10 Foods That Trigger Migraine

How our diets affect migraine

Many things can trigger a migraine attack, including what we eat and drink.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods that trigger migraine may only do so when combined with other triggers. But this combination — and any trigger in general — is highly individualized, making research difficult.

There’s no such thing as a universal migraine trigger. But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraine episodes in some people.

  1. Caffeine
    Too much caffeine and experiencing caffeine withdrawal can cause migraine or headaches.

But according to the American Migraine Foundation, caffeine can actually help stop oncoming migraine attacks. It can also offer headache relief with occasional use.

Foods and drinks with caffeine include:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • chocolate
  1. Artificial sweeteners
    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 migraine. Aspartame in particular is thought to trigger migraine episodes.

  1. Alcohol
    Alcohol is one of the more common products thought to trigger migraine. According to one studyTrusted Source, 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.

Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches.

  1. Chocolate
    According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate is thought to be the second most common trigger for migraine attacks after alcohol. They say it affects an estimated 22 percent of people who experience migraine.

Chocolate contains both caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.

  1. Foods containing MSG
    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, which naturally exists in our bodies.

MSG is found in certain foods, and present in many foods as a food additive. It’s considered safe to eat, but some researchers link it to migraine attacks.

The American Migraine Foundation notes that it may trigger severe migraine episodes in 10 to 15 percent of those with migraine. Other preservatives may also be a trigger in some people

10 Foods That Trigger Migraine

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