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What common foods can trigger migraines?

For those who suffer from migraines, watching what you eat may be part of your prevention plan.

Here are some of the most common food-related migraine triggers:
  • Aged cheese (blue, brie, cheddar, parmesan, Swiss)
  • Pickles and olives
  • Alcohol (especially red wine)
  • MSG (soy sauce, packaged foods, seasoned salts)
  • Food additives (nitrates and some food colorings)
  • Excessive caffeine (more than two to three cups of coffee daily).
If you aren't sure what triggers your headache, your health-care provider may suggest you keep a headache diary: Recording what you eat and when symptoms appear may help to pinpoint triggers. And while certain foods can be headache triggers, skipping meals can bring on headaches, too.
Cold foods or beverages, caffeine, including chocolate, alcohol, and food additives can all trigger migraines. The food additives most commonly causing migraines are nitrates, so read the label. In addition, aged foods like cheeses can cause migraines as well. Keep a journal of what you eat so that you can see what triggers the migraines for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.