Foods that trigger headaches and migraines

Nothing ruins your day like a headache. According to the World Health Organization, half to three-quarters of 18 to 65-year-olds around the world experienced at least one headache last year. Headaches cause pain, sensitivity and break your concentration. 

The month of June is National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month. It is observed to generate awareness about migraine and headaches disorders. Learning what causes headaches and migraines can help you find a way to relieve headaches

What many people do not know is that foods are sometimes responsible for those headaches. Before you visit nutritional counseling near me, check out the correlation between food and headaches and which foods you should avoid. 

What is a headache? 

A headache is a kind of pain that occurs in your head or face. The pain of the headache varies depending on the type of headache, but it may range from mild, throbbing to sharp. 

Health professionals classify headaches into two different categories depending on the underlying health conditions that have caused the headache. Those two categories are primary and secondary headaches. 

Primary headaches

A primary headache is not caused by an underlying disease and causes pain or sensitivity in the head. This type of headache is usually caused by chemical activity in the brain. Common types of primary headaches include: 

  • Cluster headaches

  • Migraines

  • Tension headaches 

Secondary headaches 

A secondary headache is classified as a headache that is caused by an underlying health condition. This kind of headache may be caused by injuries or diseases. Oftentimes, secondary headaches are indicators of serious health conditions - like tumors. Some types of secondary headaches include

  • Sinus headaches 

  • Spinal headaches

  • Rebound headaches 

Why should you be mindful of what you eat when you have a headache?

You can decrease your chances of developing a headache by being cautious about what you eat. Everyday Health reports that studies have shown that certain foods are responsible for triggering headaches and migraines. However, foods that cause headaches and migraines vary depending on the person and their sensitivity. Learning which foods cause a headache for you will help reduce your chances of developing one. 

Foods that cause headaches and migraines


Although a chocolate bar may satisfy your sweet tooth, it may also be the cause of your throbbing headache. What causes a piece of chocolate to trigger headaches in some people is the caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine in it. 


Speaking of caffeine, it is also known for triggering headaches and migraines in people. How can something so tasty cause you headaches? Well, it causes your brain vessels to enlarge after consuming it and increase the flow of blood. This results in pressure being added to the nerves in your brain causing headaches. 

Pickled or fermented foods

You will want to think twice before reaching for your favorite pickled food. Pickles, kombucha and kimchi may trigger headaches in people. This is due to histamine and tyramine, which in some people may either increase or decrease the blood flow, thus triggering headaches.

Need nutritional counseling near me? 

Visit Wisniewski Chiropractic! Our team provides nutritional counseling services that can help your body heal and prevent certain illnesses. Schedule your appointment today to talk to one of our professionals.