Foods and drinks that can trigger migraine

Foods and drinks that can trigger migraine

Foods and drinks that can trigger migraine

Food Migraine


A migraine is a type of severe pain that happens on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity.

Is a migraine different from a headache?

Yes. Migraines and headaches are different from each other concerning the severity of the pain. A headache can last for hours to days. But migraines can last from four to 72 hours. It Is considered to be a neurological disease and can become more severe. More than 90% of people find it difficult to work during migraine pain.

Foods and drinks that can trigger migraine

Studies show the connection between certain foods and migraines. “Several studies show a link between food and beverages and migraines,” says Thomas Berk, MD, neurologist and headache specialist at NYU Langone Health and Assistant Professor of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.


Berk says, “There is no universal food or beverage that triggers migraines.” Experts say that everyone suffering from migraines can have different triggers. Some of which can be food or drink items.

According to the results based on Berk’s research and discussion with patients, the following food and drink items can trigger migraines. 


Caffeine is present in various items such as tea. A 2016 review reflects that caffeine withdrawal and excessive caffeine consumption can result in migraines in some people. 


You will be surprised to see that alcohol can cause migraines too. According to a study in 2018, alcohol can trigger for over 5% of study participants with migraines. . “The studies haven’t determined if sulfites, tannins, or any other naturally-occurring chemicals in wine are the cause of migraine triggers,” he says.


MSG and salty foods

MSG, a type of salt, is thought to be a flavor enhancer. It is used in many types of processed foods. Research says that MSG is a top trigger. On the contrary, Berk says that fake salts or chemicals used to taste like salts can trigger migraines. These salts are often found in processed foods such as potato chips. 


Who has ever thought that a bar of chocolate can cause pain? Berk says that chocolate sometimes can help lessen migraine pain. However, a 2020 review found chocolate as a migraine trigger in a small percentage. 

Cold cuts (sliced meat)

 “One common migraine trigger is food preservatives, including nitrates and nitrites,” says Berk. These are used to preserve cold cuts. 



Aspartame is the most common type of artificial sweetener found in foods. Various studies show that aspartame can cause serious health issues such asstroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and migraines.

Aged cheese

Aged cheese such asBrie, Swiss, cheddar, and blue cheese can sometimes become your enemy. These are rich in tyramine, which is fermented when amino acid tyrosine breaks down. Tyramine occurs naturally in foods and can cause a headache.

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