Foods that can cause headaches Consider your choice of wine, cheese and coffee carefully -- Yahoo News

An attack of migraine is a painful experience for a lot of people and therefore identifying the triggers that are personal to you can reduce the frequency of migraines in particular with regard to eating habits.

“Dietary triggers are often mentioned by people suffering from migraines,” said Dr. Vincent Martin, director of the Headache and Facial Pain Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

He is also a professor of clinical medicine within the division of internal medicine.


“Triggers are highly individualistic, meaning that foods that cause headaches for one person might not cause headaches in another,” added Martin, president of the National Headache Foundation.

“Common triggers include alcohol artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame, processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs and sausage , and the citrus fruit,” Martin told Fox News Digital.

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“Some headache experts suggest keeping a food journal and logging the foods eaten along with the presence of migraine or headache on the day of the event to establish the connection with the trigger as well as headache attack” Martin noted.

“Sugary foods can cause headaches also,” he said.

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If the food is connected to headaches at least 50 percent often, there’s probably to be a trigger, Martin told Fox News Digital.

“Different patients experience various triggers, however nuts as well as hard cheeses, alcohol and wine are all frequent triggers. Patients must be aware of them and check if they experience headaches after taking these substances,” said Dr. Louise M. Klebanoff, director for general neurology in Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

Certain foods can cause an immediate headache and some foods may cause headaches for up to within 24 hours of ingestion according to the American Migraine Foundation.

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The foundation suggests eliminating the trigger diet for a minimum of one month to see if it reduces the frequency of headaches.

“What I’m trying to convey to my clients is the migraine brain functions better when it’s consistent with regular routine exercise, regular sleep cycles and eating regularly,” Klebanoff told Fox News Digital.

Many processed foods have several ingredients, however just one ingredient can be the trigger for migraines.

A renowned expert advises to ask: “Is it truly the beverage or food that is creating the headache, or could it be one of the numerous components or chemicals found in these food items?”

“Foods are made up of many components that are contaminated with chemical compounds,” said Lena Beal from Atlanta, Georgia, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Beal suggests the following question: “Is it truly the beverage or food that is creating the headache perhaps it is one of numerous ingredients or chemical compounds found in these food items?”

Chemicals include nitrates/nitritesas well as pheny and sulfites, as well as tannins, salicylates, tyramine alcohol, sugar added and caffeine, gluten, capsaicin and glutamate, she explained to Fox News Digital.

One of the most common triggers for drinking is alcohol, as per various reports.


A total of 35.6 percent of people suffering from migraines reported drinking alcohol as a trigger. red wine being identified as the most frequently reported trigger in alcohol-related drinks, according to an article published from the European Journal of Neurology.

A woman is enjoying wine in a glass

The exact reason for why wine triggers migraines isn’t clear experts suggest that certain components that are found in wine, including flavonoids and tannins, can trigger headaches according to Health.

In addition, alcohol can cause dehydration, one of the most common causes of headaches.

Chocolate, tea, and coffee are all common food items which contain caffeine according to Healthline.

The caffeine has not only been linked to triggering migraine as well as in curing migraine, as per an article published in 2021 in the Journal Nutrients.

The research paper didn’t provide sufficient evidence to suggest to stop caffeine consumption for migraine sufferers in generalhowever, it did stress the dangers of too much caffeine, or abruptly stopping caffeine could result in a migraine.

Consuming too much caffeine or abruptly stopping caffeine could cause migraines according to a study.

“Coffee can be a double-edged sword 1 cup per day is acceptable however, excessive quantities can increase the severity of migraines. Consistency is crucial and that’s why 1-2 cups per each all day long,” said Klebanoff of Weill Cornell Medicine.

A tiny amount of caffeine can help with an acute migraine in the event that this remedy is not misused and Health is added.

Blue or feta Parmesan as well as cheddar cheeses are the top frequently known triggers of migraines according to a study from 2012 published in Neurological Sciences.

