Do you get migraines or headaches when you eat citrusy fruits like orange, lemon or pineapple?
What about tomatoes, eggplant or cucumber?
Or even spinach or broccoli?
This might indicate that you are sensitive or allergic to salicylates, a natural chemical found in most fruits & veges, but particularly high in these ones.
Salicylates are one of Mother Nature’s many ways of preventing rot and disease. They are also designed to protect the food being eaten by pests, like humans!
Our body has its own detox functions that clear out the effects of salicylates.
But there is a threshold, and a build up of salicylates can cause inflammation, which is a major contributing factor to migraine.
If you are sensitive or allergic to salicylates it basically means you have a lower threshold for salicylates and/or you are consuming too many.
If a glass of orange juice gives me a migraine, what can I do?
Firstly, the obvious - don’t drink orange juice, eat oranges or any other foods high in salicylates.
When you do eat these fruits and vegetables, peel off skins, discard seeds and eat them as ripe as possible.
We also absorb artificial salicylates from bath & beauty products like mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioners, to name a few.
We can’t not live with these things these days, but they are part of salicylates mix so you can perhaps look at natural or specially formulated “low salicylate” versions instead.
Going deeper into the science suggests that lack of sulfates causes problems with salicylates.
One way to increase your sulfate levels is by “floating” in a floatation tank or bathing at home in epsom salts.
Epsom salts are high in magnesium sulfate. This means they can help both to moderate your salicylate sensitivity AND give a nice healthy dose of magnesium.
Another factor in salicylate sensitivity is the balance between Vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Vitamin B6 is shown to suppress the enzyme responsible for detoxing salicylates and interrupt the paths of sulfate in the body. Magnesium meanwhile has an opposite effect.
Studies show that a 1:1 ratio of the two allows for a healthy balance.
So if you are taking Vitamin B6 supplements or eat a diet high in B6, supplementing daily with a high quality magnesium should help with your salicylate troubles.