Foods That Cause Migraines

Migraines represent a type of headaches that occur at irregular intervals. Usually, they come once or twice a month, but some people are hit with migraines every single week or for a few days in a row.


Migraines function in four stages, in this order: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.

  • Prodrome – this is when you get the first signals of pain
  • Aura – characterized by impairing or disturbing your sense of sight
  • Headache – it occurs 30-60 minutes after the prodrome
  • Postdrome – the pain becomes manageable, but stays, usually for about 24 hours

Although migraines can manifest differently depending on the case, there is a list of common symptoms that you should watch out for:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diminished appetite
  • Feeling dizzy and shaking
  • Weak facial and neck muscles
  • Severe thirst
  • Difficulties in concentrating, speaking normally or carrying a conversation
  • Feeling irritated

Causes of migraines:

  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Various reactions to meds
  • Low levels of serotonin
  • Inflammation
  • Genes: studies show that 70-90% of people who experience migraines have relatives with almost identical symptoms.

Foods that cause migraines

Most studies show that people who suffer from migraines have the so-called “food trigger”, which makes them crave for certain types of products. The most common are chocolate, cheese, citrus foods and alcohol. Other foods include ice cream, caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, cola, cured meat, fatty foods, food dyes, various sorts of dairy products and fatty foods.

This connection can be caused by the effects they have on the body while one suffers from a migraine. For example, chocolate contains phenylalanine, which can disrupt the normal circulation of the blood to the brain and produce chemicals that trigger headaches.

Foods recommended during and after a migraine

There are also several foods that never cause headaches:

  • Home prepared orange vegetables, like summer squash
  • Rice
  • Cooked spinach and broccoli
  • Cooked carrots and sweet potatoes
  • Water

Lifestyle changes to prevent and treat migraines

  • Use essential oils – You can apply rosemary, peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils to the affected side of the neck, head or other areas where you feel pain.
  • Limit exposure to light and electronics – Migraines can be caused by the blue light emanated by electronic devices. Even some good-old fashioned exposure to sunlight can trigger headaches. Spend as little time as possible on the computer or your phone, and wear sunglasses when you are outdoors.
  • Take notes of your symptoms – If you are confused as to the causes of your migraine, be it nutrient deficiencies, exercise, diet, write down your symptoms as well as your stress levels, meals, sleep schedule and the time of day. This allows you to find the causes of trial and error.
  • Eliminate potential stress sources and do not oversleep – Both oversleeping and sleep deprivation can cause headaches. As for the stress, it can trigger insomnia and change your blood flow. Set a healthy sleep schedule and get rid of the stress by partaking in relaxing activities such as meditating, reading, yoga and taking long walks outside.

Make sure to follow these small pieces of advice and you’ll find migraines more manageable than ever.

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