Diet, Triggers

Aw, Nuts! Another Migraine Trigger?

Post-peanut butter, nuts have become a go-to food for me. When I’m hungry and can’t think about food, I put almond butter on a bagel. If I’m going to be away from home for awhile, I bring a bag of trail mix along. Turns out these good-for-you snacks aren’t so smart for me.

Last Tuesday I noticed that I had a migraine about 30 minutes after lunch, which I was able to abort. Then I had another one come on within an hour after dinner. The similarity between these two meals? Almond butter. Hmm, could this spell migraine food trigger?

Finally heeding the signals, I stopped eating nuts. Here’s the rundown since then:

  • All my symptoms were present Wednesday at a moderate level, but there was no spike in pain or exhaustion.
  • Thursday I had little pain and spaciness until evening. It was a long, intense, busy day. I was worn out, a little “off” and slightly headachy when I got home around 4:30. The migraine that followed lasted through Friday night.
  • Saturday I woke up with lots of energy. After three hours at full speed, I felt spacey and tired. The pain came on in the late afternoon, but I was able to abort all the severe symptoms with a caffeine.
  • Sunday started with an energy surplus that lasted a couple hours. Then I was tired off and on, but other symptoms never popped up and my headache pain was low all day.
  • Monday, I went to a coffeehouse to work — and wound up writing for four hours! By 3 p.m. I was tired and my headache was moderate, so I rested between 3 and 6. After that, I was good to go until bedtime.

These are the highlights of course. I’ve still had moderate to severe head pain most nights, get spacey, feel tired, and need to rest every day. The nuts can’t hold all the blame, so I’m also being hypervigilant to not wear myself out. This morning started out slow, but I still went to yoga and the grocery store. I’m beginning to droop again, but I enjoyed my class and have gotten to enjoy some of this glorious Seattle day.

As wonderful as they are, nut can’t provide the same joy as not being chained to the couch nearly all day every day.

102 thoughts on “Aw, Nuts! Another Migraine Trigger?”

  1. I’m 70 and have had migraine headaches since I was 13. Over the years many things have helped, at least for a time. Rizatriptan has been my savior for the past several years but starting in March I was getting 11-13 headaches a month, a significant increase. This went on through the summer and early fall. Last month I stopped eating almonds which I had been eating a lot of. Lo and behold the headaches decreased. I went over 2 weeks without a headache, then had 4-5 almonds. Had migraines for the next 3 days. I’m pretty sure almonds are a migraine trigger for me although almond milk doesn’t have the same effect.

    1. I’m so glad that you wrote this, Nancy, about the almond milk. I’ve known for a couple of years that almonds are a trigger for me. My life has changed dramatically since I started taking Amovig shots. I mean, dramatically! But almonds are still a trigger, sadly, even one almond will trigger a migraine. And I LOVE almonds sooo much. I’ve been wanting to try almond milk and while I realize that we are all different, knowing that you’ve had success means that it is worth a try! I’m so glad that I found this post/blog/website,

  2. I want to add a comment related to the posts about early morning (3 AM) headaches.I’m wondering if that is related to histamine because that is when histamine peaks. I’m not sure if there is a solution, but you may want to research into it more. There is also histamine in foods.
    I found this site because I found that I actually become depressed after eating too many nuts and am wondering if there is a correlation. My dad and sister have migraines.

  3. I just read this book:
    Heal your headache
    The 1. 2. 3. Program
    Taking charge of your pain.
    By: David Buchholz M.D.
    It makes a whole lot of sense!

  4. I have been at this a while so, I read all the labels when I shop. Due to the MSG problem, I have so it is just something else to look for.

  5. This is very helpful as I have been suffering from a lot of migraines as of late. I will be adding this to my list of ingredients to avoid.

    1. Hi Ron, with potential food triggers, it’s best to cut them out for a while and then try reintroducing them to see if they’re actually an issue for you. People tend to restrict their diets way more than is actually necessary. Best of luck getting your migraine attacks under control.

      Take care,

      1. Just some thoughts on some of what’s worked (apparently) for stopping my migraines… or at least diminishing their force and length:

        1. T’ai Chi Chuan/chi gong- t’ai chi (which IS a form of chi gong), if you really pursue it at length, opens your energy channels (I know, I know; I was skeptical too at first; until I started to move my internal energy) so for me it was about learning “encourage” the energy to leave my head through these now open channels; having it flow in a downward direction. First I put an ice pack on my forehead for a few minutes while standing in a good position, then I do my thing…

        2. glycine, magnesium, R-5-P (a coenzymated form of B2 (riboflavin)
        seem to help.

        3. I don’t eat gluten or fried foods (sigh).

        Lots of other thoughts, but no time & I don’t even know if this website will accept my writing. GLTA -L.

