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Migraine and Diet

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Diet triggers

Studies indicate food has an influence on migraines; common foods blamed for causing migraines include chocolate, cheese, red wine and dairy.  Foods containing amines especially tyramine and phenylethylamine are suspected to cause migraines. Reducing the intake of foods containing amines can decrease migraines in 20% - 50% of individuals.


Foods with most amines include: dairy products, chocolate, eggs, citrus fruits, meat, wheat, nuts and peanuts, tomatoes, onions, corn, apples, and bananas. The list contains vital nutrients so it is not recommended to avoid these foods totally.


Cheese: Aged cheese such as cheddar, blue cheese, Swiss, parmesan, feta, brie etc. contain tyramine and phenylethyamine and for this reason can be a migraine trigger.


Alcohol: The darker the drink the more likely it is to induce migraine; this is due to the high levels of sulphites. Dark beers, whiskey, bourbon and red wine are examples of dark alcoholic beverages.


Caffeine: Caffeine found in tea, coffee, energy drinks and some medication can affect those living with migraine in different ways; paradoxically caffeine can ease or exacerbate the migraine depending on the person. Withdrawal from caffeine can also trigger a migraine attack so to prevent this happening stagger caffeine intake throughout the day and reduce amount consumed. Switching to herbal or green tea can be a better alternative to high caffeine drinks.


Chocolate: Chocolate may not be the cause of the migraine but rather the craving for chocolate is an indication that a migraine is on its way. Chocolate may be sometimes wrongly blamed for bringing on a migraine. Cheap chocolate brands can be a contributing trigger as it contains more additives than more expensive or darker versions.


Whelehans Nutrition Service

Whelehans nutrition service is a friendly, flexible and affordable service offering one to one consultations with follow up programmes and weekly monitoring.   Suitable for men, women and children. Call our Nutritionist Caroline Masters on 086-3994615 or email her at or call Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse Street on 044 9334591.


Migraine Talk this week

Whelehans Pharmacy in conjunction with Migraine Association of Ireland is hosting a Migraine Information evening this Thursday November 9th at 7pm in the Greville Arms Hotel in Mullingar. Admission is free. Speakers on the night will include Esther Tomkins, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Beaumont Migraine Clinic. There will be other speakers including Pharmacist Eamonn Brady and help and advice from Migraine Association of Ireland on the night. Call the Whelehans Pharmacy at 04493 34591 for more information or to book a place.


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Find us on Facebook.

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