Headache-Proof Your Diet
The worst food for headaches
Not sure why your head’s pounding? It could be what you’re eating and drinking, says Deborah Friedman, MD, a neurologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Keep a food diary to see if there’s a pattern, and watch out for these common culinary culprits.
Aged foods and drinks
Aged cheese, dried fruit, and cured meats contain tyramine, which may force blood vessels to constrict and then expand, potentially causing pain.
Experts aren’t sure why, but the artificial sweetener can bring on headaches. If you’re sensitive to it, check the ingredient list of diet sodas and juices.
MSG, a flavor enhancer used in some packaged and takeout foods, may cause vascular changes that trigger pain. Look for labels that say "No MSG."
Many wines and beers contain tyramine as well as sulfites and nitrates, preservatives that can contribute to headaches.