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Foods That May Be Causing Your Migraines

Foods That May Be Causing Your Migraines

If you receive migraine treatment from your general practitioner, you know that when a migraine hits, the pain can be nearly debilitating. A consultation with you Conway family medicine doctor will reveal there are some lifestyle choices you can make to reduce the likelihood of a migraine. Part of avoiding the head-pounding pain is to eliminate certain foods and beverages from your diet.

Headaches and Food

Did you know there are several everyday foods and drinks loaded with ingredients and preservatives that could trigger migraines? If you’re suffering from repeated headaches, consult your general practitioner, but eliminating these foods from your diet may help.

Aged Cheese: People who have been prescribed monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medications by their general practitioner should avoid foods containing tyramine, which include aged cheeses, red wine, and processed meats.

Alcohol: Impurities in alcohol partnered with any sulfites in the beverage can make it hard for your body to metabolize alcohol, increasing your chances of developing a migraine.

Additives: Food additives, like nitrates and nitrites, can dilate blood vessels, causing headaches. These foods contain nitrates or nitrites:

  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Hot dogs
  • Lunch meats
  • Pepperoni
  • Processed meats

Your general practitioner may also warn you of MSG (monosodium glutamate), a popular food additive in soy sauce, packaged foods, and a variety of Asian foods. MSG can usually be spotted on food packaging under the terms “hydrolyzed fat” or “all natural preservatives.” In addition to sparking a migraine, MSG can also cause:

  • Dizziness
  • Redness, pressure in the face
  • Tightness, burning in chest
  • Abdominal pain

Everyday Foods That Trigger Migraines

Speak with your Conway family medicine doctor. Each person’s body reacts differently, but these are foods you may have in your kitchen right now that could easily trigger migraine pain.

  • Avocados
  • Beans: Lima, Italian, fava, navy, pinto, snow peas, garbanzo, lentils, and dried beans
  • Brewer’s yeast (Typically in natural supplements)
  • Bread, crackers, and desserts containing cheese
  • Cultured dairy products, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt
  • Chicken livers and other organ meats, pate
  • Smoked or dried fish
  • Pickled foods (pickles, olives, sauerkraut)
  • Sourdough bread, yeast goods (donuts, cakes, homemade breads, and rolls)
  • Onions
  • Ripe bananas, citrus fruits, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapple
  • Dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates)
  • Peas
  • Peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, and other nuts and seeds
  • Pizza or other tomato-based products
  • Potato chip products
  • Canned soups made from meat extracts or bouillon

Does Caffeine Cause Headaches?

Caffeine is a unique element in that it is often used in headache pain relief medicine, but your general practitioner will tell you that too much caffeine can provoke a headache. To steer clear of a caffeine-triggered migraine, keep your consumption at about 200mg each day (about one 10oz. cup of regular coffee).


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