Red, Yellow, Blue- Oh No! Can Artificial Colors be a Migraine Trigger?
 If you’ve ever had a migraine attack that has taken you out of commission for days on end, you know how much of a challenge it can be to identify the source. It takes detective work to find out if food or environmental factors are to blame. You may not have considered artificial colors as a potential cause — but maybe you should! Let's take an in-depth look at this possible connection between artificial colors and migraines. 

What are Artificial Colors? 
Artificial colors are synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum products. These chemicals are used to add color to processed foods and beverages, as well as cosmetics, drugs and other consumer products. The most commonly used artificial colors are yellow 5 (tartrazine), red 40 (allura red), yellow 6 (sunset yellow), blue 1 (brilliant blue) and blue 2 (indigotine). All of these have been shown to have adverse effects on health and can trigger migraines in some people. 

How Do Artificial Colors Affect Health? 
It is now widely accepted that artificial colors can act as triggers for migraines in many people. This is because these dyes contain certain compounds such as salicylates, tyramines, phenylethylamines, glutamate, aspartame and sulfites which can cause severe reactions in sensitive individuals. In addition, some studies suggest that artificial colors can affect brain chemistry by disrupting neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which can lead to headaches and migraines. 

Are There Natural Alternatives? 
The good news is that there are natural alternatives available that don’t contain any of the potentially harmful compounds found in artificial colors. Plant-based pigments such as carotenoids from carrots or annatto seeds, chlorophylls from spinach or spirulina, and anthocyanins from purple cabbage or elderberries make great replacements for artificial dyes in many recipes. Not only do they give foods beautiful natural hues without any adverse effects — they also provide essential vitamins and minerals!  
If your weekly debilitating migraines could be caused by dietary triggers like artificial colors, then considering natural alternatives could help significantly reduce the frequency or severity of your attacks. That being said, it's important to note that everyone's body is unique so what works for one person might not work for another. It's always best practice to investigate all possible causes before deciding on a treatment plan - so why not start by looking into whether artificial colorings could be contributing to your migraines? Good luck!

Oh, by the way, if you're ready to dive in even deeper to topics like this, please join us in our encouraging and supportive Facebook community of moms who are going from Debilitated to Liberated!  Click Here 


Leave a Comment