Migraine Trigger: Food Additives

Migraine Trigger: Food Additives

Food Additives: an Enormous Migraine Trigger

A 2010 migraine study found that food additives were a larger trigger than the combined groups of 26 vegetables, 36 fruits, and even 19 milk products (study link).

Many people go through the trouble of eliminating certain fruits and vegetables, while continuing to eat food additives that are a more powerful headache trigger than all of the fruits and veggies combined.


Food Additives to Watch Out for:

Yellow dye number 5, aspartame, MSG, and benzoic acid are just a few of the food additives that are well documented to be headache triggers (research link 1, 2, 3, 4).

MSG even has its very own IHS headache classification, previously termed “Chinese food headache.”

Wheat, soy, corn, and milk additives are common migraine triggers that are often added to processed foods.

This makes it nearly impossible to eliminate headache triggers while eating most processed foods.


Hidden Migraine Triggers

Some of the worst food additives are hidden.

The food industry is legally allowed to add .49 grams of trans fat per serving without telling you.

Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (AHA Link).

Migraines are associated with stroke and cardiovascular disease (study link).

Trans fats increase inflammation, which increases the risk for cardiovascular problems and migraines.


“we still don’t know how the majority of food additives affect migraines”

Headache triggers that make it on the label are often overlooked.

For example, there are over 40 food additives that are chemically similar to MSG and may trigger the same response (research link).

Even if you were able to memorize every documented food trigger, we still don’t know how the majority of food additives affect migraines.

We certainly don’t know what happens when we combine food additives.

We especially don’t know how food additives will affect you personally.


Eliminate Food Additives and Limit Processed Foods:

The headache threshold is based on an accumulation of headache triggers.

Eliminate food additives that you know are headache triggers.

Limit all processed foods to reduce hidden additives and all the food additives that could be affecting you personally.


This is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Read the disclaimer.

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