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What are your food triggers?

The list of potential migraine triggers can seem never-ending at times – lights, sounds, smells, too much sleep, too little sleep… the list goes on and on! Food related triggers can be especially difficult to pinpoint, particularly as they can change over time and vary greatly from one person to the next.

We recently asked our Facebook community about the food triggers they’ve discovered over the years. With over 240 responses, below are some of the most frequently mentioned items:


Tell us – What types of food triggers have you discovered? Have they changed over time? Were any of them especially surprising or unusual?


  • lmlahlum
    11 months ago

    Blue cheese for anyone? I had blue cheese on a salad for Thanksgiving yesterday. First time in months. Since it was a holiday dinner, though, it’s hard to point the finger at that or other uncharacteristic foods, like the pecans on the salad or the 1/2″ of white wine I dared to drink with dinner.

  • KSvendsen
    3 years ago

    Cinnamon, msg, the smell of fresh cut onions. Caffeine doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, sometimes I drink a cup of coffee to help a mild migraine.

  • marti
    5 years ago

    Potatoes are the absolute worst – I even have to avoid anything made with dextrin or maltodextrin since they’re generally made from potatoes. Sweet potatoes are OK. I can’t eat tomatoes, onions, peppers, cheese, avocados, ANY artificial sweetener, chocolate, soy, alcohol, watermelon, yeast, yogurt. Caffeine doesn’t bother me. Go figure…..

  • pr551
    5 years ago

    Ice. Cream, yogurt and pizza. If I eat any of these I will have a migraine within 15 minutes.

  • kanzz
    5 years ago

    Red wine, even an ounce. Some beers, so I stick with bottled Coors, and it has never caused a migraine. Burger King burgers, and I don’t know or care why, but I’ve avoided it for years. Excess sugar or carb intake can trigger, but not always.

  • Luna
    6 years ago

    Haven’t been able to find any food triggers but black cohosh and butterbur both make me feel on the edge of a migraine.

  • Azure Fire
    6 years ago

    I had better count myself lucky that I don’t have all the food triggers that so many of my “Migraine sisters & brothers do. The only food trigger that I have is caffeine. Sadly, most of my migraine episodes come more from my enviroment. Such as driving into the sunrise or sunset causes a migraine; even though I wear sunglasses. However, the worst migraines come from auditory sources. Squeeling brakes, shrill shrieks from children, barbershop quartet singing (it’s that fifth note that gets me!), & any other sounds within a particular register.

  • Donas773
    6 years ago

    My food triggers are so many that I can am scared to eat or drink anything these days, but here goes: MSG, aspartame, all processed foods, nitrates, fried foods, food dyes/coloring especially red, blue, & yellow (even when it is in med’s – tablets), chocolate – but strangely only after 7pm, sometimes yogurt, yeast, aged cheeses, condiments that have been in the refrigerator more than 2 wks, onions, red wine, pickles, anything fermented, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce (so no Chinese food!). I read all food labels at the market before buying any new product. I rarely buy any canned goods and there are only a few frozen items that I can eat. I mostly eat fresh food cooked at home by me so I know exactly what is going in my body. But sometimes we do go out and yes it is risky…

  • Amanda
    6 years ago

    Almonds, MSG (most fast food), ginkgo are some of my triggers. I have actually induced a migraine with Ginkgo.

  • Dee
    6 years ago

    Citrus is my biggest trigger. Food coloring esp. Red and yellow will give me hives followed by a migraine. Banana, corn, avocado, alcohol and dark chocolate are others. I am starting to think allergies might play a role in my migraines.

  • stacysillen
    5 years ago

    I thought it was my allergies too, until I got myself tested; I don’t have any. But there is a problem with histamines, which can mimic allergies. That’s what I’m looking into now.

  • Karen Curry
    6 years ago

    One major migraine trigger for me has always been sugar. That includes any type of sugar such as table sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup and it does not pertain to my glucose levels.

  • billk
    6 years ago

    Sugar is also one of my major triggers, and one that is very difficult to avoid. The sugar in half an apple is enough to trigger. The only substitute that I’ve found that I can somewhat tolerate is Stevia.

  • Poll