When foods are stored, fermented or prolonged in age the amino acid known as tyramine develops through the decomposition of proteins, as reported by Healthline.

A variety of cheeses. Aged cheeses like blue or feta Parmesan as well as cheddar cheeses are the top frequently known triggers of migraines according to an investigation.

The longer that the cheese is aged, the greater the amount of tyramine according to this same report.

A few experts believe that increased levels of tyramine can cause nerve cells to produce norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. This causes headaches.


“Tyramine is present in a variety of food items particularly aged and fermented foods as well as drinks,” Beal said.

A dose of tyramine 10 mg is associated with migraine-related symptoms, however doses of less than 6 mg may trigger migraines in people on therapy with MAO inhibitors which are prescribed to treat depression, as per the Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

“Ham bacon, hot dogs sausage, deli meat, as well as hot dogs can be all high in sodium nitrates. They are which are used to enhance color, flavor and protection against harmful bacteriahowever, eating the excess consumption of these food items can cause headaches,” Beal told Fox News Digital.

Ham bacon, deli meat hot dogs, sausages and ham are rich in sodium nitrates.

The “elimination of all foods for a period of time could help identify if it’s the food or a different problem.”

Monosodium glutamate (also called MSG is found naturally in our bodies.

However, it can be found in a variety of food items, including tomatoes and even ingredients like hydrolyzed vegetable protein and food additives such as barbecue sauce and ketchup, According to the Health.

While there is evidence that suggests the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that MSG in food products is “generally considered secure,” a 2016 study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain found that MSG can be a source of migraines.

It also states that further studies are needed to establish whether MSG can trigger migraines.

The jury is still out regarding whether chocolate causes migraine.

Chocolate is among the most frequently mentioned triggers of migraines in an research study published in 2012. Neurological Studies study.

Slices of dark chocolate topped with chocolate chips. The verdict is yet to be decided on the possibility that chocolate could trigger migraines.

However, Klebanoff pointed out that “chocolate could be more of a craving than being a trigger.”

In a review for 2020, Nutrients did not find enough evidence to prove that chocolate is the true cause of migraines.

Nuts like peanut butter, as well as all seeds are the most common cause of migraines According the Association of Migraine Disorders.


They are a source of the amino acid Phenylalanine, which is known to disrupt the flow of blood in the brain. This is an underlying mechanism that could result in migraines According the National Library of Medicine.

“The connection of diet with migraines is a complicated relationship,” stated the Dr. Jennifer Bickel, a board certified specialist in headache medicine. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology who is located within Tampa, Florida.

“There are definitely instances where one food item can cause migraines, but the situation is usually more complicated than the other.”

A woman in her 20s is a computer user and consumes a variety of unhealthy food items. The best way to determine the cause of headaches is a challenge since other aspects must be taken into consideration.

Bickel offered an instance where he had drunk a glass wine and experiencing a headache.

“Perhaps you could sip an alcoholic glass of red wine if you’ve had a good rest and stress is at a minimum, but the same glasses of wine when combined with stress and sleep issues can cause a migraine that is disabling.”

Beal claimed that determining the cause of headaches can be difficult because there are other variables that must be taken into consideration.

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These include:

The prescription for eyeglasses could be wrong

Changes in the medication for headaches

Skipping meals

eating meals at different times as compared to the norm


Not getting enough rest before headaches began

Stress and anxiety

Menstrual cycle stage when headache began

Weather triggers

Family heritage

“Most of the details about possible triggers for headaches from food are based on self-reports of patients and not from random scientific studies.” Beal added.

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“I always advise my patients to take a look not only at the food they consume, but at the the triggers for weather changes and menstrual cycles as well as sleep deprivation , and tension,” Bickel told Fox News Digital.

“I advise patients to stay away from artificial sweeteners (Stevia is fine), MSG (many prepared food items and snacks with flavor) as well as nitrates and Nitrites (smoked luncheon meats hot dogs),” Klebanoff said.


“Lifestyle interventions can dramatically reduce migraine frequency, however there are many medication options that work very well.”