Health, Beauty & Well-Being

Warning: Favourite Foods That Can Be Causing You Migraines.

So you all know by now that I am a chronic migraine sufferer and I also love food, wine, spices and tea. That’s sounds harmless, doesn’t it? Wrong! Let me share with you just some tasty foods that can be causing your Migraines.

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I have several migraines a week, some last as little as 10 mins whilst others can last days, over the years I have learned what works, what doesn’t, what is manageable and what is worth the migraine (lol I’m just being honest). If you are a migraine sufferer and you have not used a food/migraine diary yet, do so. It was/is extremely productive.

Warning: Favourite Foods That Can Be Causing You Migraines.

Although this is a blog post about foods, I have to at least mention that there are other triggers of migraines, check out my previous blog post about ‘Migraines and their triggers’, until then here is a quick list of migraine triggers:

Emotional Triggers

Physical Triggers

Environmental Triggers

Medication Triggers

Dietary Triggers

Back To Food...

I say food but it is not just food that trigger migraines, there are drinks, spices, herbs, tastes and smells.


My advice don’t get fed up by the list as everyone reacts differently but do keep a lookout for patterns etc. If you have a can of cola and you get a migraine and then remember getting a migraine the last time you have a cola… the chances are that Cola is a migraine trigger for you.


Right finally, here is the list of Favourite foods that can be causing a migraine.

My Food & Drink Triggers

Here is a list of foods, drinks, spices and snacks that trigger my migraines, how many do you avoid?

Arghh, Let’s start with takeaways

Sweet & Sour: A huge no no. I’m talking in neon lights. This was a lesson I did not need a refresher course for.


Any Curries: Yep all curries are triggers but levels of migraine vary. In my experience the more red the curry the worse the migraine. But that’s me. To be honest I probably have a korma about twice a year and just prep for the migraine. Sometimes it’s worth it.


Ketchup /Tomato Sauces: We downgraded our ketchup brand and noticed a change in migraine. It wasn’t until I made the change that I realised that the original brand was probably triggering mild ones. Now I avoid takeaway ketchups and drain the sauce from my baked beans.


Ice cream and Milkshakes: I love milkshakes & ice cream I always have but they give me brain freeze and that is one of thee migraine starter that is very rarely worth it.


This one sucks because cheese and I were really good friends. Christmas with wine and a cheese board and my classic all-time favourite Sunday macaroni cheese are examples of bliss.


Thankfully it’s not all cheeses but it is most of them. Basically for me the stronger & or older the cheese the worst the migraine. Oh and include mozzarella in that as well as cheese flavoured snacks.


If it’s smoked then it’s the enemy. That’s about every fish dish that I like but it’s definitely not worth the temptation.


Flavoured water is right up there with Sweet and Sour. I am not an expert but I’m sure it’s the sweetener and flavouring.

Energy Drinks: My rule on energy drinks is – Just say No.

Diet/ No sugar drinks: Again those flipping sweeteners.

Coffee: Even though I don’t drink coffee the smell of strong coffee is a huge trigger.

Tea: I’m on decaf tea but I do I have a cheeky caffeine tea but it’s worth it.

Hot Chocolate: At least we have hot chocolate right? Wrong. Hot chocolate is on my trigger list but it’s worth it (occasionally) when you’re faced with a fancy one with a mountain of fresh cream and sprinkles of nutmeg.

Alcohol: All alcohol gives me a migraine even half a glass of wine. This is another one that gets to me but spritzers are a compromise.

Here are some other triggers of mine, can you relate?

Citrus Fruit/Juice: Don’t get me started.

Hot Seasoning: Run for the hills.

Salt and vinegar crisps.


Dry roasted peanuts.

Hard Dough Bread


Dried instant foods

BBQ meat

Sandwich pickle

What I picked up along the way and worth remembering.

MSG (monosodium glutamate): Foods containing MSG (aka all natural preservatives) are huge triggers for me.

Nitrates and Nitrites: Processed meats contain nitrates and nitrites which are trigger. Thankfully I am happy to avoid processed meats but a one off can be manageable. Want to learn more?

Artificial Sweeteners: Apparently this hasn’t been officially proven but I am confident that artificial sweeteners cause migraines for me. A trigger that is just not worth it for me.

What about you, are there any other migraine triggers that you have discovered?

Don’t be disheartened, there are so many alternatives. Why not check out these amazing Migraine Cook Books.


  • Pastor Natalie

    This is an important post because it’s vital to stay aware of the foods that are triggers causing migraines. Many foods you have listed I have to stay away from due to dietary restrictions. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Pastor Natalie

  • Molly @ Transatlantic Notes

    I eat many of these food items and find that for me personally they don’t tend to trigger my migraines. I do, however, very occasionally get them from high apple concentrated juice. It’s always good to be informed as you never know what you can do/avoid that will help — great post!

  • Stephanie

    This breaks my heart. I don’t have chronic migraines, but I have a long list of really strange food allergies that make me nauseous/vomit if I eat them, so I do understanding avoiding “common” foods. It’s so tough! And I do wind up with headaches due to foods sometimes too. When I was a kid, I would get migraines (yes, legit ones, not just a headache) from anything with MSG – and at the time, that was in EVERYTHING! Now, I just get fuzzy head/headaches from BBQ, white wine, and a few other foods/drinks. It’s good to know about these other ones so I can watch how my body reacts around them!

  • Nicci

    I’ve thankfully never had a migraine but I work in healthcare and know how debilitating they can be. I never knew so many foods could trigger them though, the ketchup one truly shocked me! I put ketchup on just about everything so that would be a hard one for me! I’m glad you were able to identify what triggers them though

  • Anneliese

    I’m curious that you list hot chocolate but not other kinds of chocolate on this list. Is it something in a hot cocoa mix, like a preservative, that triggers you, or a component in cacao itself? I know a lot of people are triggered by the…I’m going to spell this wrong, but “theo-bromides,” which are in chocolate and red wine.

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