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8 foods that just might trigger a migraine

Debbie Wolfe is a mom of two rambunctious boys, wife, and work-at-home mom from Georgia. In her free time (when there is such a thing), she is in the garden or hidden away reading the latest post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama! As interests,...

Migraine food triggers can vary from person to person, but these are the major culprits

While what triggers a migraine is different for everybody, the most common food culprits out there contain tyramine, an amino acid found in many of our favorite foods and drinks.

However, even foods without tyramine have been known to trigger migraines. In fact, there are a few food items that are often recommended to eat as part of a healthy diet that also may trigger migraines. Knowing which food is a migraine trigger can help you prevent one and keep the pain at bay.

If you're a migraine sufferer, consider taking these foods off your menu — or at least pay attention the next time they're a part of your meal so you'll know if they're a trigger for you.

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Migraine food triggers can vary from person to person, but these are the major culprits
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

1. Aged cheese, pickles and fermented food

These foods contain high levels of tyramine, which is especially high in any aged and fermented foods.

2. Alcohol and red wine

Although any type of alcohol can trigger a migraine, red wine and dark liquors are the most common culprits due to their high levels of tyramine. The substance is also found in some beers. Alcohol also causes dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

3. Artificial sweeteners

Aspartame is a common artificial sweetener found in diet drinks and low-cal desserts and is sold as a sugar replacement. If you are prone to migraines, skip the artificial sweeteners.

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4. Chocolate

Chocolate is another food that contains tyramine. Whether it’s because of the amount consumed or that many women crave it during stress and hormonal changes, it’s a common migraine trigger.

5. Citrus fruits

It seems odd for citrus to trigger migraines, but an increasing number of sufferers report that citrus is a trigger.

6. Fast food and hot dogs

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, sulfites and nitrates are common food additives used in many shelf-stable foods that have been known to trigger migraines. Seasonings, broths and canned soups are also known to contain high amounts of these additives.

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7. Nuts and peanut butter

Although sources of lean protein, nuts and peanut butter join the list of foods high in tyramine. If tyramine is a major migraine trigger for you, skip or limit the legumes and nut butters.

8. Salty food

Sodium is an essential mineral our bodies need to survive, but most of us get way more than is necessary. Often prepackaged food is high in sodium along with other food additives that trigger migraines.

Infographic sources: American Headache Society: Caffeine and MigraineAmerican Headache Society: Migraine Prevention DietsOffice on Women’s Health

This post was sponsored by the makers of Excedrin®.

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