9 Foods that Are Giving You a Headaches


Your headaches could be triggered by foods. Alcohol, chocolate, and caffeine have all been identified as headache triggers. There are a few classic foods that trigger headaches in many people, but is depend on the individuals. That’s why keeping a food diary to document your headaches is a good idea.



Caffeine can cause headaches when it used daily for long periods of time … Caffeine is causing the person to have daily headache when it is used on a daily basis.  “Coffee has a stimulant effect that can cause nervousness and anxiety, resulting in muscle tension, which can cause a headache. Coffee also reduces cerebral blood flow.

Beer on Tap

Headaches are caused by lack of hydration & oxygenation to the brain. Beer causes dehydration and when you throw in the extra amount of CO2 provided by tap beer, you are guaranteed a headache.  Beer on tap contains tyramine, one of the chemicals linked to headaches.

Aged Cheeses

There is not much research on cheese as a migraine trigger. Avoid aged cheeses including provolone, blue cheese, Cheddar. These headache triggers contain tyramine, a natural amino acid, which naturally increases in foods that have been aged.The culprit may be a substance called tyramine that forms as the proteins in cheese break down over time. The longer a cheese ages, the more tyramine it has.


Think twice about putting your leftovers in a doggy bag. “To help ward off the dreaded headache or migraine, make sure food is as fresh as possible,” says Levy, who explains “tyramine levels increase when foods are stored for long periods of time, or when they are simply not fresh, so be cautious when it comes to leftovers and when attending parties where the food is sitting out for long periods of time.”


Your body needs water, and dehydration can bring on headaches. “On average, women need about eight glasses of water per day and men need about 10 glasses of water per day.

Fermented Foods

Steer clear of sauerkraut, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce. These and other fermented foods may taste good, but they could result in painful headaches.


Research recently presented at the International Headache Society suggests that cocoa may actually protect the nerve cells that cause migraine headaches. But 22 percent of headache sufferers identify chocolate as one of their headache triggers. “Chocolate may be getting a bad rap as a migraine trigger. “Many people with migraines have increased appetite and food cravings just before their headaches start.” Reaching for a chocolate bar may be the result of a migraine, rather than the cause.

Meats with Nitrates

There are no good studies that say processed meats will cause you to get a headache. Eat foods like hot dogs, deli meats, or sausages, and you might get more headaches. That’s because these processed meats contain food preservatives called nitrates and nitrites. In addition to triggering headaches, nitrates could put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.The best advice is to keep a food diary, avoid foods that seem to trigger your headaches, stick to a healthy diet, and don’t skip meals.


Bananas usually don’t appear on lists of foods that are headache triggers, but they could trigger a migraine for people who are sensitive to tyramine, the same substance found in aged cheese. Studies show that the peel has about 10 times more tyramine than the banana pulp. There are no reliable studies on this, but you might want to avoid those stringy pieces of inner peel that stick to your banana if a food diary points to it as a likely migraine trigger for you.


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jeery park
She is wife, mother and natural health advocate. After a number of close relatives got cancer, she left the corporate world to pursue their passion for health and wellness awareness. She brings a wealth of writing talent and a background in natural health. She enjoy reading and writing about all things related to exercise, nutrition, and healthy living.