Between 2001 and 2004, 69 million Americans over age 40 experienced vestibular dysfunction, according to the Vestibular Disorder Association. The vestibular system in your brain your allows you to stand upright, move freely and maintain balance. Vertigo disrupts these functions, causing the sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning. Potential causes include migraines, injuries, inner-ear conditions and seizures. In addition to medical treatment, when necessary, a healthy diet, limited in certain foods, may improve your symptoms.
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A high-sodium diet can offset fluid balance and regulation in your body, increasing your risk for vertigo flare-ups. One-quarter tsp. of salt provides 600 mg of sodium -- over one-third of an adult's daily recommended intake. Because natural foods typically provide enough sodium to fulfill your daily needs, cut back on table salt and salty foods, such as canned vegetables and soups, frozen meals and processed snack foods, such as potato chips, crackers and pretzels. Nutritious alternatives include fresh vegetables, homemade soup and air-popped popcorn, seasoned with natural herbs.
Sugary fare may also offset your fluid balance. Foods and beverages particularly high in added sugars, such as cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, include candy, jam, jelly, pancake syrup, frosting, sorbet, cotton candy, regular soft drinks, sugary cereals and commercially-baked cookies, pastries, pies and cakes. Nutritious alternatives include fresh and frozen fruit, whole grain cereals and baked goods and unsweetened herbal tea.
Aged Meats and Cheeses
Aged meats and cheeses contain rich amounts of the amino acid tyramine, which is a common migraine trigger, according to the National Headache Foundation. If you are prone to vertigo associated with migraines, avoid pepperoni, salami, liverwurst, smoked sausage and aged cheeses, such as Swiss, provolone, mozzarella, brie, cheddar, blue and Roquefort cheese. Migraine-friendly alternatives include fresh fish and meats, cottage, ricotta and American cheese. If dairy products trigger migraine pain or digestive symptoms, choose nondairy equivalents such as tofu, rice milk and soy cheese.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, including peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, are also high in tyramine. Because nuts and seeds provide heart-healthy fats, incorporate low-tyramine healthy fat sources, such as canola oil, olive oil, fresh salmon and avocados, into your diet instead. If you're not prone to migraines, avoid salted nuts, seeds and nut butters for improved fluid balance.