Identifying the exact foods that trigger migraines for you is trial and error. Experts say the offending food must trigger 100% of the time to be a true trigger.
So where does that leave you, in desperation, to find out what to avoid? There are some well known food triggers, but everyone has different reactions to food. It can get a little confusing.
Plus different philosophies have different causes and triggers for migraines. And they often disagree with each others methods.
For example these four potential migraine triggers are taken from the macrobiotic ideology:
The macrobiotic diet leans towards eating pickled condiments with each meal to aid digestion, which does not suit us migraineurs. I've written more about that here - Migraine Headaches Diet And Macrobiotic Food.
Chinese medicine says to stay away from hot foods due to the Liver Fire Blazing Upwards pattern associated with migraine.
You need herbs and foods that nourish the Yin and dispel heat. It would also consider climate, time of year, and your individual constitution first.
One example is red skinned apples, ginger and cardamom are considered hot. Green skinned apples, on the other hand, are better, as are cucumbers and soft juicy fruits. These are cooling foods.
Contrary to western medicine, coffee is not recommend in Chinese medicine to aid migraine sufferers. It is considered to be hot and too stimulating.
I believe that using these 'diets' or ways of looking at food are not one size fits all. We cannot feed everyone according to the same rules.
What triggers me may never trigger you and vice versa. So you need to become a detective and find an effective, healthy way to determine YOUR food triggers.
So here's the A-Z list to help you get started.
Here is the A-Z list for you to consider testing and then avoiding if they trigger and attack (you pick the percentage):
Any meat that is aged, fermented, salted or smoked – salami,
Citrus Fruit juices
Cola or caffeinated soda products
Cooking with aluminum pans
Cooking with Teflon coated cookware
Cooking with unsaturated oils – Canola Oil
Dairy products (some)
Dried fruits (preserved with sulphites - raisins, figs)
Drinking out of plastic bottles
Eating out of hot plastic take away containers
Eggs (Organic is acceptable)
Green Tea (tannins)
Herbs - see the list on migraine food trigger
High GI foods
Malted Barley Flour
Onions (especially raw)
Oranges and citrus fruit
Snails or escargot
Spices - see the list on migraine food trigger
Wheat and or gluten
Don't let this long list of foods that trigger migraines overwhelm you... just test one at a time. Here's a link to an easy elimination diet you can do, starting right now...
If you haven't done an elimination diet yet to help determine your food triggers, here's an easy one: