of unwanted synthetic and industrialized chemicals tastes significantly better and after just a short time (usually within 30 days) you will begin to feel significantly better too!


Diet can impact migraines

A trigger for migraine is MSG, which is a flavor enhancer used in a variety of processed foods, including frozen or canned foods, soups, international foods, snack foods, salad dressing, seasoning salts, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and heavily in Chinese cooking, says Vincent Martin, MD, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine and also a UC Health physician.

“You eliminate it by eating fewer processed foods,” explains Martin. “You eat more natural things such as fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and fresh meats. MSG is most provocative when consumed in liquids such as soups.”

Nitrites are preservatives food in processed meats such as bacon, sausage, ham and lunch meat to preserve color and flavor. Martin says a diary study found that five percent of individuals with migraine were statistically more likely to have an attack on days when they consume nitrites. Use of nitrites in foods has declined with stronger government regulation though checking labels remains a good idea, he explains.



Journal Reference: Vincent T. Martin, Brinder Vij. Diet and Headache: Part 1. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 2016; 56 (9): 1543 DOI: 10.1111/head.12953