Healthy Living: 5 Foods That Trigger Migraines
There are different factors that can trigger a migraine including what we eat and drink. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, it’s thought that food triggers combined with other migraine-causing triggers are most impactful. But this combination is highly individualized so it makes research difficult.
There is no such thing as a universal migraine trigger.
But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraines in some people.
Too much caffeine and having caffeine withdrawal (or not having enough) can cause migraines. But according to the American Migraine Foundation, caffeine can actually help stop oncoming migraines. It can also offer headache relief with occasional use.
Foods with caffeine include:
2. Artificial sweeteners
Many processed foods contain artificial sweeteners. They’re used as sugar alternatives for those with diabetes. But these sweeteners can cause migraines. According to the Mayo Clinic, aspartame in particular is thought to trigger migraines.
Alcohol is one of the more common products thought to trigger migraines. Red wine and beer are thought to be triggers for about 25 percent of people who get regular migraines. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate is thought to be the second most common trigger for migraines after alcohol. It affects an estimated 22 percent of people who experience migraines. It contains caffeine and also beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.
5. Foods containing MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a glutamic acid that naturally exists in our bodies. It is also in certain foods, and present in many foods as a food additive. It’s considered safeTrusted Source to eat, but some researchers link it to migraines. The American Migraine Foundation notes it may trigger severe migraines in 10 to 15 percent of those who experience migraines.
Other preservatives may also trigger migraines in some people.