Diet, Triggers

Update on Beans

I’ve finally tested beans as a food trigger and the results aren’t good. The culprit was a delicious black bean breakfast burrito from a meal delivery service. I enjoyed it so, but my head sure didn’t.

In the words of the 80s hair band Poison, better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at. (I know they weren’t the first to say that, but that’s what I thought of when the phrase popped to mind.) In the spirit of sheer denial, I’m holding out hope that other beans might be OK.

21 thoughts on “Update on Beans”

  1. Nice to see I am not an alien. Pinto beans are a no-go for me. I can eat black ones without hesitation, lucky me, because “feijoada” – Brazilian best food (my opinion) is made of black beans. I am tracking severe migraines after eating pinto beans (Phaseolus vulgaris var. “carioca”) for years and I am interested in knowing what is exactly causing migraines. I take orphenadrine as the best drug to end the related pain.

  2. So happy to find this site. I’ve been working with the food sensitivity and headache scene for years. It’s an ongoing dilemma and have started a journal to track what I eat.
    Tannins… Definitely no chocolate, red wine, lentils or black beans. Can sometimes have a small portion of certain beans, like hummus, one day but two days will get headache. Bought white kidney beans thinking only red beans were a problem. Had two bowls of soup last night…headache. A few cherries no problem, too many headache. Going to try digestive enzymes to see if that makes any difference. Sensitivity to nightshade family plants. No headache, tender finger joints. Have found product that took that straight away, but the tannins…. Blood type A-, RhNeg

  3. Plain old Fritos corn chips are delicious and have no lime in them- just corn, corn oil, & salt. I can eat them with no consequences. I had 6 – 12 migraine days a month( basically had some every week) for 15 years. That’s not even counting the days in between where I’d have the other migraine symptoms- dizziness, blurry vision, flashing lights, feeling spacy or dull, constipation. Recently completed menopause and also started avoiding food triggers and I have been headache-free and feeling great for over 6 months! Totally worth not eating offending foods. Nothing is better than feeling HEALTHY! Wish I had tried it sooner. Good luck, everyone.

  4. I came onto the site at the end of June 2019 and I got the answer I wanted not wanted needed I Can’t eat baked beans. I really desired them today and I thought that several years ago I ate them and got a really bad migraine. Guess I was right I’ve had migraines over 40 years wasn’t diagnosed with them because they were called sinus headaches then. They have been the bane of my existence every drug I’ve ever taken every drug that was removed from me in an improper way and all the aches and pains that have been severe along the line that I could not control. I resent the hell out of them and yet I realize that I have to do certain precautions because that pain is worse than giving birth than anything I’ve ever been through and with the food it’s hit or miss I found out that Cherries are now a problem for me and they never were when I was younger. I love food always have but I have to be careful good to know that there are other folks out there as always so I know I’m not alone thanks for your input

  5. So happy to find this thread. I suffer and am following the migraine elimination diet as well but looking forward to trying PINTO beans again.

  6. My migraines started after having whiplash in a car crash. A number of years later, I was very stressed as I went through a divorce. I was grinding my teeth, and the migraines were horrible. Sometime later I was diagnosed with “spastic gut” which was later called Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This was when I realised that different foods had effects on me. My friend lost a lot of weight and was free from all arthritis symptoms as she refrained from different foods. I found out from another friend, that there is something in brown beans that gave her migraines. As I started watching the foods I ate, there was more and more freedom from aches pains and migraines. Such a wonderful relief! I hope that as you continue your journey of discovery of what foods do and do not affect you, that you will also be migraine free, and feel the joy of living free of pain.

  7. Wow, I was diagnosed with chronic migraines several months ago. I was having them everyday and wearing sunglasses at work to try and prevent them. After , reading your responses, I realize I am not alone and encouraged to try pinto beans and blackeyed peas. I have been afraid to try them since most all foods listed in the migraine elimination diet triggers a migraine for me. I have basically been eating brown rice, different variations of squash,broccoli , brussel sprouts, corn,carrots, cauliflower, organic bread,oats, apples,pears, fresh beef and organic chicken. That’s it, that’s my diet. Anybody have any other recipes? or other foods ?
    I have noticed that it is cumulative too. So when I try and cheat , I can’t cheat everyday but I might be able to have one cookie or one something without causing a migraine. Some foods are worse chocolate, onions, caffeine, green beans,MSG, dairy, and additives etc.. I believe I have been having food triggers and body symptoms for for time now. I just can’t ignore them anymore. Any help out there ? Yes, I have taking so much maxalt, and Rezalptin ( scary )with daily doses of 400 B2, Mag 2000, Nadalol, etc.. Feeling very alone even though it sounds like I am not.

  8. Well, I guess I am still fighting the fact that I have to give up most food that I used to took 4 years to be diagnosed because of strange symptoms.
    I get weakness in my legs-stagger around along with the head ache.
    I used to be able to anything–now I can’t eat anything so I try for a while and then go on a little binge and suffer like hell. But I will keep trying.
    Some foods cause so much trouble they’re easy to give up but others….

  9. There are so many additives in foods today. Try organic strawberries. Corn chips at Whole Foods will not have additives-they have their own brand, 365, which should have a reasonable price-check labels though. Most of theirs are corn, salt and some kind of oil -sunflower. probably. Make sure you buy organic or at least from the non gmo project. There should be a little label stating non gmo on the packaging.

    Gmo foods can wreak havoc in the body and are shown to be responsible for allergic reactions and creating leaky gut-can damage your whole digestive tract. Did you know that over 90% of corn is gmo which is actually labeled as a pesticide-shocking, but true. The corn has been modified to make it’s own pesticide, then you eat it. The pesticide works by making bugs stomachs explode. Interesting, but when You eat it, what might it be doing to Your Stomach?? No worries about this with organic.

