Foods that trigger migraines. And what to avoid.

Migraine triggers can vary from person to person, and what triggers a migraine for one individual may not affect another. However, there are several common foods and ingredients that are known to potentially trigger migraines in some people. It's important to note that not everyone with migraines will be affected by these triggers, and some individuals may have other triggers not related to food. Here are some commonly reported food triggers for migraines:

  • Caffeine: While caffeine can provide relief for some people during a migraine attack, sudden withdrawal or excessive intake of caffeine can trigger migraines in others.

  • Alcohol: Red wine, beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages, especially in excessive amounts, have been reported to trigger migraines in some individuals.

  • Aged cheese: Certain types of aged cheese, such as blue cheese, cheddar, Swiss, and feta, contain tyramine, a substance known to trigger migraines in some people.

  • Processed meats: Deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, and sausages often contain nitrates, which have been associated with migraines in some individuals.

  • MSG (Monosodium glutamate): This flavor enhancer is commonly found in processed and packaged foods, as well as in some Asian cuisine. It has been reported to trigger migraines in susceptible individuals.

  • Chocolate: Although not a universal trigger, some people report that consuming chocolate can bring on migraines.

  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, as well as their juices, have been reported to trigger migraines in some individuals.

  • Nuts and peanuts: Some people with migraines report that certain nuts, especially peanuts and walnuts, can trigger their symptoms.

  • Onions: Raw onions or cooked onions, particularly in larger quantities, have been associated with migraine attacks in some individuals.

  • Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, commonly found in diet sodas and sugar-free products, have been reported to trigger migraines in susceptible individuals.

It's worth mentioning that maintaining a headache diary and identifying personal triggers can be helpful in managing migraines. If you suspect that certain foods are triggering your migraines, consider consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized advice and guidance.

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