Brain Pain: Five Foods that Can Trigger Headaches and Boost Energy




London: You’re often told that headaches result mostly from stress, anxiety, dehydration, and fatigue, but you’ll be surprised by how things that you eat and drink can have an impact too. Based on researches, almost 10% of all spontaneous migraines are triggered by certain food and beverages. Migraines and headaches can happen at any age. Women are more susceptible to migraines than men.

Avoid consuming processed foods, aged cheeses, smoked or dried fish, cultured dairy products, high sodium foods like potato chips, and foods high in carbohydrates and sugar. Sometimes, headache relief comes from knowing what not to eat. As compiled from, here is a list of the most common culprits that can give you a severe headache after they’ve been consumed.

Headache Pain and Mucus by Dr. Sharafat Ali


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1) Aged cheese

Certain types of cheese such as Swiss and Blue cheese may be delicious and highly tempting, but they contain Tyramine, an amino acid that is a known causative of splitting headaches. Tyramine may also be responsible for stimulating the release of our body’s stress hormone, Norepinephrine. Try opting for fresh cheese such as cottage and ricotta instead of the aged delicacies.

2) Over-ripened or dried fruit

Tyramine is also hidden in otherwise harmless-looking over-ripened or preserved fruit. Next time you find yourself binging out on a container of dried raisins or apricots, stop and grab a fresh fruit instead. It’s obviously juicier, tastier, and also devoid of Tyramine and sulfites that will have you popping painkillers later on.

3) Coffee

It’s not really your aromatic mug of coffee that will trigger a headache, but the withdrawal from consuming too much of it on daily basis. Health experts recommend keeping the daily caffeine intake below 200. Remember that caffeine is also present in black tea and sports drinks as well.

4) Kimchi

If you’re super fond of Korean cuisine and keep reaching out for the bowl of Kimchi, you might want to know a few things about the tasty side of seasoned vegetables. Kimchi is classified under fermented foods, which have high salt content. Together, both the sodium and the Tyramine can trigger a migraine a few hours after the dish has been consumed. The same can be said for another popular side dish called Sauerkraut.

5) Cured meats

Our favorite salamis and sausages, unfortunately, fall into the category of cured meats. Like aged cheese and preserved foods, cured meat boasts a high Tyramine content – and you know pretty well by now what the sneaky amino acid does. Another reason why you should cut down on the consumption of hot dogs, bacon, and pepperoni is that they all contain nitrate and nitrite-based preservative, which incidentally also cause headaches.


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