Food can be medicine and heal or it can cause problems.
Here is a list of foods that can trigger headaches and some simple explanations of why.
Common Headache Triggers
1. Alcohol (most commonly wine, because of sulfites and preservatives). Alcohol causes the body to dehydrate, which is a known trigger for headaches.
2. Caffeinated drinks (coffees, tea, and sodas). Many people do not process caffeine well, which may trigger headaches. Plus, the artificial sweeteners used in these beverages may be the cause for some people.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
5. Beans, as most beans contain tannins.
6. Thyramine is a natural amino acid that aids in blood regulation. When consuming too much, or for more sensitive individuals, any thyramine can trigger headache.
Foods that contain Thyramine are: Peanut butter, nuts, bananas, citrus fruit, dairy products (more potent in aged cheese), wine, figs, chicken liver, smoked fish, fermented products (olives, pickles, vinegar, soy sauce, etc), processed meats, pickled foods, onions.
7. MSG. When looking at ingredients, MSG is also known as hydrolyzed vegetable protein and maltodextrin.
8. Nitrates.They are freely added to packaged foods all over the country as they are not regulated by the FDA. Obvious nitrites to avoid:
Deli meat/cold cuts, ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, smoked fish.
We can be sensitive to one, some, all or none of these triggers. The best way to find out is to eliminate all these things for 2-3 weeks and slowly re-introduce them into your diet while monitoring symptoms. I recommend eliminating most of this list permanently!!