Migraines And The Diet Factor

Many of those who suffer from migraines would never consider the fact that what they eat or drink could actually be the very cause of their problem. However it is thought that at least 20% of people who suffer from this condition will more than likely have a direct connection between their diet and migraines.

Studies show that diet is a major influence and factor with regards to the causes of migraines. Over indulgence in a variety of foods that contain certain chemicals, additives and preservatives will over a period of time trigger a migraine and yet by just avoiding these particular foods can often be an important step in preventing an attack.

By eliminating those food items which are the cause of the problem, experts believe that nearly 45% of sufferers whose condition is associated with their diet would see the possibility of a migraine greatly reduced.

Although what you eat and drink can be a contributing factor that sets off a migraine attack, it is worth noting that not everyone will have the same reaction to every foodstuff, what may be a trigger for one person may not necessarily be a trigger for another, although in saying that there are some common foods which will probably affect nearly every sufferer in one way or another.

Common Food Related Triggers

There are many common food related triggers contained in our diets today, some are natural chemicals and others are preservatives and additives.

Tyramineis a natural chemical which is found in aged cheeses, red wine and a number of alcohol drinks and even some processed meats.

Nitrates and Nitritesare food additives and preservatives predominantly found in ham, sausages.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), mainly found in Chinese food, frozen dinners and soups.

Specific Food Triggers

Aged Cheeses – Blue cheeses, mature, cheddar, feta

Alcohol – Red Wine, beer, whisky

Caffeine – Coffee, Tea, Cola and other fizzy drinks

Processed Meats that include pepperoni, hotdogs and cold meats

Yeast products – Bread, doughnuts

Dried Fruits – Raisins, figs

Citrus Fruits – Oranges, grapefruits, Lemons


Smoked or Dried Fish

Nuts and Peanuts

As you can see from the above list, the effect food and drink can have on the causes of migraine are wide and varied, so when shopping at the supermarket or your local store it may be a good idea to check the labels to see what actually is contained in the items you are buying and avoid where necessary..

Migraine Diet Diary/Journal

To control and understand what specific food item or items set off your own migraine, the first step would be to write down or make a note of what you ate or drank prior to a migraine/headache. Do this over a period of time and you’ll be able to eliminate the guilty foods from your diet without sacrificing other foods which you may enjoy.

Non-Specific Diet Trigger

It is also worth remembering that controlling your diet is not only beneficial to reducing your migraines and headaches, but will also have a positive effect on your overall health, however a word of warning don’t think skipping meals or fasting is a way of dieting because this may have an adverse effect and probably cause or trigger a migraine.