Q: I was reading your post about apples a few weeks ago and was wondering if apples cause migraine headaches. A friend of mine who gets migraines said apples are a trigger, but I had never heard this before. Is it true? — Carl
A: Hi Carl,
The jury is out on whether apples cause migraines or not, but keep in mind that food can affect people in different ways. For some, the skin of apples, especially the more acidic varieties like Granny Smith, can trigger a migraine, and for others, bananas or avocados are the problem.
What is important for people with migraines or any type of food intolerance, is to figure out what contributes to the ailment. The best way to do this is to keep a food journal and write down when the migraine begins. This way you can see if a pattern forms.
Some foods that have been commonly linked to migraines and should be avoided if they affect you include those that contain:
- Tyramine: aged cheese (e.g. brie, blue cheese, Parmesan), miso, smoked fish and meat, avocado, soy sauce, chocolate, peanuts
- Tannins: red wine, red grapes, raisins, chocolate, eggplant, some nuts
- Nitrites: hot dogs, bologna, sausage, smoked fish and meat (look for nitrite-free meats)
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): some potato chips, soy sauce, soups, dressings
- Note: the key word here is some. Most restaurants and food companies have removed MSG from their foods.
- Caffeine: chocolate, caffeinated tea, coffee
- For some people, caffeine helps migraines short term, but once the caffeine wears off the migraine can come back.
Migraines can also be due to non-food causes, such as stress, lack of exercise, or dehydration. If you suffer from migraines and eliminating potential causes does not help, speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Do you have a Wednesday Wonder? Keep on sending your Nutritioulicious questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!