By Jennifer –
Having Chronic Hemiplegic Migraine has taken a lot of things from me, but none has been more frustrating than some of the food I can no longer eat.
Figuring out food triggers is especially difficult because it is not easy to track. A migraine triggered by food may not happen for up to 48 hours after the food is consumed. Because of this, I made a decision to stop eating some of the major food items that are known to trigger migraine.
Here are a few of the foods that I have stopped eating:
1. Hard Cheese –
Each variety of cheese is classified by 4 categories; Hard Cheese, Semi-hard Cheese, Semi-soft cheese, and Soft cheese. Hard cheeses are aged much longer and that is why they have a sharp, distinctive flavor.
This aging process causes the cheese to be high in Tyramine. Tyramine is not a food additive. This compound is organically produced when the amino acid tyrosine breaks down, which can happen when foods are aged for a long time. Some examples of Hard Cheeses are Cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago, Gruyere, Swiss and Romano.
For a more extensive list, click HERE. (I have this website saved on my phone to use as a reference in restaurants!)
2. Nitrates –
To be honest, it is impossible to give up all nitrates. That is because it is naturally occurring and can be found in most green vegetables. Those are the good nitrates.
There are also bad nitrates and those are found in processed meats such as bacon, pepperoni, salami, cold cut meats, cured hams, hot dogs and many frozen meats. Fortunately, most companies are starting to sell uncured meat varieties and they do not have the nitrates!
Honestly, these taste better to me. Even Ballpark makes all of their hot dogs with no added nitrates!
3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –
Not eating MSG is probably the most difficult diet change I have made. Practically every food that sits on a shelf in the grocery store has MSG!
Therefore, my focus has been on limiting my intake rather than eliminating it completely. If there is an MSG free alternative, I definitely take that option. One significant change has been to eliminate the use of canned cream soups in casseroles and Crock Pot meals.
I found a great recipe to make these from scratch and this has taken these family favorites to a whole new level! You can find that recipe HERE. One batch equal 2 cans of soup.
Making these few diet changes has helped me feel like I am taking back some of the control of my body and migraines. Of course, the changes have not eliminated my migraines for good, but I do feel like reducing these things has helped me feel better.