Certain meals can cause migraine attacks and other types of headaches. However, not all well-known headache causes merit a negative reputation. While some meals may genuinely be misclassified as triggers, sometimes food may just be a minor contributor to migraine attacks in a limited number of persons.
The body can react to a wide range of triggers by producing pain that you can feel in your head, jaw, or face. These might include, among other things, alterations in the environment, smoke, adjustments in hormone levels, stress, harsh lighting, or modifications in sleeping patterns. Each person has different triggers for headaches or migraines, and frequently, a headache is caused by several triggers at once.
If you experience headaches after eating, some foods or drinks may be partially to blame.
According to Noah L. Rosen, MD, a neurologist and pain expert at Northwell Health Physician Partners Neuroscience Institute in Great Neck, New York, “It is not at all rare for food to induce migraines or other types of headaches.” But because different meals can cause headaches in various people, keeping a food and headache diary can be useful for identifying which, if any, foods are responsible for yours.
How common are headaches brought on by food?
Only 20% of people who suffer from headaches are regarded to be food sensitive.
How can I modify my diet to stop getting headaches?
It doesn’t harm to choose wholesome, natural foods that are good for everyone’s health if you’re unsure of whether or not particular foods cause your migraines – or what those foods may be.
- Natural, entire, and minimally processed foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and eggs, without preservatives or artificial flavorings
- Fresh chicken breast, salmon, lean beef, and ham are examples of fresh meats, seafood, and poultry.
- Maple syrup and raw honey are examples of natural sweeteners.
Omega-3s and turmeric are two examples of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.
1. After Eating, Processed Meats May Give You Headaches
According to Rosen, there are no credible studies that demonstrate that eating processed meats will give you a headache. The National Headache Foundation notes that certain persons may experience blood vessel dilation and headaches as a result of the nitrate preservatives found in hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats.
Despite the generally modest levels of these compounds in meats, certain persons may be particularly sensitive to them. The easiest approach to determine if you are one of these people is to keep a food and symptom diary, as with any food.
2. Artificial sweeteners
Additionally, numerous research point to a connection between migraines and aspartame (Nutrasweet®, Equal®, and Sugar Twin®) and sucralose (Splenda®). They may specifically lengthen and increase the frequency of migraines.
3. If you have a migraine, stay away from aged cheese
Although there hasn’t been much research on cheese as a migraine trigger, aged cheese is typically thought to be more likely to do so, according to Rosen. Tyramine, a chemical that develops as the proteins in cheese degrade over time, maybe the culprit. Tyramine content increases as the cheese ages. Blue cheese, Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan are some examples of aged cheeses.
Tyramine can also be found in fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut as well as in processed or cured meats. According to the National Headache Foundation, some migraine sufferers may find relief from their symptoms by eating a low-tyramine diet.
4. Avoid MSG-containing foods to prevent migraines
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a popular headache inducer that can also upset the stomach, is a dietary additive that is included in soy sauce and other goods. According to Rosen, MSG in soy sauce is likely a migraine trigger, but soy sauce is also quite salty, which can cause dehydration, another headache trigger.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, MSG can be found naturally in substances such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, protein isolate, seaweed, tomatoes, and cheeses in addition to on food labels.
5. After eating ice cream, headaches occur due to the cold
The headache you experience after eating ice cream is probably a side effect of the cold, not the ice cream itself. If you’re overheated, you’re more likely to get an ice cream headache, and the discomfort usually peaks in between 30 and 60 seconds.
“For those who have migraines, cold foods like ice cream may be triggers, but for the majority of sufferers, the pain subsides fast. Eat your ice cream more slowly or sip your cold beverage more slowly to solve the problem “suggests Daroff.