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Head Bangers: 10 Common Foods That Trigger Migraines

The typical migraine headache is unilateral (one half of the head), pulsing and lasts 4-72 hours.
The typical migraine headache is unilateral (one half of the head), pulsing and lasts 4-72 hours.

Having a clear mind-body connection can help you to better tune in to your health and in the long term, help to prevent deficiencies and malnourishment.  Though most of our stresses from day to day are mainly caused by outside factors beyond our physical control, i.e; weather, traffic, and work related stress, we consume a variety of foods and are constantly putting things into our bodies that can cause chemical imbalances.  These imbalances trigger blood sugar levels, blood pressure, regulate body heat, and stabilize neurotransmitters in the brain.  Coincidently, these same chemical reactions that bring stability in our body, can  also cause instability and adverse reactions such as migraine headaches.  A severe type of headache caused by the blood vessels in the brain swelling and constricting that is still unclear to researches as to how to be prevented or cured completely.
Though research has not led to any such measurable cures for tension headaches and migraines, doctors have been able to narrow down however certain foods and products that can worsen and even bring on the headache.

Caffiene: No surprise here right?  Coffee, tea, colas, and diet pills pack a powerful amount of the headache causing ingredient.

Chocolate: Well anything with cocoa in it actually! Phenylethylamine, which is contained in virtually everything chocolate, can cause blood vessels in the brain to swell and contract.

MSG: Monosodium glutamate, found in common over processed foods, fast foods, and seasoned salts, low fat, and low cal foods.

Nuts: Yes, your yummy peanut butter too!  Almonds and pistachios as well as other varieties can be triggers to your pain.  Moderation is the key to allow yourself to enjoy these heart healthy fats!

Deli Meat and Fish: Whatever the process using nitrates is; be it aged, canned, marinated, smoked, or cure it's sure to trigger a migraine. 

Dairy Products: Again, the aging process of the cheese produces the chemical that can trigger migraines.

Red wine: Having a little with dinner is fine for your heart, but dark alcohol and balsamic and vinegar dressings should be avoided if you are a frequent migraine sufferer.

Certain Fruits and Vegetable: Citrus fruits, and fruit juices, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits preserved with sulfites, raspberries, plums, papaya, passion fruit, figs, dates, and avocado.  Vegetables making the list include, sauerkraut,peas in a pod, navy and lentil beans, and onions being the worst.

Fresh Baked Breads:  Yeast risen breads, such as sourdough, bagels, and doughnuts, soft pretzels, and pizza dough that are consumed less than 24 hours right out of the oven.

Aspartame: The culprit found in many artificial sweeteners, diet sodas, and candy, contain excitotoxins known to affect nerve cells.


  • Charlene Collins ~ Atlanta Family Health Examiner 5 years ago

    Interesting list of foods to cause headaches... I'm glad I don't suffer from many of them.

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