What food and drinks trigger migraines?

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Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by an individualized course. Its main manifestations are a very intense and throbbing headache, which can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, as well as sensitivity to noise and light.

Factors that can trigger migraine

According to epidemiological data, 20% of the population, including 82% of women and 18% of men, suffer from migraine. In most cases, the causes of migraines cannot be clearly identified. However, there are a group of factors that can trigger a migraine attack.

Diet and bad eating habits

One of the main triggers for a migraine attack is the type of diet you eat. People who are struggling with migraine should be careful with: cigarettes, alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Potential components that could trigger this attack of the disease include:

  • Tyramine, which is produced, among others, in products such as: avocado, onion, citrus fruits, olives, broad beans, green beans, walnuts, sauerkraut, marinated herring, smoked fish, chicken liver, bouillon cubes, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, cheese, dried fruits.
  • Histamine, contained in products such as: red wine, yeast, fish products, mature cheese, lettuce, sauerkraut, tomato puree, fresh milk.
  • Monosodium glutamate, found among others. In vegetable spices and instant soups.
  • Nitrites found in cold cuts and cheeses.
  • Sulfites found in red wine and nuts.
  • Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, labeled E951 in food.

Atmospheric pressure

One of the basic factors that trigger a migraine attack is sudden changes in atmospheric pressure. In most cases, the people who fight against this disease are methopaths, which are those whose body reacts to weather changes. As the results of an investigation show, there is a relationship between atmospheric pressure and the appearance of migraine.


According to data, 61 percent of migraine attacks occur as a result of exposure to stressful situations. Migraine is the body's defensive mechanism for oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. It can be the result of a life in constant nervous tension, environmental pollution, cigarette smoking or excessive physical activity.


According to epidemiological data, about 18 percent of migraine attacks correspond to excessive noise. People who have detected a hypersensitivity to noise should avoid mass events (concerts, public gatherings), as well as fireworks or increased traffic. It is worth emphasizing that the tolerance level of sound intensity is an individual problem.

Intense smell

According to data, around 13 percent of migraine attacks are caused by hypersensitivity to odors. Among the most intolerable smells of the migrant, we can mention: cigarette smoke, fresh onions and garlic, chemical air fresheners, perfume, paints and solvents, as well as fatty foods.

Bright light

Bright light is a triggering factor for migraine headaches in up to 30 percent of people who struggle with the disease. At the same time, this applies to light rays to a very small degree. According to studies, fluorescent light is most often responsible for migraine attacks.

Do not sleep

Migraine attacks are promoted by both lack of sleep and excess. For this reason, the recommended solution for people who want to minimize the risk of migraines have a balanced sleep routine. Although the need for sleep is an individual matter, scientists recommend that you sleep approximately 7.5 hours a day (no more than 9 hours).

Hormonal changes

It is for no reason that women are more likely than men to deal with migraines. This is primarily related to the functioning of the endocrine system, and more specifically to hormonal fluctuations. There is even a menstrual migraine, which occurs about 2 days before the start of menstrual bleeding and can last until the third day of the cycle. Also, hormonal changes related to pregnancy and menopause can be a factor that triggers a migraine attack.

Intensive physical activity

One of the factors that triggers a migraine attack can be intense physical activity. It is very important to avoid things that can be harmful before and during exercise. We are talking in particular about cases such as, for example, the need for too much oxygen, improper nutrition before training, dehydration of the body, head injuries.


The appearance of migraine attacks can also be associated with the intake of certain medications. In particular with birth control pills, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory agents and nitrates.


Migraine attacks can be a consequence of fasting or even skipping a meal, which is why people struggling with this disease should try to eat consistently. This is mainly due to the fact that one of the consequences of fasting is a decrease in blood glucose levels.

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