  6. I’ve found canola oil to be a migraine trigger for me. I read where it is genetically modified. It’s a shame because it’s in so many foods now. Alot of cereals have it in them. The food companies are probably using it more now because it’s cheaper than other oils.

  7. I have been dealing with migraines for over 50 years. I cannot have any processed meats, no preservatives except citric acid, no sulfate or sulfites, no nitrates or nitrites, no celery salt since it is a self occurring sulfating agent, no MSG. No sea salt! I can only eat bottom fish! Wierd but true. No nuts! No sunflower seeds or oil. As you can see I have multiple triggers! Which I try to stay away from I try to eat grain fed meats only. NO CHEMICALS at all in my diet! Cheese with no animal rennet. Hope my information helps a massive migraine sufferer like Me! Sometimes now when something might sneak into my food while eating out I find I might only get the aura but not a full blown migraine! No I do not eat fast food!

  8. The worst nut for me was almonds, they are the ones that began my migraine but stopping them did not prevent my migraine from increasing. What suppressed my migraine was several months of copper chelation, for example with L-carnosine.
    Avoiding whole cereals, legumes (soy, dry beans, lentils, dry peas) and seeds is critical too. The culprit here is their type of fibers in addition their content of phytic acid. Inositol hexaphosphate (a nutritional supplement that is a form of phytic acid) is extremely bad for me too.
    Minimizing the exposure to electromagnetic fields is very important too, for example no cordless phone with permanent emission.

  9. The FDA approved the use of MSG as a fertilizer which the biggest problem with crop and what triggers a migraine. MSG is a Neuro-TOXIN. It trick your brain into thinking rancid meat is delicious. Do your research people, speak out against MSG being used to fertilize crops.

  10. Hi everyone. So helpful to read everyone’s posts! I’ve suffered for forty years and always thought my only triggers were hormones and weather. Well now that hormones are out of the equation I seem to be getting them more frequently than ever! I am a vegetarian for 20 years and eat nuts somewhat frequently, especially peanut butter almost every day. How am I to know which, if any, foods might be triggers when I have some level of migraine most days ??

  11. I’ve suffered from headache many years I used to be able to take just 2 Advil until the next headache. Advil worked until about 6 years ago. My headache got so bad that I could pinpoint exactly where the pains came from. I was was treated for migraine. The headache still didn’t go away. I went back & my neurologist said I had stabbing headache that some people with migraine also had. So I was prescribed a different rx. Side effects were as horrible as the other 3 migraine rx too. Med still didn’t help. One morning I woke up (after 8 months of 24/7 stabbing headache), I felt no pain. So it was the peanuts and/or stone fruits because they were in season during those months & I ate them like there was no tomorrow. After that, I avoided anything with peanuts & stopped eating stone fruits. But being a nutlover, I began to eat walnuts & almonds shortly after that, my headache came back every day but under manageable level where sometimes I could toughen up without medication. The problem is every so often, instead of a daily dull headache, I would have severe headache for months at a time, 24/7, that requires medication. Right now I am suffering from a cycle starting since August 14. My neurologist said I have chronic migraine. I asked my doctor if I’ve suffered from hemicrania continua instead. She’s not sure because it’s a very rare type of headaches & not many studies have been done on it & I’ve suffered from 1 side of my head & sensitive to light & noises similar to migraine. So she’s treating me as having chronic migraine. I’ve tried a total of 7 Rx (4 on-set & 3 preventives), steroid injection & now Botox. So far nothing has worked yet to stop the constant headache. Reading all of your posts, I am not suffering alone but need to definitely cut down coffee (don’t know if I can go cold turkey) & stop nuts & almond milk to see if any relief at the of the tunnel.

  12. I just found this website & feel great relief knowing I’m not alone in the struggle to find headache triggers. At the same time I’m so sorry for everyone’s pain. I’ve suspected peanuts & maybe other nuts as a cause of my daily headache. Now I’m motivated to cut them out completely for awhile. Also read that peas contain tyramine & ive been eating lots of those from my garden. Like some of you, I eat very little meat & rely on plant proteins.

