Potential foods that can trigger a headache

Almost every individual has experienced a headache at some point in their lives. The most prevalent type is a tension headache which occur due to tight muscles in the neck, scalp and jaw. It is due to anxiety, stress or depression. There are also other types of headaches such as migraines, sinus and cluster headaches. Additionally, the diet of the individual can also cause various types of headaches and certain foods can trigger these conditions. If you want to learn how to provide relief to headaches, click here.

Common headache triggers


It is a known fact that chocolate can easily trigger headaches among those who are sensitive to tyramine and caffeine. There are some varieties of dark chocolate that contain high amounts of caffeine. As a stimulant food, limit the intake to only 300 mg every day for average adults. On the other hand, those who are sensitive to caffeine might consume a lesser amount to avoid the headaches.

Headaches-food triggers

It is a known fact that chocolate can easily trigger headaches among those who are sensitive to tyramine and caffeine.

Based on studies conducted, most individuals experience the effects of caffeine including those found in chocolate in a span of 30 minutes after ingestion. Once withdrawal from caffeine takes place, it can also cause headaches but take chocolate and other foods that contain caffeine on a daily basis at least 15g for a month up to a point where he/she will experience withdrawal.

It is important to note that there is some proof which indicates that chocolate might not trigger headaches. In a study, a diet with cocoa can help prevent headaches from occurring.

Aged cheeses

Varieties of cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan can cause headaches since they include an amino acid specifically tyramine. This amino acid forms once the protein breaks down in food as they start to age. Individuals who are highly sensitive to tyramine can experience nausea, heart palpitations, vomiting and elevated blood pressure once they eat aged cheese and foods that contain the food.

These foods can trigger headaches, specifically the migraine headaches. Aside from cheddar and parmesan, those who are prone to headaches should also avoid Swiss cheese, brie, Stilton, blue cheese, mozzarella, provolone, Roquefort, Gouda and American cheeses. The individual must stick with low-fat processed cheeses, cream cheese, ricotta and farmer’s cheese since these do not trigger any headaches.


Always bear in mind that all varieties of nuts including peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans and walnuts are known to trigger headaches. Nuts are comprised of elevated levels of tyramine. Take note that foods that are made out of nuts such as peanut butter can also cause problems for those who are sensitive to tyramine. Additionally, nuts that contain chemicals known as vaso-active amines that enlarge the blood vessels and causing them to compress on the nerves can trigger headaches such as migraines.


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