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Foods That Make Headaches Worse

By Sara Butler

If you suffer from headaches regularly, then you probably are willing to try just about anything for relief. The culprit behind your headaches may be something you’re eating! There are several foods that are known to trigger headaches in people, so make sure you keep a food diary so you discover any pattern between what you’re eating and a headache striking. Here are some of the most common foods known to trigger headaches.

Diet Soda

Diet soda contains aspartame. While some aspartame is considered safe, the FDA fields many complaints about aspartame each year for triggering symptoms such as headaches, memory loss, and dizziness.

Watch your aspartame intake. Even one can of soda contains enough to trigger a headache if you’re sensitive to it.

Ripe Avocados and Bananas

Avocados and bananas are really healthy for you, but ripe versions of these fruits are high in an amino acid called tyramine. The Cleveland Clinic has found in several studies that ripe avocados and bananas trigger migraines in some people, so if you’re prone to migraines, you may want to curb your consumption or enjoy them before they get too ripe.


If you’re sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, then you’re probably familiar with digestive issues when you eat any pasta, crackers, seasoning mixes, or baked good with wheat. A lesser-known symptom of gluten sensitivity is headaches. So, if you’re eating anything containing wheat and find that you have a headache afterward, that might be why.

Chinese Food

Many Chinese restaurants use MSG to enhance the flavor of their food and MSG can be a headache trigger for many people. In all fairness though, it’s not just Chinese food that has MSG – you can find it in frozen foods, soups, and snack foods. So, scan the nutritional information for monosodium glutamate and if it has it, then it might be the culprit causing your headaches.


Some cheeses go through an aging process to help develop flavors, but the older the cheese, the more tyramine is in it! If you’ve found you're sensitive to tyramine, then it’s best to give Swiss cheese, Brie, blue cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan a hard pass.

Identifying your headache triggers is an important step to being headache-free. So, pay attention to what you eat and keep a journal so you can connect the dots where you need.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Round Rock, Tex.

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