Migraine Foods to Avoid

June 15, 2019

Migraine Foods to Avoid

Do you know that some of your favourite food could be the reason why you have a migraine?

There are many reasons why a person develops a migraine, or a recurring type of headache that causes severe, throbbing pain on one side or both sides of the head, nausea, and vomiting. Factors such as genetics, hormones, stress, lack of sleep, and lifestyle have a hand in developing a migraine. But some studies show that if a person develops a migraine after eating, it could be affected by certain foods. Doctors believe that brief changes in the brain activity trigger headaches, affecting the blood vessels and nerve signals.

Tyramine is a food compound that you might want to steer clear of in your diet plan. It

is produced in foods that are not fresh, but fermented and stored for a long period of time. Our body has enzymes that help break down tyramine, and running low of these enzymes exacerbates headaches upon intake of tyramine. It is advised to stick to fresh foods and observe a low tyramine diet to prevent migraines.

Foods That Trigger Migraines 

  • Meat and poultry. Dried and salted meat like pepperoni, salami, sausages, hotdogs, smoked ham, liverwurst, aged chicken livers, soups and gravies from meat broth;
  • Smoked fish, pickled or dried herring, caviare;
  • Aged cheese like blue, brick, brie cheddar, Swiss cheese, Roquefort, stilton, mozzarella, provolone;
  • Fruits and vegetables. Snow peas, fava beans, broad beans, sauerkraut, pickles, olives, tofu, kimchi, raw onions, citrus fruits, bananas, pineapple, figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, and red plums;
  • Nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, peanut butter, punkin seeds, and sesame seeds;
  • Beverage. Foods that are high in caffeine such as chocolate, coffee, soda, and alcoholic beverages like tap beer, red wine, vermouth. All of these must be taken in limited amounts only.
  • Sour cream (no more than half a cup daily); miso, soya sauce, and teriyaki sauce;
  • Ingredients on food labels. High amounts of monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates and nitrites, artificial sweeteners, yeast (found in bread and pizza dough), yeast extracts, brewers yeast, hydrolysed or autolysed yeast, meat extracts, and meat tenderizers.

 Trying to avoid these migraine foods could be difficult since many people enjoy them everyday. However, not all listed foods will trigger migraines for everyone, and not listed foods might also trigger migraines to certain individuals. It is advised to keep a journal and track what you eat and your activities of the day, it will certainly help determine the causes of migraine.

Diets and Hypoglycaemia

Outside of the low tyramine diet, eating high sugar foods can cause reactive hypoglycaemia, a condition associated with having low blood sugar levels. When a person eats too much sugar, the body does an over-production of insulin which makes the blood sugar level to drop, causing migraines and headaches.

Since lifestyle plays a role in developing tension headaches, observing a restrictive diet such as skipping meals and fasting could be a major cause for migraines, also because of reactive hypoglycaemia and missing out on important nutrients.  If you aim to lose weight, make sure to do so on the advice of a physician.


Are you looking for more information on what Migraine Foods to Avoid? The team at Ubuntu Medical Stafford can help you. Call us today on (07) 3857 3777.

At Ubuntu Medical we also have information on what Triglyceride Foods to Avoid.