For some time now, researchers and health professionals have seen a correlation between the foods we eat and our health. When it comes to migraines however this connection can be even more obvious. As any migraine sufferer will tell you, these terrible headaches can often be triggered by just a little of the wrong kind of food. If you’ve suddenly found yourself becoming the victim of these attacks, then keep reading and discover some of the most common migraine triggers.
1. Alcohol: Alcohol is a known migraine trigger. Although any alcohol consumption has the possibility of leading to a hangover the next day, for the person prone to migraines, even a touch of alcohol can send them into a two day migraine. Red wine is of course one of the worst offenders as it contains substances known to trigger headaches like tyramine, histamine, and sulfites. Darker drinks like red wine, whiskey and bourbon also have higher levels of substances known as congeners, which are impurities that can contribute to headaches and hangovers. So if you absolutely must indulge, be sure to stick to clear alcohols like gin and vodka.

2. Caffeine: Although caffeine can have a positive effect on headaches at times, drinking too much, too often can reverse this effect. If you get a withdrawal headache on days without caffeine than you may need to consider your caffeine addiction. If you suffer from migraines one cup may help but anything else may lead to more migraines down the road.

3. Food Additives: Food additives can often trigger bad headaches. The additives most likely to cause migraines include MSG and nitrites. Nitrates and nitrates include food colouring, and food preservatives that are used to cure or smoke certain meats. Nitrates and nitrites are found most commonly in bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham, salami, corned beef, pastrami, lox and pepperoni, so you may need to steer clear of all of these meets if you are prone to migraines. If you find you are sensitive to any of these than make sure to read labels carefully and avoid foods that are labeled with sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrite, and potassium nitrate.
4. MSG likewise comes under many names and includes those labeled as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed oat flour, texturized protein, calcium caseinate, and simply yeast extract. People sensitive to MSG may notice the onset of a headache, rash, dizziness, hot flash or stomachache as soon as thirty minutes after exposure.

5. Chocolate: Unfortunately, another one of the worst culprits when it comes to migraines is chocolate. This tasty treat is full of substances that are responsible for migraine headaches. Chocolate and cacao contain phenylethylamine which can trigger headaches by transforming the size of the blood vessels. Changes to the blood vessels leads to inflammation which can thereby lead to headaches and migraines.

6. Tyramine-containing Foods: Tyramine is a substance that is found in a variety of foods including most commonly fermented foods, yeast extracts as found in cakes and bread, beer, smoked fish, cured meats, and aged cheeses. Any of these foods can bring about a migraine for those who are sensitive. Again, these type of foods work to constrict blood vessels. This narrowing of the vessels leads to headaches and migraines by inducing certain chemicals in the brain.

7. Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are also a problem for migraine sufferers. In one study aspartame, as found in NutraSweet, was found to be almost two hundred times sweeter than regular sugar. People who began using this sweetener were also reporting to be more prone to headaches. Medical studies suggest that using Aspartame even moderately, but especially in higher doses (over 900 mg per day) experience more headaches.

Sucralose is another artificial sweetener known to cause migraines. This is found in Splenda and can trigger headaches in those that are sensitive to it. Even though you may not use these in your coffee or tea, you need to still read labels carefully as these can be found in a variety of other foods as well. These sweeteners are often added to cereals, yogurt or breath mints, in order to artificially sweeten these foods without adding a bunch of calories. Make sure you avoid foods that contain sucralose or aspartame therefore if you have migraine sensitivities.

If you suffer from migraines there are also a variety of natural remedies that may help prevent and aid migraines. Some common herbs used for migraines include feverfew and ginger. Both of these can help in different ways. Feverfew has been shown to help prevent migraines when taken for at least six weeks, while ginger helps especially with the nausea that can accompany migraines.
Magnesium is also an important aspect of migraine prevention as it has been shown to be responsible for regulating the blood vessels in the body. If you suffer from migraines then you may want to investigate taking some Magnesium or investing in some natural migraine remedies before opting for the often intense and sometimes debilitating prescription medications.

Author's Bio: 

Dale Miller is a health, sports, fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He operates, , and writes a blog at