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Headaches, migraines and food triggers

Is what you eat sparking head pain? Yvonne O’Halloran explains the connection

In the US alone, more than 38 million people suffer with migraines, with 2-3 million migraines sufferers describing their conditions as chronic. Migraines are more common in women (18 per cent suffer versus six per cent in men), those aged between 35 and 55 years, Caucasians and those from lower socio-economic status groups.

Headaches are generally more common than migraines, and most adults would have experienced a headache at one point. Diet has been found to play a big role in both headaches and migraines. Certain foods have been found to cause migraines, while other foods can prevent or treat them. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, research conducted by the Journal of Headache and Pain found that a plant-based diet reduces migraine pain. It is believed this may be from the elimination of dietary pain triggers like meat and dairy products, or from weight loss and hormonal changes prompted by a vegan diet.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to the March issue. It’s my favourite time of year, as the evenings get lighter and the first signs of spring emerge. It’s the perfect time of year to dust off the winter cobwebs and refocus on our goals. This year has already seen a lot of change for the vegan movement — Veganuary was a huge success, with 250,000 sign-ups, and hopefully a large proportion of those who took part will continue their vegan journeys. We have seen an unprecedented amount of vegan food launches, too — in supermarkets and restaurants — and it feels like change is really happening. But with all change there is controversy — we take a look into the issues and backlash surrounding some of these new launches. Mother’s Day is on the 31st of March, and what better way to celebrate the women who raised us than by treating them to a vegan high tea? We’ve rounded up the best and the recipes you need if you want to make your own. It’s important to remember those who don’t get to spend the day with loved ones, and this includes the millions of dairy cows cruelly separated from their parents. We take some time to reflect. We also had the pleasure of talking to the inspirational James Aspey this month. The activist and campaigner has some great advice for advocating. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Smith