Foods that Trigger Migraines

Do you notice that your migraines worsen even when you’re not hungry? If skipping meals can cause migraines, it can also be the foods that you eat which trigger your headache.

Amino acid in your food

Foods that trigger migraines includes chocolates, soy foods, fermented cheese, citrus fruits and vinegar, either red or balsamic. All these foods have a common triggering content called tyramine or phenylethylamine which are amino acids.

Alcoholic drinks such a red wine, sherry, vermouth and beer also contain large portions of tyramine, one of the most powerful migraine headache triggering ingredient. Any type of alcoholic beverage can cause dehydration and this is a primary cause of headaches. When you have migraines, you should learn to drink moderately or alternately drink alcoholic beverages with water or seltzer. If your migraines are easily triggered by alcohol then it might be wise to completely refrain from taking alcoholic drinks.

Leftover foods

Leftovers can trigger migraines. Leftover foods are usually improperly stored and this condition increases their tyramine content over time.

Eating foods not stored in the refrigerator or left unrefrigerated for a long period of time can give you a big headache.


Foods containing nitrates such as hotdogs, pepperoni and deli meats are also considered foods that trigger migraines due to the capability of preservatives to cause a headache. To avoid migraines caused by nitrate preserved foods, make sure that food items you get from the grocery are nitrite free.

Dried fruits containing the preservative sulfite can also give you a migraine. Foods containing sulfites include figs, apricots and prunes. Wine and other processed foods also contain sulfites.

Other foods that trigger migraines are red-skinned apples and pears, apple juice and cider, and tea. All these foods including red wine contain a significant amount of tannins which is a plant compound that can trigger migraines in some persons. Tannin contained in foods are known for their astringent taste.

Food additives

Food additives are also known to trigger migraines.

Foods that contain monosodium glutamate, hyrolyzed or autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, hydrolized vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, kombu extract and sodium caseinate increase your chances of having a migraine attack.

An artificial sweetener called aspartame found in light yogurt, sugar free candies, diet beverages, low calorie dessert can also trigger migraines.

People sensitive to caffeine may find it wise to avoid foods with caffeine since caffeine containing foods can also trigger a migraine headache.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.