Foods That Trigger Migraines: Top Migraine Causing Foods

foods that trigger migrainesHave you ever felt an intense, throbbing pain on one, or even both, sides of your head?  You probably are experiencing a migraine.  A migraine is an extremely intense headache, and it can be tough to pinpoint a cause, which makes migraines especially frustrating.

Many people are not aware that head ailments such as migraines or headaches are frequently trigged by foods.  Let’s take a look at some top foods that trigger migraines to make sure that you are eating the right things to prevent yourself from the mother of all big headaches.

For another natural solution, try acupressure to relieve those headaches and more.

Foods That Trigger Migraines

Chocolate:  Many people who suffer from migraines say that chocolate is a cause of their headaches.  This could be because chocolate contains the amino acid known as tyramine.  However, a woman, specifically, could be eating chocolate during a migraine because of other stress or hormonal issues.  If you eat heavy doses of chocolate, this could also contribute to a migraine because of the caffeine content in chocolate.  Test to see how you feel after a small amount to determine if the amount is the issue.

Caffeine:  Because of its stimulating effects, it comes as no surprise that caffeine has been known to both cause and trigger migraines.  If you are experiencing migraines and cannot help but drink a few cups of joe each day, then cutting out caffeine may be the solution to your migraines.  If you love the taste of your caffeinated drinks, opt for decaffeinated options.

Red wine and alcohol:  Red wine and alcohol may also be a cause of migraines because they contain phenols, which is a phytochemical that is found in red wine.  Additionally, other chemicals found in beer, whiskey, and wine release levels or serotonin that can trigger migraines.  Because of this, certain people report feeling a migraine from drinking any type of alcohol.  Red wine and alcohol also contain tyramine, which are headache triggers.

Cheese:  Especially if you like aged cheese, it is best to stay away from cheese, as it is known to be a migraine trigger.  Aged cheese, however, is more likely to cause a migraine or headache because of the tyramine that forms in the proteins of cheese as it breaks down over time.  Thus, the longer cheese is aged, the more tyramine will be present.  Some aged cheeses to avoid are: blue cheese, Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan.

Soy Sauce or MSG:  If you love Chinese takeout, you might have to take a few steps back.  MSG, which is found in soy sauce and as a food additive is known to cause horrible headaches and migraines.  Soy sauce and Chinese food in general is usually very salty.  The high salt content can lead to dehydration, which can trigger a migraine or make it worse.

Ice Cream:  Usually when you are feeling bad, you are going to want some ice cream.  However, if you have heard of a brain freeze, you might want to think again.  If you eat ice cream too fast, you might get a stabbing sensation or pain in your head, which can trigger a migraine in people (or go away if you are lucky).  The best bet for ice cream lovers is to eat your cold treat slowly to tone down the sharp reaction.

Bananas:  Bananas are a super fruit, but they can also be a serious migraine trigger for people who are sensitive to anything that contains tyramine.  Banana peel has about 10 times more tyramine than banana pulp.  So, you do not have to avoid bananas altogether, but make sure that you take off any of the stringy pieces of inner peal that can get stuck to the banana meat.

Processed Meats:  You are going to want to stay away from processed meats anyway, as they are not the healthiest meat option.  While there is no one thing in processed meats that are known to cause migraines, it is thought that the nitrates and nitrites that are used as preservatives in hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon can dilate a person’s blood vessels and lead to migraines or headaches.

Tannins:  Tannins are plant compounds that give food an astringent taste and are common triggers for individuals with migraines.  An example of tannins is the dry pucking sensation you can get in your mouth from drinking apple juice or apple cider.  Tannins are also found in tea, red-skinned apples and pears, and red wine.

Beans:  Beans contain tannin, which is a trigger for migraines.  Thus, all kinds of beans are potential migraine triggers.  This includes: string beans, navy beans, kidney beans, lima beans, etc.

Pickles:  If you enjoy pickled foods, you might want to steer clear of anything pickled to see if any of these affect your migraine.  For instance, pickled eggs, beets, olives, vegetables, peppers, and pickled cucumbers.

Chili peppers: For some people, capsaicin is a migraine trigger.  Try to avoid all products that may contain hot peppers.

Dried Fruits:  Dried fruits contain the migraine trigger sulfate.  It can be helpful to avoid dried apricots, raisins, figs, and prunes.

Citrus fruits:  Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemon all contain both histamines and tyramine, which are both culprits of migraines in some individuals.

Yeast breads:  Many people who have food allergies suffer from a wheat allergy.  Yeast can also be known to trigger migraines.  If yeast is causing you headaches, avoid foods such as: pizza crusts, sourdough bread, and soft pretzels.  However, because a gluten free diet is becoming so popular these days, you will have plenty of yeast-free options available.

Whole milk:  Dairy products can also cause migraines, and it can be helpful to avoid whole milk products and other types of dairy.  Another dairy product known as casein is also known to cause migraines.  It is best to follow a casein-free diet if you need to omit milk from your meals.

Other Migraine Triggers

foods that trigger migrainesWhile there are a host of foods that can trigger migraines, there are also some other surprising culprits that can be contributing to your migraine.

  1. Sleeping in:  It might feel nice to sleep in and get some extra shut eye, but sleep binging can cause a migraine or headache once you wake up.
  2. Estrogen:  Fluctuations in estrogen can cause and trigger migraines.  Women who are on menstruation, using birth control pills, or pregnant are all more susceptible to migraines as well as other migraine triggers.
  3. Perfume:  If you have a sensitive nose, sometimes a strong scent can be enough to set off a migraine in some people.  Additionally, strong and long-lasting fumes of cigarette smoke can also trigger migraines, especially if the person is not used to that environment.
  4. Skipping meals:  If you regularly suffer from migraines, you are going to want to make sure that you develop a consistent eating schedule.  Skipping meals or fasting can cause a headache or migraine in anyone; and it can make things worse for migraine sufferers.
  5. Stress:  Stress can definitely be the cause of a headache, but so can the period of relaxation after.  This might seem strange, but after your body’s chemicals drop off when you calm down, a migraine attack might strike as your body lets it guard down.

Keep Your Head From Throbbing

The bottom line is that if you suffer from migraines, you are going to want to stick to as healthy a diet as possible.  Do not skip meals, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoid overly salty or processed foods.  If you are looking for alternative ways to get rid of a migraine, enroll in this online course that will show you how to use acupressure to relieve your migraine naturally.