    Learn more about genetically modified products. Watch the movie ‘The Future of Food’. You should be able to find it at a library or on line and can buy at Amazon. This will be an education about food as it is today and what you can do to make it better, which will make you feel better physically too.
    Just a note, as a side effect, when I spent nearly a year eating mostly organic uncooked foods, many things healed in my body. (no meat, chicken, fish, eggs or dairy too) At first I did get a few bad detox headaches, but now I am mostly headache free all the time (for the past 8 years). Check out the amazing interview on youtube with Victoria Boutenko about the healing her whole family, who had severe problems, underwent by changing how they were eating. they have many delicious recipes on line-and you don’t even have to cook!

    I completely gave up tylenol and advil-they can create rebound headaches when you take them often (which I was doing). Try a few tiny drops of peppermint essential oil on the forehead, but keep it very carefully away from the eyes. I also put on the back of my neck. (then wash your hands and don’t touch your eyes-if taking contacts out do so before this therapy-not after)Then a cool washcloth over your forehead while you lie down in a dark quiet room, with deep slow breathing. This will help you wean off of drugs.

    Check out Kevin Trudeau’s book ‘Natural Cures “they ” don’t want you to know about.’ When I first read this book, I was skeptical and I thought he was just out to make money, but I began to try his (free) suggestions and read some of his resources and discovered that what he was saying was true. Hope this helps. Hope for healing for you and the headaches.

    My food is more flexible now, but no more headaches. I am so relieved as I spent days in darkened rooms wishing I were dead, with migraine headaches.

    God bless you. Deb

  10. I, too, have recently accepted that strawberries are a problem. Yes, triggers are cumlative, and yes one strawberry can brighten a snack or meal if cut to enhance other foods.

    Beans. I saute a small amount of chopped veggies, i.e., celery, julienne cut carrots, colorful sweet peppers, and leeks in evo oil. Add a can of Bush’s black eyed peas, black beans, and 1/2 can of pinto beans (somewhat of an intolerance for me and I freeze the other half can). Simmer 10 minutes. Freeze some in serving size containers to enjoy later. The challenge is knowing one’s intollerances. For me, pea pods, italian beans, lima,navy, cannellini, white kidney beans & lentils are all intollerable. As for burritos, corn, tomatoes, onions, aged cheese, soy and the shells are intollerable, not the beans.

    Thanks to all for your comments.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Marianne. Food triggers are surprisingly individual and you’re totally right that quantity matters. I’m glad you’ve been able to figure out some of your tolerances.

      Take care,

  11. I am a migraineur. Sure enough; black bean pasta, a hefty serving, 25 g protein….and, a migraine the next morning. Didn’t help that I added a liberal amount of Parm/Romano, which I can usually handle if there are no other triggers on the menu.
    This business of paying attention to limiting the number of food triggers per day seems to be the thing. An annoying requirement, like a diabetic’s diet……ah, well. Better than bearing the pain and/or resorting to yet another pharmaceutical. Sick of taking Imitrex; anybody note any long term side effects? I do.

    1. Ruth Ann, yes migraine triggers, including foods, are additive. You might have been fine with some of those foods, but not all together. And it can depend on if you have other trigger factors at play, too. Maybe those foods would have been fine on a day with different weather or a different time in your menstrual cycle, for example. I agree that the best treatment for migraine is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

      Take care,

  12. I love beans.. so very satifying, filling and very convenient to have just a can of beans for dinner at night when I’m usually not that hungry. But when I do, I wake with what feels like a hangover headache that won’t go away unless I do an Alkaselzer and two Advils.

    I’ve been trying to see if maybe the headache is about withdrawl or maybe something my body needs to get used to.. like maybe too much iron (very iron rich blood here).

    For me headaches are usually digestive and usually my head telling my body not to do *that* again.

    1. My husband, his sister and our daughter all have really iron rich blood and tested positive for a blood related condition called Polycythemia where the body makes too many red blood cells. It might be worth looking it up and/ or asking your doctor.

  13. I noted that Sarah wrote:
    “Some places I can eat the corn chips and do okay, and other places I can’t.”

    I also noticed that some corn chips give me headaches, and others don’t. I actually determined that I only get headaches with corn chips containing calcium hydroxide. However, corn chips without calcium hydroxide are hard to find.

    I’m wondering if other people noticed the same intolerance.

  14. Ah the mixed blessing of finding another food trigger. I was in denial for a LONG time when I realised that strawberries were a problem for me!

    After further trial I can now eat 1 strawberry, as long as I am exposing myself to no other trigger foods for the day before or the day after.

    I guess the triggers are cumlative – three strikes and I’m out!

    Does eating a single strawberry make it taste even better? You should at least get that benefit!


  15. That just stinks. Beans are so good for you and quite tasty, too. I’m sorry to hear the bad news.

    Thanks. I just ate something with kidney and pinto beans in it and am keeping my fingers crossed.


  16. You have my sympathy. Most beans and peas are a problem for me. I think pinto beans maybe the only bean I can safely eat in limited quantities, for which I’m extremely grateful because it allows me to eat some Mexican foods–which is preferable to none. I can most readily eat a burrito with beans, cheese and rice–provided the beans and rice don’t have seasonings or additives that are triggers for me (which is most seasonings except salt), and the cheese is mild and minimal. Some places I can eat the corn chips and do okay, and other places I can’t. Even when I can eat the chips, I must avoid the salsa and guacamole. *sigh* Dining out or in is tricky at best. Still, I’d rather give up a food than have a migraine.

    As much as I grumble, I would also rather give up some foods than have a migraine. I just hate that I have to make the choice.


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