- Aged cheese and those cheeses containing tyramine, a natural substance that builds up as food ages. Tyramine in high levels has been shown to cause hypertension, which is a particular concern for people who take MAO inhibitor medication to treat migraines. Blue cheese, brie, cheddar, Stilton, feta, gorgonzola, mozzarella, muenster, Parmesan, Swiss, and processed cheeses often contain high levels of tyramine.
- Other salted, cured, processed, and canned foods that are high in tyramine. Take note of how your body reacts when you eat pickles, olives, and canned soups. Beans can also contain headache-triggering tyramine, especially fava, pinto, garbanzo, and lima beans.
- Alcohol, which could prompt headaches as it is metabolized in the body. Pay particular attention when you drink red wine, beer, whiskey, and champagne, which have been identified as triggers.
There is a long list of foods that headache and migraine sufferers say cause their pain. Some of them might surprise you, including:
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Potato chips
- Fresh fruits like kiwi, plums, and raspberries
- Bread and crackers