foods that cause migraines

Surprising Foods That Could Be Causing Your Migraines

Healthy Diets May Reduce Pain

This article explores the kinds of foods that could be causing your migraines, along with some treatment options like UBRELVY (a prescription medicine used for the acute treatment of migraine attacks) and ZAVZPRET™ (zavegepant) is indicated for the acute treatment of migraines.

Foods To Avoid

Here are some of the most common foods that can trigger migraines.


While caffeine can sometimes be used to alleviate headaches, it can also be a trigger for migraines. If you're prone to migraines, limiting your caffeine intake or avoiding it altogether is best.


Alcohol, particularly red wine, can trigger migraines. This is because alcohol can cause the blood vessels in your brain to dilate, which can lead to a migraine.

Aged Cheeses

Aged cheeses like blue cheese, cheddar and Parmesan, contain tyramine, which can trigger migraines. Tyramine is a naturally occurring substance that forms when proteins in food break down. If you're prone to migraines, avoiding aged cheeses is best.

Processed Meats

Processed meats like hot dogs, sausage and deli meats contain nitrates, which can trigger migraines. Nitrates are used to preserve the meat and give it a longer shelf life. If you're prone to migraines, avoiding processed meats is best.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes can trigger migraines in some people. This is because they contain histamine, which can cause headaches and migraines in certain individuals.


Chocolate contains caffeine and tyramine, both of which can trigger migraines. If you're prone to migraines, avoid chocolate or limit your intake.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can trigger migraines in some people. If you're prone to migraines, it's best to avoid artificial sweeteners and opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.


Nuts, particularly peanuts and tree nuts, can trigger migraines in some people. It’s because they contain tyramine, which can cause changes in the brain that can lead to a migraine.


Onions contain histamine, which can trigger migraines in some people. If you're prone to migraines, avoid onions or limit your intake.


MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a food additive that is commonly found in processed foods. It can trigger migraines in some people. If you're prone to migraines, avoiding foods containing MSG is best.

If you suffer from migraines, it's important to identify and avoid your triggers as much as possible. Keeping a food diary can help you pinpoint which foods are causing your migraines.

Treatment Options and Ways to Alleviate Symptoms

In addition to avoiding trigger foods, there are other steps you can take to alleviate migraine symptoms. Here are some treatment options and ways to relieve symptoms.


Several types of medication can be used to treat migraines. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help alleviate mild to moderate migraine pain. Triptans are prescription medications that can also help alleviate migraine symptoms. They work by narrowing blood vessels in the brain and reducing inflammation.

Relaxation Techniques

Stress is a common trigger for migraines, so finding ways to relax and reduce stress is important. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help alleviate migraine symptoms. These techniques help to calm the nervous system, reduce muscle tension, and promote relaxation.


Dehydration can trigger migraines, so drinking plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day is important. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and avoid beverages that can dehydrate you, like alcohol and caffeine.

Cold Compress

Placing a cold compress on your forehead can help alleviate migraine pain. The cold temperature can help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. You can use a cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables, or a towel soaked in cold water.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can also help alleviate migraine symptoms. Applying heat to your neck or shoulders can help relax tense muscles and alleviate pain. You can use a heating pad or a warm towel to apply heat.


Massage therapy can help alleviate migraine symptoms by promoting relaxation, and reducing muscle tension. A massage therapist can target specific trigger points in your head, neck and shoulders to help alleviate pain and tension.

Avoiding Triggers

Identifying and avoiding triggers is an important part of preventing migraines. Keep a diary to track when migraines occur and what triggers them. Once you've identified your triggers, try to avoid them as much as possible.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes can also help prevent migraines. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet can all help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. It's also important to avoid smoking and limit your alcohol intake.

Final Notes

Migraines are a type of headache characterized by intense, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. They are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound and visual disturbances. Many people take different routes to manage their migraines, from lifestyle and food choices to treatment options like Nurtec and Aimovig.

They can last anywhere from a few hours to several days and can be incredibly debilitating. One common trigger for migraines is food. Certain foods can cause changes in the brain that can then lead to a migraine. If you suffer from migraines, it's essential to be aware of foods that cause migraines.

Living with migraines can be challenging, but with proper management and care, it is possible to minimize the impact they have on daily life. By being mindful of triggers, seeking treatment when necessary, and making healthy lifestyle choices, individuals can find relief from migraines and regain control over their lives.

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