It doesn’t happen to everyone but, in some cases, headaches can be caused by certain foods. Which are the most “suspected” of causing migraines and how to replace them.
Some people are particularly sensitive to certain compounds in foods that can trigger headaches.
If this is your case, many times the solution is to simply delete them or replace them with others.
1- Aged cheeses
Aged cheeses and some fruits like orange are, due to their high amount of histamines, some of the foods that could cause headaches (understood as frequent headaches, In the words of nutritionist Álvaro Sánchez: “If they occur at least three times a week”).
This group would also include foods such as sausages, high-protein foods such as canned fish, or healthy foods such as avocado, in addition to cocoa, some fermented or canned vegetables. The nutritionist Paloma Quintana he points out that “there is some scientific controversy about the influence of these foods on headaches”, and insists: “we should never withdraw any of those that are healthy if they are not prescription”.
Pilar Esquer, founder of the consulting firm Habits and teacher at the GASMA school, in Castellón, notes that “Alcohol is not a food”, and indicates that many headaches may be due to its consumption, even in small quantities. “Both for the ethyl alcohol they contain, and for other additives and contaminants, alcoholic beverages are a major cause of headaches,” she points out.
“Alcohol is best not consumed at all, but if we have decided to do so, quality is important to reduce the harmful consequences on our organism ”. Quintana agrees: “Many times it is alcohol that is behind the headache, even if it is a simple drink, because if we drink it sporadically it is much more difficult for our body to metabolize it”.
More than the coffee itself, the culprit of the headache is the caffeine withdrawal syndrome. “The withdrawal syndrome of certain foods that we are addicted to can cause headaches,” says Pilar Esquer, which also applies to chocolate and sweets.
Quintana says coffee can affect headaches in another way, as “many people who eliminate coffee in the afternoon see how their headaches improve, as it is often responsible for not sleeping at night.” In this sense it is important to acquire certain habits that, beyond the diet, will influence the headache. “It is essential to maintain proper sleep hygiene, exercise and regular exposure to the sun“.
Any food rich in sugar it can cause headaches due, in Esquer’s words, “to sudden fluctuations in our glucose levels”. Sánchez points out, for his part, that low-carbohydrate diets can also cause headaches, “since they are giving rise to hypoglycemia.”
Therefore, it is essential to take moderate amountss of carbohydrates at all meals, to avoid sudden rises and falls in glucose that can cause headaches.
Both shellfish and canned fish and frozen fish are rich in histamines and, therefore, foods with which we should be especially careful if we suffer from headaches. Not so blue fish“which, being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can improve headaches,” says Quintana.
Fatty fish are also rich in vitamin D, which is directly related to sun exposure but also found in some foods. “It has been shown that a vitamin D deficiency can also cause headaches.”
6- Ice cream
The cold effect on the palate and pharynx can lead to a sudden headache, so people prone to headaches should avoid ice cream or leave it at room temperature for a while before eating.
Esquer advises his patients “Keep track of what has been consumed 24 hours a day before the headache and withdraw food one by one to verify its effects “, always avoiding sweets, coffee, alcohol and ultra-processed foods of any kind. Correcting body posture and reducing stress also help prevent and avoid headaches.