10 Foods That Bring on the Pain

And although Bernstein admits that there is "no substitute for chocolate," she does suggest carob, the Mediterranean edible seed pods, as a substitute for those who experience chocolate-induced migraines. However, she does warn that the taste is significantly different from chocolate.


Although it's true that drinking too much wine can cause just about anyone to get a headache, for some people drinking any amount of wine will bring on a vicious migraine, nausea and flushing. For some, these symptoms can develop as quickly as 15 minutes after their first sip of wine.

It was previously believed that red wine headaches were caused by sulfites in the wine, some of which are created naturally as the yeast breaks down sugars in the grape juice and turns them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. But most of the sulfites found in wine are added after the fermentation process and act as a preservative.

However, Bernstein argues, the sulfite-induced-headache theory has pretty much been debunked. The only people who have a reaction to the sulfites in red wine are people who already have sulfite allergies.

Instead, wine headaches may be blamed on the amino acid tyramine, which have been shown to induce migraines in many people, says Bernstein, although she does admit that "no one knows for sure."

Bernstein also believes that wine headaches could also be caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol and recommends the "one-to-one" approach. "For every glass of alcohol or wine you consume, have a glass of water with it," she says.

She also suggests drinking your wine with food, since the food will absorb the alcohol and help you remain well hydrated.

For those who are really sensitive to wine, Bernstein recommends organic wines, which are, according to USDA guidelines, "a wine made from organically grown grapes without any added sulfites." They are also free of other chemicals that are introduced during the fermentation process and could serve as a great alternative to more processed red wines.

Processed Meat

"With regard to processed foods, there's everything bad about them and nothing good," Barnard says. They're high in cholesterol and high in fat -- and in December 2007, researchers at the National Cancer Institute reported that a high consumption of processed meats could put you at an increased risk for a variety of cancers.

And if that's not enough to keep you away from a ballgame frank, Barnard says they could increase your arthritic pain as well.

Processed meats such as lunch meat, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrites that are associated with increased inflammation and chronic disease. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, especially the trans fats and saturated fats.

The average hot dog (plus the roll) has 315 calories, 52 percent of which comes from fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat. Barnard says it's these saturated fats that can cause you pain, since they can lead to swelling of the joints.

"The saturated fats tend to be pro-inflammatory, whereas the unsaturated fats tend not to be," says Barnard.

He suggests substituting your traditional hot dog for a veggie or soy one.

"If you go to the meat counter at your grocery store, sitting right next to the hot dog you can find a veggie hot dog, and right next to the hamburgers, you can find veggie burgers," he says.

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