Grilling with migraines

4th of July grilling FOR migraine SUFFERERS

Last month, I provided a few Memorial Day eating tips for migraine sufferers. With 4th of July around the corner, I wanted to share a few thoughts about grilling if you suffer from migraines.  Grilling with migraines is really a special skill that everyone suffering from migraines needs to learn. Now, if you’re out and about, around someone else’s pool or back yard, there is not much you can do, apart from declining that beautifully prepared prime bone-in rib-eye steak or porterhouse pork chop. Meats not prepared by a migraine sufferer may contain rubs and BBQ sauces containing coriander, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, or onion powder just to name a few. However, around your pool or backyard, you can grill amazing meals that should not trigger a migraine. Here’s how.

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Memorial Day – Summer grilling and enjoying other tasty treats

Memorial day – what should you eat and drink?

As Memorial Day beckons, we will be enjoying barbecue and other tasty treats. Summer is here. It is the perfect time to take a load off and enjoy everything that summer has to offer. A word of caution though is in order. For those of us with migraines, it is tempting to want to reach for that piece of watermelon or juicy steak during Memorial Day weekend. However, we need to stay vigilant. Just because we are relaxing does not mean that we can forget the disciplined approach of keeping to the diet that helps the migraine stay away. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this time as much as the next person but I’d rather not have a migraine.

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Watermelons, Cucurbita, Histamines, & Migraines

As migraine sufferers, we need to understand watermelon

One of the many important things we need to realize about watermelon is that it is considered both a fruit and vegetable, that inhibits formation of histamines. Not only does watermelon contain seeds but it is also harvested from the field. It is part of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash. Those of us who suffer from migraines should consider that an intolerance to one or more members of this particular plant family may mean an intolerance to many if not all members of this group.

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California State Senate rejects GMO labeling again

Is it a surprise to anyone that this bill failed, when you have the likes of Monsanto and Dow Chemical buying the votes of politicians for sometimes as little as just a steak dinner? It is completely outrageous that Californians are not able to know whether or not food contains GMOs by looking at a label on the product. But of course, anyone who knows anything about the prevalence of GMOs in our food supply is aware that GMOs are found in 95% or more of everything that we consume. Why then are organizations and companies fighting so hard to not label GMOs? What harm could come from consumers simply knowing what we are consuming? And, what should we do about it?

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Do you suffer from migraines? You may have leaky gut

Whenever I hear the term “leaky gut”, it makes me cringe. After all, who wants their guts leaking out? The vast majority of migraineurs are not aware of the close link between their stomachs and migraine episodes. Most migraines, in my opinion, develop as a result of what goes on in our digestive system. If you have an unhealthy digestive system, you are likely to suffer from a variety of ailments, not the least of which is repeated migraine attacks. Therefore it is important to understand whether a “leaky gut” could be the cause of migraines in your case.

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Migraine Trigger Close-up: Watermelon

Watermelon is wonderful this time of year – sweet, juicy, and crunchy. If you are out grilling during the summer holidays, it can be a perfect dessert. If you can get watermelon that is cold, it is even better. Consuming watermelon is also great from a health standpoint. The vegetable contains lycopene which is said to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Unfortunately, migraine sufferers will likely experience increased migraine episodes, the riper the watermelon is.

After a certain period of time, sugars are broken down into alcohol and CO2. This process of decay also produces tyramine, a migraine sufferer’s worst nightmare. Several health websites, including those of some prominent Universities, state that watermelon is safe to eat for those of us with migraines. This is only true under certain conditions as the watermelon cannot be too ripe or unripe – it has to be perfect.

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The National Headache Foundation’s “Low Tyramine Headache Diet”

Low Tyramine Diet

The National Headache Foundation has posted a low tyramine diet on their website. It helps migraine sufferers identify and avoid diets containing large amounts of tyramine. In other parts of my blog I have discussed some of these low tyramine diets- I am not going to delve into each one. However, I will leave a link to the list so that each one of you can use this information. This list is a good starting point to identify certain foods with high tyramine content. Try a diet with lower tyramine in order to lessen migraines.

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Identify Tyramine Buildup in Certain Fruits and Vegetables

 

For the majority of us, certain odors allow us to determine when we should not consume particular foods anymore. The more pungent the odor, the more likely it is that the foods have gone bad. Unfortunately for migraine sufferers, it is not that easy. For us, the buildup of tyramine is one of the major triggers of migraine headaches. Tyramine builds up as the food ages and certain foods contain higher amounts of tyramine than do others. Sometimes there is no particular smell to alert us that we should avoid a particular food.

In this article, I describe easy ways to identify high levels of tyramine in a few every day fruits and vegetables.

For a more detailed discussion on tyramine, you can read the “Tyramine” article, located in the “In Focus” section.

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Should you avoid nightshade vegetables?

To avoid or not avoid the nightshade

Certain foods from the nightshade family can contribute to migraines. Widely consumed vegetables such as eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, paprika, and cayenne pepper are all part of the nightshade family of vegetables. In reality there are over 2,800 species of plants that belong to this group1. There are those who believe that migraine sufferers should avoid this group of vegetables altogether as the nightshade contains neurotoxic alkaloids that can trigger a migraine.  Neurotoxic alkaloids have also been found to impair muscle and joint function.

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Writing your first food journal

What comes to mind when you hear food journal?

 

I would like to share with you how I use a food journal in order to find offending foods and eliminating them from my diet. Migraines can alert you to a food intolerance, which in turn can alert you to an underlying digestive issue. What we consume, often times, determine how healthy or sick we become. They old saying“You are what you eat” comes to mind.

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