Did you know that what you eat and drink can be a trigger for a migraine attack? According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods that trigger migraines may only do so when combined with other triggers.
Caffeine is a double-edged sword because it can help to relieve headaches but at the same time be a trigger for a migraine. Daily consumption of caffeine can make you dependent on it and consuming 80 milligrams less than your usual amount can bring on a headache. Foods and drinks with caffeine include tea, coffee and chocolates.
Aged Cheese & Meats
The nitrites or nitrates in salami and other aged meats are thought to bring on a migraine. Plus, these foods are also very salty, which can make you dehydrated.
Many processed foods contain artificial sweeteners. These are sugar alternatives that are added to foods and drinks to add sweetness. But these sweeteners can cause migraines. Aspartame in particular is thought to trigger migraine episodes.
Chili peppers are probably more likely than any other kind of spicy food to trigger migraines. It’s likely that they react on certain pain receptors — called TRP receptors — in the brain that lower the threshold for developing a migraine.
Alcohol is one of the more common products thought to trigger a migraine. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches. According to a study, over 35% of the participants with migraine reported that alcohol was one of their common triggers. Red wine in particular was reported as a trigger in over 77% of the participants who reported alcohol as a trigger.
Along with other high-acid foods, these are also sometimes thought to cause gastric irritation and trigger migraines.
Eating frozen foods and drinks like ice cream or slushies can trigger severe, stabbing pains in the head. You’re most likely to experience headaches that become migraine attacks if you’re eating cold food quickly, after exercising, or when overheated.
Salty foods, especially salty processed foods that may contain harmful preservatives may trigger migraines in some people. Consuming high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure, causing headaches or migraine attacks.