Foods that Can Trigger Headaches

Foods that Can Trigger Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common medical problems. They can be caused by a number of factors, and some foods can trigger them. Here are some foods that you should avoid if you have a headache:

Aged cheese

Aged cheese is a popular food choice for many people, but it can also be a headache trigger. According to the Mayo Clinic, aged cheese contains a high concentration of tyramine, which is a chemical that causes headaches in some people.

Aged cheese includes any type of processed cheese (such as parmesan or provolone) with an aging process lasting more than six months. Tyramine is found in both natural and artificial ingredients used for this purpose; however, one study suggests that only fermented foods like pickled vegetables have higher concentrations of tyramine than cured meats like salami or prosciutto di Parma (a type of Italian ham).

Sour cream and yogurt

Sour cream and yogurt contain lactose, a type of sugar that can cause a headache. Lactose is also found in milk and ice cream, so if you’re lactose intolerant, these foods may be problematic for you.

If you’re not sure whether or not your body tolerates dairy products well, consult a doctor before eating them.


One of the most common triggers for headaches is chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine, which is an stimulant. It also contains other compounds such as theobromine and phenylethylamine (PEA), which are vasoconstrictors that can make your blood vessels narrow and cause pain in your head.

Chocolate can be addictive in some people, so it’s important to limit yourself to a few times per week if you love it!


Alcohol is a common cause of headaches, but it’s important to keep in mind that drinking alcohol can also cause dehydration. If you’re sensitive to it, then consuming alcohol may provoke a headache for you. In general, if you have chronic headaches and are prone to having them after drinking too much alcohol, limiting your intake may help alleviate the problem.

If all else fails—or if you just want something quicker than waiting for waterworks—you can try some simple home remedies:

  • Ice cubes on the forehead can help relieve pain from migraines and headaches caused by dehydration or tension headache (also known as “migraine aura”). You’ll need an ice pack with water added; place one cube at each temple point for about three minutes before moving onto another area of your body with more serious pain issues.*

Processed Meats

Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs and salami. These foods have been linked to cancer and heart disease. They’re also associated with diabetes and weight gain.

Processed meats contain preservatives like sodium nitrite (found in bacon), nitrates (found in hot dogs) or other chemicals that can be harmful when eaten on a regular basis over time.

Get your headache information from a real doctor.

You should get your headache information from a real doctor. A headache is often a symptom of a more serious condition, and it’s important to know the difference between a simple migraine and another possible cause.

If you’re experiencing any type of head pain, take these steps:

  • Go see your primary care physician. If your doctor hasn’t seen you in several months or longer, ask about why not seeing him/her and how much longer he/she plans on seeing patients before seeing someone else (such as another specialist). This could mean that there’s something wrong with either one of them!


Headaches can be a debilitating condition, and if you’re one of the many people who struggle with them, it can be hard to know what causes them or how to treat them. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that have been proven to trigger headaches—and there are some common triggers out there for everyone!



Emma is a health enthusiast, skilled blogger, and website manager dedicated to promoting primary health and wellness through Vital Primary Health.

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