How to take charge of your heart health

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Pickled and fermented foods - Pickled and fermented foods can contain high amounts of tyramine.

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Pickled and fermented foods - These foods include pickles, kimchi, kombucha, pickled okra, and pickles jalapeños.

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Alcohol - According to a 2018 study in the European Journal of Neurology, alcoholic beverages were reported as a trigger by 35.6% of participants with migraines.

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Alcohol - Red wine in particular was reported as a trigger in over 77% of the participants who indicated alcohol as a trigger.

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Caffeine - Too much caffeine has been linked with migraines for many years; on the one hand, as a trigger, and, on the other, as a cure.

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Caffeine - A 2021 study in the journal Nutrients found that caffeine overuse may lead to migraines, and sudden caffeine withdrawal can trigger migraine attacks.

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Chocolate - According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate is believed to be the second most common trigger for migraine attacks after alcohol.

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Chocolate - Chocolate contains both caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.

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Artificial sweeteners - Most processed foods contain artificial sweeteners, which are sugar alternatives that are added to sweeten foods and drinks.

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Artificial sweeteners - But these sweeteners can trigger migraine episodes, in particular the artificial sweetener called aspartame.

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Frozen foods - Consuming frozen foods and drinks like ice cream or slushies can trigger intense, stabbing pains in the head.

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Frozen foods - You're more likely to experience headaches that become migraine attacks if you're consuming cold food quickly, after exercising, or when overheated.

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Salty foods - Salty processed foods, which may contain harmful preservatives, could trigger migraines in some people.

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Salty foods - Consuming high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure, causing headaches or migraine attacks.

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Identifying your triggers - There are a number of things you can do to spot and eliminate any food- or drink-related triggers.

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Keep a diary - Keep a headache diary and note your food and beverage consumption for a few weeks, including if any triggered a migraine.

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Migraine attack pattern - Pay attention to your migraine attack pattern. If there's no change, it's unlikely to be a food- or drink-related trigger. 

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