They differ from an average headache in severity and symptoms, and can greatly reduce the quality of life of people who suffer from them.
Despite decades of research, the exact cause of migraines is still unknown.
It is clear that diet won’t cause a person to start experiencing migraines.
However, for the people who do suffer from migraines, diet is one of several factors that may trigger one.
This is a list of the foods most commonly reported as migraine triggers.
1. Aged Cheeses
Cheese is often identified as a migraine trigger.
Other foods high in tyramine include those that are aged, cured, dried, smoked or pickled, including cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, salami, sauerkraut and tofu.
Unfortunately, the evidence on tyramine and migraines is mixed. Yet, more than half of the studies looking for a relationship between tyramine and migraines found that tyramine could act as a trigger in some people (3).
High-quality studies are needed to confirm this link, though it’s estimated that approximately 5% of people who suffer from migraines are sensitive to tyramine (3).
If you feel your migraines are triggered by hard cheeses, this may be the reason why.
Summary: Aged cheeses and other foods high in tyramine are often considered migraine triggers. The evidence is mixed, but there may be a link.
Chocolate is a commonly reported migraine trigger.
However, the evidence is conflicting.
For example, one small study in migraine sufferers found that 5 of 12 participants got migraine attacks within one day of eating chocolate (5).
Interestingly, none of them got an attack after ingesting the placebo.
Therefore, it’s likely that chocolate is not a major factor in migraines for most people. Despite this, those who feel that chocolate is a trigger may want to avoid it.
Summary: Chocolate is one of the most commonly reported migraine triggers. This may be related to some of the plant compounds found in chocolate.
3. Cured or Processed Meats
In fact, in the 1970s when people first reported headaches after consuming nitrites, they were often referred to as “hot dog headaches” (1).
Today, cured and processed meats are still often reported as migraine triggers.
Nitrites may provoke migraines by causing the expansion of blood vessels.
However, further research is needed to say how relevant this is for migraine sufferers (3).
Summary: Processed or cured meats often contain nitrates or nitrites, which may trigger headaches in susceptible people.
4. Fatty and Fried Foods
Fat may also affect susceptibility to migraines.
This may be because high levels of certain fats in the blood lead to the production of prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins can cause your blood vessels to dilate, potentially leading to migraines and increased pain (10).
One study on this association found that at the beginning of the study, participants eating a high-fat diet containing more than 69 grams of fat daily had nearly twice as many headaches at those who ate less fat (10).
They also found that after reducing their fat intake, the participants’ headache frequency and intensity decreased. Nearly 95% of the participants reported a 40% improvement in their headaches (10).
However, in both studies, other factors besides fat intake were changed, such as weight loss or excluding animal products.
Therefore, it’s not possible to say for sure that lowering fat intake alone was responsible for the improvements.
Summary: Eating a diet high in fat may increase the frequency of migraines. Consequently, lowering fat intake has been shown to improve migraine intensity and frequency.
5. Some Chinese Food
Reports of headaches in response to consuming MSG have been prevalent for several decades.
Alternatively, these foods’ typically high fat or salt contents could be to blame.
Nevertheless, MSG continues to be frequently reported as a headache and migraine trigger.
Summary: Monosodium glutamate, which is present in many Chinese and processed foods, is often reported to provoke headaches.
6. Coffee, Tea and Sodas
Caffeine is often used to treat headaches.
But interestingly, some evidence suggests that it can indirectly provoke migraines.
A “caffeine withdrawal headache” is a well-known phenomenon in which a headache occurs as the effects of caffeine wear off.
This happens when blood vessels start to expand again after contracting in response to caffeine consumption (3).
This effect could trigger migraines in those who are susceptible.
However, caffeine withdrawal seems to more commonly cause the average, non-migraine headache (1).
Summary: Caffeine may indirectly trigger headaches via withdrawal effects. This happens when the effects of caffeine wear off and certain blood vessels expand.
7. Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame is a type of artificial sweetener that is frequently added to foods and beverages to make them taste sweet without adding sugar.
A few small studies have investigated whether aspartame negatively affects people who suffer from migraines.
Unfortunately, the studies were either small or had design flaws, but they did find that aspartame affected headaches in some migraine sufferers.
One of these studies found that more than half of 11 participants experienced increased migraine frequency after consuming large amounts of aspartame (15).
Therefore, it’s possible that a portion of migraine sufferers may be sensitive to aspartame.
Summary: Aspartame is a common artificial sweetener that may increase migraine frequency in some people.
8. Alcoholic Drinks
Alcoholic drinks are one of the oldest-known triggers for headaches and migraines alike. Unfortunately, the reason why is not so clear.
People who get migraines tend to drink less alcohol than people who don’t get migraines, and they seem more likely than others to experience migraine symptoms as part of a hangover (16).
However, alcohol itself may not be to blame.
People often point to red wine, rather than alcohol in general, as a migraine trigger.
As evidence, one study found that drinking red wine, but not vodka, provoked headaches (18).
However, the exact cause of this is still unknown.
Regardless, it’s estimated that alcoholic drinks can trigger migraines in approximately 10% of people who get migraines.
While there isn’t a need for most migraine sufferers to avoid alcohol completely, those who are susceptible should limit their consumption (4).
Summary: Alcoholic drinks are one of the most well-known migraine triggers. However, alcohol is not a problem for everyone who gets migraines, and the reason why is unclear.
9. Cold Food and Drinks
Most people have heard of the “ice cream” headaches that cold or frozen foods and beverages can trigger.
However, these foods and beverages may also provoke migraines in susceptible people.
They found that this test triggered headaches in 74% of the 76 migraine sufferers who participated. On the other hand, it triggered pain in only 32% of those who suffered from non-migraine headaches (19).
Another study found that women who had experienced a migraine within the previous year were twice as likely to develop a headache after drinking ice-cold water, compared to women who never suffered from migraines (20).
Therefore, migraine sufferers who notice that their headaches are triggered by cold foods may want to avoid ice-cold or frozen foods and drinks, including frozen yogurt, ice cream or slushies.
Summary: People who suffer from migraines may be more likely to experience a cold-induced headache than the average person. Therefore, it may be a good idea to avoid very cold foods and drinks.
The Bottom Line
Although diet will not cause someone to start getting migraines, it is one of many factors that can trigger a migraine in someone who frequently experiences them.
Therefore, migraine sufferers who have dietary triggers may find relief by avoiding any foods they are sensitive to.
The best way to identify if certain foods trigger migraines for you is to create a food and symptom diary and check to see if any patterns emerge.
Additionally, make sure to pay particular attention to the foods and drinks in the list above.
Limiting common food triggers is a good place to start reducing the frequency and severity of your migranes.
A quick note from our founder-
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I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
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d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
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64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
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In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
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- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.