BEWARE Of 8 Common Foods That TRIGGER Migraines!

Have you been getting migraines lately? A migraine is a severe headache that causes a really bad throbbing pain on one side of the head. The exact cause of migraines is still unknown, but some foods are said to trigger them. Let’s talk about some of those foods today… 

Can certain meats cause migraine? What about salty foods? Wait a second, chocolate? Now it’s personal! We’re talking about all this AND more in today’s post, so stay tuned… 


I don’t mean it in general. That’s asking too much of you. It’s just if you’re having migraines, your chocolate habits might be what’s setting them off. Let’s talk about a few stats before we go further. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 people worldwide suffer from migraines. For most people, it occurs between the ages of 20 to 50. Women are 3 times more likely to suffer migraines than men. 

Chocolate is one of the most common foods to bring on migraines. It’s said to affect more than 20% of people who experience migraines on a regular basis. But why is it such a huge trigger? Well, our best guess is the caffeine. Sure, dark chocolate has its benefits for your health, but it also carries 12 mg of caffeine per ounce. Caffeine affects the activity of a substance in our brain called Adenosine (uh-den-uh-seen). Your adenosine levels increase during a migraine attack. If you’re thinking of cutting back on caffeine, you need to be careful. Some say caffeine withdrawal can be even worse for migraines. Think about it, your brain is being deprived of something it’s been dependent on for a while now. If you’re going to kick caffeine, do it at a pace you’re comfortable with.


Did you know that an estimated 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee every week? Out of these people, over 60% of them drink it every day! That’s a lot of jumping around. While coffee is seen as morning medicine for many of us, it does trigger migraine, which is a big minus in my books. This is again due to all the caffeine. At any given time, a single cup of coffee can have almost 95 mg of caffeine. That ounce of dark chocolate from a second ago only has 12! It’s not uncommon for coffee junkies to have 3 cups of coffee in the morning. If you live with migraines on the regular, just imagine how your head will feel. But, I get it. People need their coffee in order to function. It gives you that morning jolt that allows you to do your job. What I would say is that if you’re going to drink coffee, try switching from 3 cups in a day to one, and see where it goes.

If you want to replace your coffee with anything, it should be tea. Not any kind of tea. Even that can have caffeine. I’m talking about things like ginger, chamomile, and peppermint. These are some of the best choices for treating a migraine. If you’re pretty easy and you don’t need a fancy drink, you can just have some water.


We all love a good sandwich, but when it comes to migraines, cured meats are a big no! Just so we’re clear, cured meat is meat that has been preserved through methods like drying, canning, salting, and smoking. These can be anything from the meats at your local deli to the hot dogs you buy from a street vendor.

I know, who could resist some street meat from time to time? Well, once you hear what it can do to your brain, you might be a little more motivated. Cured meats are filled with preservatives called Nitrates. This is what helps them keep that color and flavor you love so much. The problem is that once you eat them, the nitric oxide makes your blood vessels swell up. This does not make your brain happy.

If you’re prone to migraines, having just one serving of cured meat can give you a headache. If you want to avoid this, switch to eating more uncured meats that aren’t cured with harmful nitrates. These are things like chicken breast and turkey. Once you start having these, you may see a difference in your migraines.


If you’ve ever been to a fancy dinner party, you’d know that meat and cheese go hand in hand. The problem is that aged cheese can bring on migraines. They contain a substance called Tyramine. Tyramine is a natural substance that’s supposed to help control your blood pressure. Aged foods will produce it. This causes your body’s proteins to break down. If your head is super sensitive, tyramine will trigger migraines. Some examples of aged cheeses are things like Parmeson, Swiss, and Feta. If you're a migraine person who happens to dine out, blue cheese can also be your worst enemy.

Aged cheese will leave your head begging for your mercy. Before you know it, that wine and cheese party won’t be as exciting. Speaking of wine, this brings us to our next entry on the list.


Let me just cut to the chase… Alcohol is arguably the most common trigger of migraines. There, I said it. Do with that information what you’d like. If you’re noticing more migraines coming on after having a few drinks, your constant partying needs to come to an end. A study from 2019 looked at people who experience migraines regularly. Out of the group surveyed, 35% recorded getting migraines after drinking booze. Out of all the booze they had, red wine was said to be the easiest trigger. Almost 80% of the participants said they were getting bad headaches after having it.

As to the amount they were drinking, that’s not really specified. But if your head starts pounding intensely after having even a couple, that’s a red flag. Whether it’s an expensive wine or dirt-cheap beer, alcohol makes you dehydrated. It’s a diuretic that makes you pee like crazy. Soon enough, your body will start running out of fluids, leading to dehydration. One of the signs of dehydration is a killer headache that doesn’t go away until you drink more water.

I know it’s summer and party season’s in full swing, but is slamming backshots really worth it if you know a migraine is at the end? Just something to think about…


Whether it’s with chips, candy, pretzels, or hamburgers, we all love to kick back under the sun with our favorite snacks. But, if you’re a migraine person, you don’t have this luxury. Salty foods can set off a brutal headache. Add the summer heat into the mix, and you’re in for one miserable time. The average American eats around 3400 mg of sodium a day. Uh–Yeah, that’s an issue. You see, you’re recommended to have no more than 2300 mg. Just think about what all that extra daily sodium is doing to your body. Loading up on sodium will cause your blood pressure to spike. High blood pressure triggers migraine. So if you’re invited to that annual barbecue, my advice is you pay attention to the amount of salt you’re putting into your body.


I know it seems like we’re ruining all your favorites. Trust me, that’s not what we’re looking to do. When the summer heat gets a little too intense, it’s normal to hit up the local ice cream truck for something cold. It makes you feel like a kid again. Well, you’re going to have to hit the brakes on the nostalgia train for a second. Frozen foods can also spark migraine attacks.

We all know what brain freeze is right? You eat something too cold too quickly, and suddenly it feels like your head’s about to explode. While this is painful for anybody, there’s a little more to it than that. Brain freeze only lasts a minute. Migraines sometimes feel like they’re never going to end. If you feel brain freeze coming on, and it lasts more than a couple minutes, that delicious frozen treat may be bringing on a migraine.


While they are fun to eat, pickles and other fermented foods can make your head pound. You see, they contain things called amines, which are produced by bacteria to break down all the amino acids in fermented foods. If your body is too sensitive towards these amines, your head will get a migraine.

If you’re not a pickle person, some other examples of fermented foods you should look out for include Kimchi and Jalapenos. Fermented drinks like kombucha also have this effect.

Now migraines are serious, but there are plenty of other issues you can have with your brain. Care to learn more? Are you considering cutting out any of these foods? Let us know in the comments below…

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

Post a Comment

Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box.

Previous Post Next Post