In our previous two blog posts about headaches and migraines, we were discussing the many types of headaches and how they are affecting your life and daily activities, as well as many factors that contribute or cause your headache.
You can view these 2 posts by clicking the links:
Today we are going to continue discussing health and dietary habits that are known to be links to headaches.
A diet containing too much aspartame, nutrasweet and other artificial sweeteners, diet sodas and monosodium glutamate (MSG) can cause headaches.
Researchers have found many chemicals like MSG which are commonly found in Chinese food, are strong triggers for headaches in many people.
Nowadays, many people don’t know MSG is in the foods they are eating as it’s labeled with different words or names. Now you may see it listed as: hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavorings, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, hydrolyzed yeast, autolyzed yeast, hydolized oat flour, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed protein. Protein isolates of any type may contain MSG, even soy protein. Most processed foods have one of these items listed on the label. Every fast food chain uses these ingredients in their foods.
You may lose to gain. What I mean by this is that you may lose your present life in the meal department to gain a headache-free life. What you gain is learning how to cook and prepare foods from scratch. You gain the freedom to do things you couldn’t do before and you can do them without restriction. You gain the affection lost by family members who didn’t understand your headaches.
In a few months, you will have adapted so much to your new diet, that your family and friends will want to come over to see what you’re cooking that tastes so good! Cooking natural foods is different than what it was like a decade ago. It’s easier to find cookbooks, share recipes, and find near ready-made alternatives at the health food stores and whole food superstores.
Nutrasweet and aspartame are unnatural sugars synthesized in the laboratory. There have been thousands of reports about headaches and even brain tumors linked to aspartame.
The “sugar-free” label really isn’t so sweet after all. Avoid anything that has a list of chemicals in it! If you’re truly serious about eliminating your headaches, try one week without any chemicals. That includes diet sodas, which are nothing more than a chemical concoction! Also, if you are trying to lose weight, these diet sodas actually slow down your metabolism which does the opposite of what you want to do to lose weight.
When you go one week without chemicals, you will be amazed at how different you feel and besides that, you will have a week free from headaches. Tell me what happens because I will want to write it down so other patients will be motivated.
Next, we need to talk about the 4th cause on our list: Not eating regular meals thru the day causes low blood sugar, which can contribute to your headaches.
When you don’t eat regular meals, you get energy from stored fats and carbohydrates. This happens automatically in response to low blood sugar from not eating. Keep a journal of your diet and look for a pattern of headaches that appear when you don’t eat breakfast, skip lunch or dinner, or go to bed hungry.
The best diet you can eat is one that supplies you with three meals a day and snacks in between each meal.
Low blood sugar can also happen from eating too many carbohydrate foods.
Carbohydrate foods are foods such as breads, pasta, cakes, cookies, candy, muffins, rice, beans, whole grains, tacos and tortillas. Starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, potatoes, acorn squash, and other winter squashes also contain high levels of carbohydrates. Milk products are another source.
It’s okay to have carbohydrate foods in your diet, but limit them to a maximum of three or four servings per meal. Some people must limit them to one or two to become headache-free. Watching your diet for the number of carbohydrates eaten in any one meal can be a big revelation into why you have headaches. Too many carbohydrates cause headaches by raising insulin levels that lower blood sugar too fast and also increase inflammation in the body.
Here’s an example of too many carbohydrates in a meal: Oatmeal with raisins, orange juice, a muffin, and an apple.
You may think that the oatmeal meal is a healthy meal but it contains too many carbohydrates. The headache-free breakfast would be oatmeal with milk and an apple. You could even add an egg to this new meal.
Another example: Steak, big baked potato with butter, green beans, peas, corn, salad, and apple pie a la mode.
Versus your headache-free meal: Steak, 1/3 to 1/2 baked potato with butter, green beans, salad, one-fourth slice of apple pie a la mode.
Finally, low blood sugar from not enough protein in the meal or in the diet can cause headaches.
Many people believe that it’s not a good idea to eat red meat, so they eliminate it from their diet. Grass-fed red meat is an excellent source of nutrients, including omega-3 fats that prevent headaches! The problem is that when many people eat less meat, they don’t substitute other protein foods for the red meat. Other protein foods include fish, chicken, turkey, wild meats, eggs, cheese and dairy products.
If you don’t have enough protein in a meal, your body cannot repair itself. Without enough protein in a meal, the composition of that meal is primarily carbohydrates and fat. And we already know what too many carbohydrates in a meal can do: Cause a Headache!
Make sure you eat some form of protein at every meal. Even adding one or two eggs for breakfast can change your life and your headaches! See how good your day goes when you have enough protein! Eat at least three ounces (about the size of a computer mouse) at each meal and you’ll have the minimum amount you need each day.
So, we are halfway thru the list of common causes of headaches. With our next blog post in this series, we will discuss allergies, faulty elimination, dehydration, malnutrition, stress, and processed foods.
Until next time, I hope you are finding this information helpful. If you want to find the other causes of your headaches, contact our Freehold, NJ Chiropractic office: Hometown Family Wellness Center and check out our other health information and blogs at: www.ChiropractorFreehold.com