Migraines and what food can cause them | Blackfriars

15th October 2019

Migraines and what food can cause them

 According to the NHS, “A migraine is usually a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on 1 side of the head.” It’s a very common health condition that affects around 1 in every 5 women and around 1 in every 15 men.

What can cause migraines

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but there are triggers that may cause them:

  • Menstruation
  • Stress
  • Tiredness
  • Certain foods or drinks

By paying attention to what you eat you can minimise the risk of having migraines. Here is a list of foods, that can cause migraines:


Coffee is an interesting example. Although, it contains a lot of caffeine and can trigger migraines in certain people, it can also be used as a treatment when combined with aspirin and paracetamol. If you feel like you are drinking too much coffee, try to gradually reduce your intake.

Aged Cheese

Aged cheese is one of the richest sources of Tyramine. The role of Tyramine in migraines is debated, however, it might cause migraines in some people.


It’s no surprise that alcohol is on the list. However, note that not all alcoholic beverages act in the same way. Red Wine has a bigger chance of triggering a migraine than any other alcoholic beverages.  One of the reasons is that Red Wine contains relatively high amounts of histamine, which could trigger migraines in people with histamine intolerance.

Processed Meat

Preservatives, such as nitrites, are often found in processed meat. These preservatives can cause migraines in people who are sensitives to the nitrites. Therefore, if you get migraines after eating processed meat, consider eliminating them from your diet.

To summarise, migraines still remain a mystery and there is no solid proof of what is causing them. However, sticking to a balanced diet can positively affect your well-being and help you to minimise or avoid migraines.

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