There can be several triggers to a migraine. This can include a range of foods and drinks. While it might be hard to swear off something you enjoy, if it turns out to be your trigger, doing so is still better than suffering a migraine attack. However, the first step should be to figure out what is the cause of the headache. An easy way of doing it is to watch what you are eating and drinking right before your headache begins. If you see a pattern, it might be the cause after all.
Here are the top 5 foods and drinks to look out for:
According to the American Migraine Foundation, a possible chemical that can trigger a migraine is Tyramine. This can be found in cheese. It is a natural compound that forms in protein-rich foods when they age. Some of the cheeses that are high in tyramine are Blue, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, and Swiss cheese.
There have not been any studies to date that have conclusively established MSG (monosodium glutamate) as a migraine trigger, however, it does seem to be a personal trigger for some people. MSG can be found as the main ingredient in soy sauce and meat tenderizers. Other times, you might be able to find it on packaged foods listed as “all natural preservatives” or “hydrolyzed protein.”
Caffeine has been reported to possibly act as a trigger in two possible ways according to a study. Consuming caffeinated beverages may start a migraine attack, and caffeine withdrawal can trigger an even more frequent migraine attack. The study also mentioned that various sources have reported coffee as a migraine trigger to range anywhere from 6.3 per cent to 14.5 per cent.
A study has found that 35.6 per cent of people with migraine reported alcoholic beverages as a trigger. Over 25 per cent of people with migraine had stopped consuming or never consumed alcoholic beverages because of presumed trigger effects. 77.8 per cent of the participants remarked red wine as the most commonly reported alcoholic beverage as a trigger.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate has been found to be the second most common food trigger of migraine. It affects as much as 22 per cent of people. A possible reason for chocolate being a trigger can be because it has caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, both are known triggers for migraine.