Quote from Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “The food we eat is medicine” and how does that connect to migraines?

I have found an amazing salad–I must admit it is extremely yummy and I had it before–on the web, posted by a person who’s name I only can see as “Ali.” The link to that page is if you click here. Then come back here and lets have a discussion why this salad may cause serious migraine for those who are sensitive to it and even potentially cause trouble who are not migraineurs.

We are having an awesome discussion on the subject already on my Facebook page, which is not necessarily available to you so I am posting here some of the comments to initiate a discussion and also another link to an article from Wikipedia about one element in this salad. But there are more than one problems in this salad.

Opinions vary on what is good or bad but chemistry is a fact and not an opinion. Thus talking about a salad and its potential harmful effects are important. I had someone ask me the other day: well green leafy vegetables are good for you. Yes, indeed. Some green leafy vegetables are good for you and others may hurt you. Quantity also matter and how much you eat of it also matters. Most importantly what you eat it with matters as well.

But back to the spinach salad. Comments were as follows:

  • Histamine – great answer–not for migraineurs but in general. This salad has a lot of ingredients in it that many people find they will have some form of allergic reaction to even if not a full blown runny nose. If I have a histamine reaction to a food I eat, I start coughing, for example. I know people who start getting an itch inside their throat or ears. Some may get stomach cramps, etc. Thus sensitivity initiated by histamines does not mean “full blown allergy of swelling lips and tongue” but general signs of discomfort. A friend who is not a migraineur always gets a mild headache from this salad but always thought it was her lack of adding protein.
  • Protein. Protein is an important and necessary element in your food since that drives a lot of the metabolic energy in our bodies. Go a day without protein and watch yourself slower walk than a snail. You may also have other side effect.
  • Another commenter said “alkaline or acidity” – Ph balance is a very important part of the digestion system especially for those who have digestive issues but it is not a migraine trigger itself. This salad is not necessarily a bad one in terms of its acid content–depending on the ripeness of the fruits.
  • One commenter noted something important: spinach. Spinach is the #1 offender in this salad for a migraineur. Upon my asking why, she gave me the word: Tyramine. Tyramine is a very interesting chemical that is contained in many foods, spinach being one of them (Gorgonzola and Blue cheese–in this salad) also contain it. This chemical has a lot of migraine causing potential that you can read on Wikipedia and also elsewhere like on WebMD (not my favorite place to head for advice by the way but this time they got it right).

But there are other issues with this salad in addition to the ones already listed. Please comment on what you think it is and why. Let’s have a discussion!

You can find the original article by clicking here.

About Be Healthy

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: "Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access "Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access "Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, subscription is required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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28 Responses to Quote from Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “The food we eat is medicine” and how does that connect to migraines?

  1. Roald Michel says:

    Well there’s black in it eh, and there’s a hole too, so as the single story goes, logically it’s a black hole, whether you consider it one or not.


  2. Roald Michel says:

    “………mix of French and slang English… ” Huh? It’s German, babe.


    • It is? Oh well.. I don’t speak that either… Good discussion with Amor and Angela. You stepped out of it… It ended up nicely.


      • Roald Michel says:

        You thought my reply of today to Amor was nice? 😉


        • No, Amor and I had a nice(r) conversation than before.. he/she realized that he/she (is Amor a she? The writing is more of a male style) is talking nonsense: we have a black president for crying out loud! Black people are no different from whites only they envision it so because that is easier and ore comfortable. You and I did not get to where we are–even as whites–today by complaining! We got her because we wanted to and we went after the goal and forgot to cry about the past.. spilled milk.. I hate all these complaints and cries… we all have our past, both good and bad. But if we want to do something about it, we can! And Amor and Angela are there fuming in anger but do nothing about their situation only complain. They have forgotten that to live in the US and become successful, one must become assimilated to the US culture and values and not treasure their own individual values, which lead to in-group and out-group separation. They create the separation now for themselves by themselves and there is nothing to complain about: action is needed. there… this is my take on the subject. 🙂 Off to sleep.. 1:15 am here.. an we change the 24-hour days into 36? I have way too much stuff to achieve my goals.. i have too many and not enough time. 🙂


  3. geez… what is this vertical comment.. lol


  4. Roald Michel says:

    Good thing I never eat crap like that. I simply keep it simple, and with a lot of variety. Well……um…..now and then I make a delicious mess out of my food as well, and eat like a pig in heat. Migraine? Never had that.

    Liked by 1 person

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