There is a high chance that you are blaming a number of things for the migraines that regularly affect you but they just may not be responsible. Blaming that painful migraine on the chocolate binge of the previous night is wrong, as a new study has found that the chocolate is blameless.
If you or someone you love suffers from chronic migraines, you most likely know about the misery they bring. And figuring out exactly what’s causing that aching and throbbing is something that has been nearly impossible—until now—and it turns out a lot of what we thought we knew about migraines was mistaken.
At the American Headache Society (AHS) annual meeting, researchers from N1-Headache reported on several studies that looked at factors commonly perceived to be migraine triggers. For over 90 days, 774 patients tracked their consumption of certain foods and recorded any migraine-related symptoms via the Curelator Headache app.
The researchers were able to zero in on the effect of chocolate, nitrates (most often found in processed meats), and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Once the researchers compiled the results, they discovered none of the three were any more likely to trigger a migraine than any other type of food.
The founder and CEO of N1-Headache, Alec Mian, PhD, told Medpage Today: “Contrary to the widespread expectations of our users, the data reveals that foods containing chocolate, MSG, and nitrates are rarely associated with migraine attacks.” He went on to point out that for some sufferers, these substances actually lowered the risk of an attack.
As it turns out, the researchers believe that the findings can be helpful for people who struggle with migraines, by removing some of the anxiety around trying to avoid triggers.
While it may be hard to exactly identify what causes migraines, fortunately for us, there are plenty of effective ways to treat—and prevent—severe headaches. Incorporating a number of healthy daily habits such as sleeping well and healthy diet can help a lot.