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10 Foods That Can Trigger Migraines


There are certain types of foods that can assist in the healing process of many chronic conditions such as migraines, while there are others that magnify them. As it relates to migraines, food triggers typically fall into three main categories: inflammatory foods, specific triggers, and common triggers. Inflammatory foods are those foods that aggravate our bodies and place a drain on them, resulting in stress and raising of our trigger levels. Specific triggers relate to those that are particular to the person’s sensitivities that are continuously changing. Common triggers are associated with those that research has discovered to be challenging for many that suffer from migraines. In this article, we will review some of the worst triggers for migraines and the reasons they exacerbate us.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are a serious issue due to their synthetic or man-made nature and can sometimes result in problems with the digestive tract which can then aggravate any flares. This is just one of many of the common triggers and should be side-stepped whenever possible. The sweet taste of the product means that the body continues to release insulin because it believes that there will be a ton of sugar entering the system. When this sugar does not actually enter the system, our bodies then end up having to release sugar into the bloodstream to handle the amount of insulin and maintain the blood sugar level, eventually leading to a brutal cycle of spiking and lowering of blood sugar.


Those that suffer from migraines and even those that do not, know that alcohol is a major trigger, but do we know why? Alcohol has a variety of worrying effects on the body that can result in migraine trigger activators. For example, it has a vasodilation effect which can exacerbate the blood vessels in the brain. Alcohol also subdues any testosterone that may be produced to balance the estrogen levels, the imbalance of these chemical levels have been directly linked to migraines. Alcohol has been known to interfere with and slow down the liver function due to its necessity to be detoxed, contribute to the leaky brain, and spike the blood sugar levels.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG as it is frequently known as is an immense source of free glutamic acid, which known to enter the brain cavity and cause the brain cells to become excited, forming unbalanced actions and damage. Glutamate is a kind of biogenic amine that is one of the largest causes of Chinese food headaches. MSG is also known by many other names, such as hydrolyzed protein, calcium caseinate, yeast nutrient, gelatin, soy protein, whey protein isolate, and textured protein, just to name a few.


Once a trouble maker always a trouble maker, this is caffeine. It should be no surprise that due to the addictive properties of caffeine, the development of a dependency is created: be it emotional, mental, and physical. Due to caffeine being a vasoconstrictor it can result in our bodies rebounding with vasodilation, creating a vicious cycle of headaches that accompany it.

Red Wine

Red wine contains biogenic amines; this is what makes it especially problematic for the brain that suffers from migraines, furthermore, it has preservatives such as sulfites and also alcohol. These are all triggers for hypersensitive brains. An easy alternative to eliminate the effects of red wine is by consuming blueberry wine instead, as it has been discovered to not be a common trigger.

Processed Meats

Processed meats are classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). They are significant sources of biogenic amines such as tyramine and histamine and are sometimes packed with stabilizers that can aggravate our bodies. Set your goal on fresh meats, pasture-raised meat as much as possible to evade the trigger chemicals, and to take full advantage of nutrition, try to stay away from processed meats.


Chocolate is practically loved by everyone but it is somewhat of a double-edged sword because it is packed with both phenylethylamine and tyramine, which are huge biogenic amines and can really cause chaos in the brain. Chocolate contains some other trigger components such as soy, milk, and wheat products as well. It is better to have pure chocolate, so ensure that you read those labels.


This is one of the top ten most common migraine trigger foods and it has reached that status with good reason. The wheat that our forefathers ate is definitely not the same wheat that is eaten in today’s world. It has become one of the most pesticides sprayed crops internationally, these pesticides like glyphosate have been proven to have serious toxic effects on both the brain and the stomach. If your digestive system is not functioning at full capacity, wheat is liable to get through the stomach wall and into the bloodstream, which could activate a huge inflammatory response. Grains such as quinoa, spelled and einkorn are much safer alternatives to wheat.


If you source eggs correctly, they can be one of the healthiest things you can eat. However, the issue arises when we eat them way too often. Eating eggs continually with a leaky gut or compromised digestive capacity can leave the body too sensitive to them and then this can produce an immune response which will increase inflammation and activate levels. Ensure the eggs that you purchase are pasture-raised and insect fed rather than being grain-fed. Also, try reducing the number of days a week you consume egg, and remember not to crack the yolk when preparing the egg to get away from the cholesterol oxidizing.

Oranges And Citrus Fruit

On the list of the most common trigger foods are oranges and other citrus fruits, as all of them can trigger foods because of the tyramine levels contained in them. If you want to enjoy citrus, then ensure that you drink freshly squeezed juice within the very first minutes of squeezing the juices, when all the nutrients are still intact. Once a few days or even a few hours have passed, more migraine chemicals begin to form in the juice and many of the good properties and nutrients such as vitamin C have broken down, resulting in the food becoming problematic.