Overview

Food Items That Trigger Headaches


Headaches attack all of us at one time or the other. But, we never think that it could be some food items we consume that trigger these headaches! There are certain substances in some foods that are a major cause of headaches. However, the vulnerable ones must know about these harmful substances and the foods that contain them. Following is a brief description of the possible culprits.

TYRAMINE, this substance is one of the major causes of headaches when it comes to food items. It is an amino acid and some people find it hard to break it down completely, resulting in headaches. The foods that contain Tyramine are yogurt and cheese like mozzarella, brie, blue cheese, feta, cheddar and swiss. Also, aged cheese contains a large amount of Tyramine. And, red wine has a huge percentage of this substance as compared to other alcoholic beverages which have it in moderation.

TRPTOPHAN- This substance again an amino acid, is responsible for causing headaches indirectly. It is used by the body to convert it into serotonin. This is the process that is found to trigger migraine in some. This substance is found in high protein foods. These food items are red meat, turkey, fish, bananas, nuts, soy beans and soy products to name some.

NITRATES, are also responsible to cause headaches. The reason being, they dilate the blood vessels, sometime to an extent that it causes headaches. The food items that have high nitrate content are hot dogs, cured ham, bacon, bologna and salami in meats. In vegetables beet, spinach, green beans have nitrates present in them. Nitrates sometimes covert into nitrites which make a cancer causing substance called nitrosamine.

Too much COPPER is also said to cause headaches in some. You must also avoid wheat germ, shellfish and nuts as they have a high concentration of copper. Also, citrus fruits increase the absorption of copper so beware of them.

Then is the MSG (monosodium glutamate). It is used as a food additive in many Asian countries. It not only has harmful effects as an additive but it is also responsible for constriction of blood vessels, therefore resulting in headaches.

CAFFEINE is another substance that is found to cause headaches in very sensitive people. It is not much of a danger but only susceptible people need to keep a watch.

Though it is hard to find out which substance is causing your headache, constant monitoring can help you identify some. The above mentioned substances are not to be avoided completely because they also form an important part of your diet. But, you must consume them in moderation. Also, you must consider consulting a doctor if you experience problem with some food items in particular.