Foods, drink and eating habits have long been blamed for triggering migraines in sufferers. Some studies show that about 20% of migraine sufferers count certain foods as triggers. However, other studies report that up to 44% of migraine sufferers point to certain foods as triggers.
Sometimes it’s not necessarily the food itself that triggers the attack, it may be an additive in the food such as food coloring that launches the migraine attack.
Free Mobile App Alerts People to Food Migraine Triggers
To combat a food-triggered migraine episode, a mobile app has been developed to deliver immediate preventative information. MigraineChecked is a unique, free mobile app that scans food bar codes to help detect and avoid common migraine trigger foods.
“Many migraines are triggered by specific ingredients in foods and beverages, from tannins to artificial sweeteners, and our app helps raise awareness of these hidden ingredients so migraine sufferers can make more informed choices simply by scanning bar codes on grocery packaging,” says Kris Finstad, CEO of ContentChecked Holdings, the developer of the MigraineChecked app and other food-related health apps.
The MigraineChecked app has migraine trigger data for more than 250,000 packaged foods, and it allows people to set up profiles and favorites for not just themselves, but other family members who may also experience migraines. By scanning the product’s barcode with the app, the user will find out if the product contains an ingredient, additive or certain chemical compound that has shown to trigger migraines. It will also highlight the specific compound in the ingredient list which triggered the warning.
Common Food Triggers
Food triggers are very subjective for every individual. Below is a list of 10 of the most common food triggers the MigraineChecked app can detect:
- Tyramine or Phenylethylamone – Foods rich in these include chocolate, olives, avocado, red plums, bananas, citrus fruits, processed meats, alcohol and aged cheeses.
- Yeast Breads – Coumarin is a naturally occurring chemical found in yeast that causes this. Some foods to watch out for soft pretzels and pizza crust.
- Nitrites – The nitric oxide that is produced from these foods is the cause of this trigger. Some foods include hot dogs, sausages, ham, bacon, beets, celery, lettuce, radishes and spinach.
- Tannins – Commonly found in beans such as navy beans, kidney beans and lima beans.
- Sulfites – Dried fruits are one of the most common foods that contain this trigger.
- Additives – Additives can be hidden under many names. One of the most common is MSG.
- Aspartame – Try using a natural sweetener substitute like stevia, instead.
- Caffeine – This one can be a little tricky. For some, it is a trigger. Yet, if combined with pain relieving medications, can also help speed up the amount of time it takes the body to absorb these.
The MigraineChecked available for iPhone and Android phones.
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