According to the National Association for Migraine Disorders only about 30 percent of migraine sufferers identify food as a trigger. A food that is identified as a trigger is a food that triggers migraine-related symptom(s) within 24 hours of consumption, more than half the time the food is eaten.

The Association for Migraine Disorders identifies the following foods as common triggers for migraine headaches (though it is not limited to these foods), "alcohols such as wine, monosodium glutamate (also known as MSG which is found in a lot of soy sauces and other salty seasonings), caffeine, nuts, dairy products, eggs, wheat, artificial sweeteners, seeds, onions, and chocolates."

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The Association for Migraine Disorders advocates that removal of all of these foods from your diet isn’t realistic. The association advises to try an elimination diet where you eliminate any foods that you believe causes migraines, suggesting to remove the foods for two weeks and reintroducing them one at a time.

Other approaches to determining what foods trigger your migraines is to keep a food dairy and keep track of your symptoms after consuming a food that may be a trigger. Another method would be to get tested for certain food allergies, though having a food allergy doesn’t mean that it is linked to your migraine, it would determine specific sensitivities.  

#SpoonTip: Food allergies are a tricky topic, learn how to talk about food allergies.

If you’re experiencing migraine symptoms currently there are different foods that you could try to eat to help reduce those migraine symptoms. Though the Association for Migraine Disorders recommends other methods of treatment if you are suffering from severe migraines, please talk to your healthcare provider.

1. Caffeine

coffee, espresso, cappuccino, tea, milk, black coffee, decaffeinated coffee
Christina Robinson

Though some people may find that caffeine is a trigger for migraines, many others find that caffeine works to help stop migraines. If you have a migraine, try having 1 to 2 cups of strong coffee at the first feeling of symptoms.

2. Starchy Foods

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Sarah Silbiger

Foods such as rice, potatoes, crackers, or bread will help suppress symptoms of nausea that you may be experiencing due to your migraine.

3. Ginger


Scot Nelson on Flickr

¼ of a teaspoon of powdered ginger mixed with water is a common remedy for many migraine symptoms. History suggests that ginger has been used since the 1500’s in Asia to combat nausea.

4. Bananas

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Katherine Baker

Bananas are high in magnesium which is proven to relax blood vessels and ease the amount of head pain. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which is essential in balancing your electrolyte levels.

5. Yogurt

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Kathleen Lee

Though dairy products may be a trigger for some, yogurt is high in calcium which can help take care of a headache. Many migraine headaches may be triggered due to low calcium levels, yogurt can raise calcium levels alleviating your headache.

6. Almonds

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Stephanie Lee

Though nuts can be a trigger to come, almonds are rich with tryptophan, an amino acid that helps release serotonin (aka, the chemical that makes your brain feel good). Almonds are also high in magnesium which helps relax your muscles and blood vessels.

7. Watermelon

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Kathleen Lee

Sometimes migraines can occur due to dehydration. Watermelon has an extremely high water content which can help rid of some migraine symptoms. Plus, its light on the stomach meaning it won’t further the symptoms of an upset stomach.