Top 10 Foods That Cause Migraines and Headaches

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Food is an essential need for us. We eat food to survive. We need it to complete our requirements, give strength to our bodies, and prevent disease.

There are many types of foods in our daily food habits. Some are good for our health, and some are not. However, Some of those foods can trigger migraines. 

That’s right, and you can get migraines from foods. While you eat, it can trigger symptoms like head pain.

Nowadays, there is no cure for migraines. What’s more, going too long without eating anything can provoke headaches.

So, today we will talk about the Top 10 Foods That Cause Migraines, which you should avoid.

Does Food Trigger Migraines and Headaches?

Top 10 Foods That Cause Migraines and Headaches

Yes, it does. The relation between food and migraine isn’t clear-cut. But migraines can be triggered by certain foods. It’s proven that 27% of people who suffer from migraines are triggered by food.

Many foods can cause migraines. But we have given the lift of the most common 10 foods, which causes migraines.

Top 10 Foods That Cause Migraines and Headaches

1. Artificial Sweeteners

This is one of the common foods which can trigger migraines. These sweeteners are sugar alternatives. These are usually added to our drinks and foods to add sweetness.

But these sweet things can cause migraines. In this case, Aspartame is thought to trigger a migraine. So, you should avoid eating this food too much.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol is another common product that is thought to cause migraines. A test shows that over 35% of people with migraines reported alcohol was a common trigger for them.

Especially Red wine, over 77% of people reported that it’s a migraine trigger. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which can develop headaches.

So, if you can, to get rid of migraines, skip drinking alcohol.

3. Chocolate

According to the World Migraine Foundation, chocolate is the second typical food that causes migraines. According to their research, 22% of migraines are triggered by chocolate.

Chocolates contain both beta-phenylethylamine and caffeine. Both of them can trigger migraines such as headaches. We all know that everyone loves chocolate. But if you have a migraine problem, then you need to avoid eating it.

4. Foods Containing MSG

MSG is the short form of Monosodium Glutamate. It is a salt of glutamic acid. MSG can be found in certain foods. Despite being safe to eat, some researchers show it is linked to migraine attacks.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, 10 to 15% of Migraines are caused by MSG foods. Because of that, you should keep in mind how much MSG food you should eat.

5. Cured Meats

Cured meats including ham, sausages, and hot dogs contain preservatives named nitrates. It preserves color and flavor. These types of foods can release nitric oxide into our blood.

And dilate blood vessels in the brain. This nitric oxide can trigger migraines. Many people love to eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage, but if you have a migraine problem, you should avoid eating them. It will only give you pain.

6. Aged cheeses

Cheeses are healthy for us. They provide us with many benefits. But aged cheeses are not suitable for use at all. They contain a substance called tyramine. It occurs when a food’s aging causes the breakdown of proteins.

The more it is aged, the more tyramine it will contain. This tyramine is a chemical that causes headaches and migraines. The feta, parmesan, and blue cheese are high in tyramine.

7. Frozen Foods

Eating frozen foods and drinks like slushies and ice cream can trigger stabbing pains in the head. You can have a migraine attack if you eat cold food quickly, when overheated, or after exercising.

So, try not to eat frozen foods as much as possible. It’s good for both your body and mind. It will also help you to prevent migraine attacks.

8. Salty Foods

Salty foods are also responsible for triggering migraines. Especially those salty foods which contain harmful preservatives. Salty food also contains sodium. Consuming too much sodium increases blood pressure.

As a result, it causes migraine attacks and headaches. Doctors suggest not to eat salty foods if you have migraine attacks very often. So, it doesn’t matter if you think how much you like these foods, try to avoid them.

9. Citrus Fruits

Fruits are essential and healthy for our body. They provide us with vitamins and minerals. But we should eat fresh fruits because it helps us to avoid migraines. On the other hand, citrus fruits can cause migraines.

Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, and more. Research shows that they can trigger migraines. Avoid eating these fruits and see if it makes a difference for you.

10. Excessive Coffee

We know that some of you are probably shocked to see this. But research shows that excessive coffee can cause migraines. Cutting back on coffee can help you reduce migraines. 

Coffee refreshes our minds. We can not start our day without a cup of coffee. But you should avoid excessive coffee. Drinking more than two cups a day can trigger migraines. 


Nowadays, migraine is a common problem. Almost everyone has it. There is no actual cure for it. Foods can trigger migraines. The relation between food and migraine isn’t clear-cut. But migraines can be triggered by certain foods.

In the list above, we have provided the Top 10 Foods That Cause Migraines. If you want to prevent migraines, you should avoid eating them.

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