Learn these common food triggers to keep migraine at bay.

Are you ready to blame these foods that cause a numbing pain that refuses to go away?

No one wants to experience an irritable pounding headache. Lack of sleep, exercise, or food, as well as mounting stress can easily trigger migraines. Over 45 million Americans have chronic headaches from migraine, cluster headaches, or tension. However, the relationship between migraines and food is still not clear. Some studies suggest that migraines can be triggered by certain foods. Before you eliminate these items from your regular diet, there is something you need to keep in mind. Fasting or skipping meals can lead to a bigger migraine especially for women, says Dr. Peterlin, DO, the director of research at Johns Hopkins University. Learning about foods that cause severe migraine can help prevent a migraine

Here is the List of Migraine Foods to Avoid 

Scroll down to find these common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraine.


Consuming too much caffeine or quitting it abruptly can cause migraine or headaches. The American Migraine Foundation says caffeine helps prevent ongoing migraine attacks and can also offer headache relief with moderate use. 


Alcohol is another common item contributing to triggering migraine. It contains ethanol that further reacts with your immune system triggering migraine. Red wine, in particular, contributes to triggering migraines. Alcohol causes dehydration, a common contributor to developing headaches.


According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate plays an important role in causing migraine attacks. It contains caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine can cause severe migraines in some people.

Aged cheeses

Sad news for cheese lovers. Aged cheese has a substance known as tyramine, more likely to cause a migraine. If the cheese is aged longer, tyramine content will be higher. Feta, blue cheese, and parmesan are cheese varieties containing high amounts of tyramine.

Pickled and Fermented Foods

Pickled and fermented food items are packed with high amounts of tyramine. This includes Kimchi, kombucha, pickled okra, and pickled jalapeños.

Foods Containing MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid that is naturally found in our body. Some researchers found MSG can cause migraine attacks. 

Frozen Foods

Consuming frozen foods and drinks such as ice cream may trigger severe headache. Eating too fast after exercising can also lead to migraine attacks.

Salty Foods

Salty foods contain harmful preservatives that can trigger migraine in some people. Avoid high levels of sodium that can increase blood pressure that can cause headaches or migraine attacks.

Citrus Fruits

Eating fresh fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lime, lemons, etc. is fine, as long as you control your portion as over-consumption may cause headaches.

You should track your migraine, too, to figure out which citrus fruit leads to your migraine attack.

Cured Meats

Cured meats—ham, hot dogs, deli meats, and sausages—contain preservatives known as nitrates to preserve flavor and color. The nitric oxide in the blood can dilate blood vessels in the brain, leading to migraine.

Migraine episodes are hurtful and affect your life. Adopting some easy lifestyle changes can help prevent them. You should eat regularly and avoid skipping meals. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, and get plenty of sleep.