About 20% of Americans experience migraines on a regular basis. The statistics are lower in other parts of the world, but there is a growing trend in developing countries. Why is that? In part, the foods we consume can to blame. Studies as far back as the 1970s found that food allergies and/or intolerance played a role in the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Common foods found to be allergenic include milk, wheat, chocolate, oranges and black tea. Migraine suffers are commonly allergic to more than one food - often up to three.

Other studies have shown some foods may trigger a migraine. These include alcoholic beverages, fried, fatty foods, and meat (especially pork and seafood). Many of these foods contain tyramines, substances which make blood vessels swell and may cause migraines.

Tyramines are found in:

  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • All Aged Cheeses
  • Avocados
  • Fermented Sausage (bologna, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs)
  • Red Wine
  • Fava Beans
  • Pickled Herring
  • Bananas
  • Canned Figs
  • Beer
  • Chicken Livers
  • Anchovies
  • Dried Fish
  • Yeast Extracts

The avoidance of these foods can drastically reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. If you suffer from migraines you should avoid these tyramine-based foods at all times. You should also try eliminating milk, wheat, oranges, and black tea for 3 weeks. Then reintroduce one food at a time - giving 3 days between each reintroduction to determine if you have a reaction.