Foods that Make Migraines Worse

· July 6, 2017
Everyone can have different triggers. However, the truth is that there are certain foods that are usually worse for migraines. Learn about them!

You probably already know the different reasons you get migraines and headaches. For instance, these include working too much or not resting enough.

However, did you know that there are some foods that make migraines worse?

In the following article, we’re going to tell what they are so that you can try to avoid or reduce them.

What causes migraines?

Some foods have a substance called histamine. This causes headaches.

Instead of taking a pain killer, we recommend avoiding the foods that make your symptoms worse.

Migraines can appear at any moment of the day and they can last for several hours. Light or noise increase your symptoms. In severe cases, migraines come with vomiting, nausea, or dizziness.

Stress, a lack of sleep, the amount of work you have, and everyday problems can cause strong headaches. They can also be triggered by smells, noises, changes in the weather, or even hormonal changes.

However, there aren’t many people who know that the food you eat can also be the cause of migraines.

In some cases, it could even be due to a food intolerance. Your immune system has to “fight” against these components, and it produces substances that cause your headache.

What foods make migraines worse?

It’s a good idea to pay attention to what you’re eating or what you’ve been eating before you suffer a migraine attack.

It could be due to other factors. However, it’s likely that something in your diet is the cause.

These are the foods that can make your headache worse:

1. Beans

All kinds of beans have tannins. This is a substance that causes migraines.

To reduce your symptoms, it’s a good idea that you cut back on eating beans as much as you can. Or, you can stop completely. You’ll see a difference.

2. Pickles

In reality, pickles aren’t the only problem. This includes other preserved foods like:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Carrots

Try to cut out any food that’s made with processes that include brine or vinegar.

3. Spicy peppers

If you’re someone who loves Mexican food, unfortunately you need to reduce the number of spicy dishes you eat.

The capsaicin in spicy peppers can cause headaches or make your migraine worse. This is especially true if you eat it during an attack.

4. Nuts

They are very delicious. They’re full of proteins, and they calm your hunger. However, they’re not good when you suffer from regular migraines.

Almonds, walnuts, and cashews (among other nuts) have a substance called sulfite. This causes pain and discomfort.

5. Avocados and plums

We put both of these fruits in the same category. This is because they have the same migraine-triggering compound: Tyramine.

If you like to eat avocados as a replacement to condiments or plums as a healthy desert, you should space them out so you’re only eating them, at most, once per week.

6. Bananas and citrus

The combination of tyramine and histamine in these fruits is one of the main causes of headaches.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop eating bananas or citrus. After all, they’re very good for your health. The idea is for you to reduce the amount you eat. Or, avoid them when you’re suffering from a migraine.

7. Flour

Whole flour is healthier than refined flour. However, the truth is both can cause migraines.

This is because they have a natural chemical called coumarin. This is strengthened when it comes into contact with leavening.

As a result, we recommend that you reduce the amount of bread, cookies, pizzas, and pasta you eat.

8. Processed meats

Cold cuts, ham, sausages, and bacon have a lot of substances that can make your headaches worse.

These foods don’t just have tyramine. They are also made with conservatives and other chemical substances. These aren’t good when you have migraines close together.

9. Cheese

This is especially true when talking about cured or fermented cheese. These are cheeses that are aged for years using several different techniques. For instance, this includes smoking and salting. Their flavors are more intense and can make your migraine worse.

Try to stop eating Parmesan, Manchego, Padano, or Pecorino when you have migraines.

10. Dairy products

Cream and (whole) milk are the dairy products that are the fattiest. Because of this, you should avoid them if your head is hurting a lot.

They also have casein and choline. These are two compounds that are related to discomfort and food intolerance.

Also, butter and yogurt or skim products can make your symptoms worse. However, they do so to a lesser extent.

11. Alcoholic drinks

Not only are they bad for your health if you drink them in excess. They also have tyramines that cause migraines, dizziness, and disorientation.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t drink red wine. This is because, besides tyramine, it has sulfites and tannins that make your symptoms worse.

However, the consequences aren’t as bad if you drink a small glass for dinner.

We recommend that you don’t drink alcohol when you have a headache. Instead, it’s better to drink water or juices.

12. Chocolate and coffee

Both, by being eaten or drunk, give you caffeine, tannins, and other compounds that make headaches strike. Decaf coffee is even a trigger for migraines. This is especially true if you use creamer.