Be Wary of These 8 Foods That Trigger Migraines

Life Hacks
2 min read
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There are various triggers for migraine, and these triggers might differ from person to person. What we eat or drink can also trigger migraines.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods and drinks when combined with triggers worsen migraine attacks.

Here are some of the common foods that may trigger migraines in people prone to them.


According to the US National Institute of Health, caffeine can act as a trigger in two possible ways. Firstly, drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks can trigger migraine and the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine also affect your migraine attacks.

In conclusion, too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal can be the cause. Caffeine is the trigger for 6.3 percent to 14.5 percent migarine patients.


Alcohol is also a common trigger for migraine. According to PubMed Central, alcohol is the trigger for 35 percent of the people suffering from frequent migraines.


According to the American Migraine Foundation, alcohol can trigger two types of migrain headaches, the first one being a severe migraine attack after few hours of consuming alcohol. Second one is considered as the 'delayed hangover headache'.


According to the US NIH, chocolate is linked to migraine attacks as consumption of chocolates can result in the production of hormones called 'serotonin' which are involved in the pathogenesis of migraine.

According to the American Migraine Foudation, chocolate affects 22 percent of the people who experience migraines.

Aged Cheese 

According to Healthline, aged cheese contains a substance called tyramine which causes protein to break down, and can trigger headaches and migraines. The older the cheese is, the more tyramine it shall contain.

Parmesan, blue cheese and feta are some varieties that have high tyramine content.

Frozen Foods 

According to PennMedicine, frozen foods like ice cream can make your migraine worse , or act as a trigger. When the freezing cold ice-cream touches the centre of the palate, it affects the blood flow in the brain and result in swollen nerves in the head. For this reason, it's advice that you avoid eating frozen foods too quickly, or directly after working out.

Artificial Sweeteners

According to Pubmed Central, aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is used in various processed and junk food and is linked with migraines.

Sweeteners have also been linked to changes in cognitive and behavioural pattern.

Besides migraine, other neurophysiological effects of artificial sweeteners include headache, seizure, anxiety, depression, irritable moods, insomnia, etc

Foods Containing MSG

Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is a sodium salt made of glutamic acid which is naturally found in our bodies.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, MSG can be linked with migarines accompanied by diarrhea and severe cramps.

Genrally, condiments, soups, snacks, chips, instant noodles, processed meat contain MSG in high quantity.

Cured Meats

According to PubMed, cured meats contain preservatives to preserve the colour and flavour.

These foods release nitric oxide, nitrates and nitrites in the bodies after consumption, which leads to expansion of blood vessels resulting in migraines or headaches.

(This article is for your general information only. Before trying out any remedy or treatment, FIT advises you to consult a qualified medical professional.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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Topics:  Migraine 

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