The holiday season brings friends and families together and is celebrated with food which can trigger HEADACHES and MIGRAINES. Food is a trigger for migraines and avoiding some of the triggers can cut back on the frequency of the attacks.



  • Aged cheese and meats : The nitrites or nitrates in salami or other aged meat can cause headaches/ migraines.  Aged cheese is very salty and can cause dehydration which can trigger a migraine.
  • Alcohol:  The effect of dehydration and it’s withdrawal the next day can trigger migraines
  • Chocolate: Darker chocolate tends to be more of a trigger than others.
  • Monosodium Glutamate or MSG: Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter found in Chinese food, barbecue sauce and some salad dressing that can trigger migraines.
  • Spicy foods: Spicy food containing chili peppers which interacts with TRP receptors in the brain can trigger migraines.
  • Diet Sodas: They contain aspartame which in turn can trigger migraines.
  • Citrus Fruits: There are high-acid foods that can cause gastric irritation which in turn can trigger a migraine.




  • Keep hydrated, drink plenty of water.
  • Eliminate or minimize food triggers
  • Start a headache/migraine journal
  • Discuss the triggers with your neurologist or dietitian.

By: Rajni Bala, NP