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Foods That Trigger a Silent Migraine Headache


by JB Bardot
See other articles by JB Bardot

(The Best Years in Life) A silent migraine is a migraine headache without the headache pain. It’s a neurological disorder that includes some type of vascular event. The accompanying aura is now believed to be a neurovascular event that may trigger the headache, according to WebMD.

Also known as an ocular headache, it’s an atypical migraine but has many symptoms that are typical of a full blow migraine headache including visual aura, speech and auditory problems; muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, mood changes and irritability, fatigue, frequent urination and changes in bowel habits. Because the pain in the head is absent, it is often mistaken for other ailments like a stroke. A silent migraine can be triggered by a number of causes, with certain foods being one. Identifying and eliminating the offending foods may provide long term relief from future attacks.

Vegetables and Fruits

Legumes are often one of the culprits causing silent migraines. Beans such as fava, lima, pole, garbanzo, pinto, navy and Italian green beans may trigger your migraine. Additionally, pickled and fermented foods may cause problems. Note the effects on your body after eating sauerkraut, kim chee, pickles, raw garlic, onions and olives.

Fruits that are sometimes involved in setting off a silent migraine headache are figs, prunes, papayas, avocados and overripe bananas.

Alcohol and Caffeine Beverages

Alcohol in all forms, but especially red wine, is associated with migraine headaches. Test each type of alcohol by only consuming one kind at a time to see what kind of results you have after drinking it. You may find only one type triggers your migraines or all alcohol may have to be avoided.

Some people find caffeine triggers their silent migraines while others notice it relieves them. If you drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated soda, you may get headaches when you attempt to stop. Reduce your consumption slowly, over time to avoid caffeine headaches. Observe whether your experience silent migraine symptoms or simple tension headaches from drinking caffeine.


Chocolate is a big trigger food for some people who suffer from silent migraines. Chocolate is loaded with various chemicals, some that soothe and others that aggravate. If chocolate is a trigger for your migraines, it is best to avoid all chocolate and then slowly test different types of chocolate to see if one less stimulating then another.


Aged Cheese

Aged cheeses are often the most reactive trigger for any kind of migraine headache. The older the cheese the more problematic it may be. Cheese contains tyramine, which is a chemical that has been associated with the development of migraines. The longer a cheese is aged, the more tyrosine is present. Tyrosine may also contribute to raising your blood pressure. The list of cheeses to avoid is long and includes Gouda, Stilton, blue, brick, Brie, Camembert, Gruyere, romano, parmesan, cheddar, provolone. Roquefort, muenster, feta and processed cheese slices, which contain MSG, a food additive known to cause a variety of symptoms.


Although many of the foods mentioned are considered healthy superfoods, not everyone responds well even to the best foods. If you experiences silent migraines or other headaches and health symptoms from eating any food you may be allergic or highly sensitized to that food. Stop eating it and do a trial to see how you react when you reintroduce it.

Additionally, various chemicals and food additives can be a contributing cause. Substances like MSG, artificial sweeteners, food colorings, pickling and curing agents or any other flavor enhancer may be the cause. Read labels carefully and avoid these additives.



WebMD: What are Silent Migraines?

Mayo Clinic: Migraine Fine the Connection -- Diet Headache Migraine Simple and Easy Food Choices

University Health Services at University of California: Migraine Triggers Silent Migraine

Copyright 2012 Jean JB Bardot, all rights reserved worldwide

About the author:

JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine.

See other articles by the author here: 
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or on Twitter at jbbardot23!/jbbardot23

See also:

Natural Help for Migraine Headaches

Use vanilla and other natural remedies to relieve and prevent headaches



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Disclaimer: The information on this page and on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA.  We do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent illness or disease - instead, we try to help people learn how to do so themselves.  Anyone who believes they have a serious medical condition or health issue should seek diagnoses from a qualified medical professional before making any decisions on how to best address their health. We do not sell or advocate drugs, nor do we make any claims that anything advocated or sold on this website is a drug.  Furthermore, anyone contemplating using any products or information on this website must accept such use as experimental and voluntary.  No claims are made regarding the therapeutic use of the products or information on this website and all products featured or sold on this website must be considered nutritional supplements only.