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Top 10 Migriane Trigger Foods

There are different factors that can trigger a migraine — including what we eat and drink. According to the Migraine Research Foundation , it’s thought that food triggers combined with other migraine-causing triggers are most impactful. But this combination is highly individualized so it makes research difficult.

There is no such thing as a universal migraine trigger. But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraines in some people.

1. Caffeine

Too much caffeine and having caffeine withdrawal (or not having enough) can cause migraines. But according to the American Migraine Foundation , caffeine can actually help stop oncoming migraines. It can also offer headache relief with occasional use.

Foods with caffeine include:

  • coffee

  • tea

  • chocolate

  • energy drinks

2. Artificial sweeteners

Many processed foods contain artificial sweeteners.But these sweeteners can cause migraines. According to the Mayo Clinic, aspartame in particular is thought to trigger migraines.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the more common products thought to trigger migraines. Red wine and beer are thought to be triggers for about 25%of people who get regular migraines. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches.

4. Chocolate

According to the American Migriane Foundation ,chocolate is thought to be the second most common trigger for migraines after alcohol. It affects an estimated 22 percent of people who experience migraines. It contains caffeine and also beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.

5. Foods containing MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a glutamic acid that naturally exists in our bodies. It is also in certain foods, and present in many foods as a food additive. It’s considered safe to eat, but some researchers link it to migraines. The American Migraine Foundation notes it may trigger severe migraines in 10 to 15 percent of those who experience migraines. Other preservatives may also trigger migraines in some people.

6. Cured meats

Cured meats — including deli meats, ham, hot dogs, and sausages — all contain preservatives called nitrates, which preserve color and flavor. These foods can release nitric oxide into the blood, which is thought to dilated blood vessels in the brain. There is evidence that nitric oxide can cause or contribute to migraines.

7. Aged cheeses

Aged cheeses contain a substance called tyramine. It forms when a food’s aging causes the breakdown of proteins. The longer the cheese has aged, the higher the tyramine content will be. Tyramine is linked to migraines. Common cheeses that are high in tyramine include:

  • feta

  • blue cheese

  • parmesan

8. Pickled and fermented foods

Like aged cheeses, pickled and fermented foods can contain high amounts of tyramine. These foods include:

  • pickles

  • kimchi

  • kombucha (which can also have alcoholic content)

  • pickled okra

  • pickled jalapenos

9. Frozen foods

Eating frozen foods and drinks like ice cream or slushies can trigger severe, stabbing pains in the head. You’re most likely to experience headaches that become migraines if you’re eating cold food quickly, after exercise, or when overheated.

10. Salty foods

Salty foods — especially salty processed foods that may contain harmful preservatives — may trigger migraines in some people. Consuming high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure , causing headaches or migraines.

Treating migraines

Treatment for migraines can involve a combination of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and alternative remedies.

There is evidence that some alternative remedies can help treat migraines. These include:

  • massage therapy, which could lower the frequency of migraines and in some cases help prevent migraines from returning . Cold stone massage treatments not only give instant cooling relief to migraines they actively reduce blood flow/ swelling to the brain eliminating the migraine . You can learn more about cold stone migraine treatments here :

  • biofeedback, which teaches you how to check physical responses of stress, like muscle tension

  • vitamin B-2 Riboflavin , which can help prevent migraines

  • magnesium supplements - I highly recommend Natural Calm drink and gummies .They are safe, natural and convenient . You can find them here :

Outlook and prevention

Migraines are painful and can interrupt your life. Fortunately, there are some lifestyle changes you can make and habits to adopt that can help you prevent them. Keeping track of the foods you eat that may be causing migraine symptoms is a great place to start.

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