  13. I have wondered for some time why I get a migraine after eating just one Ferrero Roche chocolate, which contains hazelnuts. Today I treated myself to a hazelnut hot chocolate and also had peanut butter with my oats.Within 4 hours I had a migraine. I decided to google nuts and migraine and am so thankful to have found your site. It has confirmed the connection. Many thanks

  14. I’ve suffered from headaches since I was eight years old. They came 2-3x a week. After a car accident in 2000 I’ve suffered every single day..all day long…minus three days when I went on a 40 day strict Daniel Fast for church. I thought I was healed but it came crashing back. Tried everything from West to East medicine. I was desperate. .tired of doctors throwing more pills for me to take that never worked. I’d pray begging God for
    relief when He lead me to food journals. My neurologist already told me he couldn’t help until I was off Advil …I was up to nine a day needing more but my body would go numb neck down to toes..really scary! I stopped the advil cold turkey because I was desperate to be rid of these debilitating headaches. After six month back to his office clean from advil and all caffeine (tea, soda etc.) He told me that my headaches were actually migraines. He put me only more pills and told me I would have to take the rest of my life!!! The dosage was very high and it actually made me worse! My physical therapist had to stop my session early because the migraines were so bad I had to rush to ER. When I told the neurologist his answer was to give me even higher dose. I thought why would I go higher if clearly it doesn’t work? I’ve had a allergy test done on foods…not sure if it was the same mention in earlier post on here but it wasn’t showing sensitivity to foods for me but clearly when I eat any kind of nuts, sugar, caffeine, tomatoes, perfumes or soaps with perfumes an loud constant noise it spikes to where I have to take a nap or push on pressure points for hours for relief. When someone wrote decaf still has caffeine it was like a bell going off like no wonder I still
    have daily headaches. After seeing this site today I’m going to eliminate gluten and bananas. I’ve recently switched to plant based diet ( no meats dairy or oils) then when you add in the trigger foods its getting difficult find what I can actually eat. Praying we can someday live pain free. God bless.

  15. I’ve suffered with migraines all my life i am a 52 yr old female. Last night i ate walnuts woke up at 1 am so nauseated from the migraine coming on i vomited. I was put on Relpax 6 months ago so i tpok one relpax and 2 81 mg aspirin. Today looked up walnuts and sure enough i know that’s what caused it. Never been able to drink wine now nuts are out too. I was in so much pain almost went to er. Thanks for info on nuts i know they are out of the question for me.

  16. Thank you for this forum, Kerrie. I have suffered from migraines from my early twenties through today, (I’m 57). That is a long time, but they are much less severe now and, thankfully, the meds are much less expensive these days so it’s easy to “nip them in the bud”. I’ve recently had another spate of headaches however, and I’m thinking it could be nuts. I was avoiding them for a while, but since I’ve started eating them…bang!…headaches like I haven’t had in a long while. Eliminating them today after reading this. So, again, thank you!

  17. Wow, I hardly EVER get headaches and I woke up this morning with an excruciating headache!! I was trying to figure out what I did differently than usual…The only 2 things I could come up with were I only drank 1/2 cup of coffee the day before instead of a full cup, but I found it hard to believe it was that as I’ve done that before and typically if I’m late drinking my coffee it causes a headache right between my eyes. The only other thing was I pigged out on peanut brittle the day before, which I never have. I had to stop eating peanut butter and almonds a year ago as they started causing pain under my left rib, so I was even surprised I could eat the peanut brittle without getting that pain. (I’m a 55yr. old female) Anyway, after reading all the other experiences on here, I’m thinking the peanut brittle must have been it. It was VERY GOOD, but certainly not worth THAT HEADACHE!!!! I was very nauseated as well. Anyway THANK YOU everyone!!

  18. I have been experiencing hormonal migraines since teenage hood -35 odd years. When they started putting me in bed for 2 days whilst trying to parent a 3 and 5 year old i decided to try the restrictive diet and medication option. This has pretty much worked for 10 years with migraines lasting an hour providing i take my cocktail of zomig, aspirin, panadol and codeine! So much for skyting…i am on day 11 of a migraine and thought it might be perimenopausal until i read about almonds, which I have been eating as I try and cut out sugar and curb cravings. This is what I find so tricky with restricting my diet – it is almost vegetarian and sugar free but I am unable to eat foods that boost iron and protein! The dentist has also noticed gum changes due to a lack of citrus…. Sigh! Thanks heaps for all your suggestions!

  19. I know that a lot of foods are common triggers and that a person can sometimes eat their trigger food and still be okay bc there are other variables….Weather…changes in sleep pattern…fragrances…etc…but I still wish someone would come up with a list of safe foods for those who suffer from migraine. The only thing I can eat that I am pretty sure will not give me a migraine are pears….but I don’t doubt that pears will cause migraine in someone else. More in line with this series of comments, however, I’m usually okay with cashews but can’t even smell peanut butter without getting a headache. Walnuts are a no. Almonds too are unfortunately a no. Maybe I’m just delusional about the cashews bc I love them so much and have to eat them sometimes and my headaches these days are no longer as severe as when I was younger although they are now chronic…as in almost daily. SO interesting about everyone’s triggers. Really, I never see pears mentioned anywhere tho.

    Thanks Kerrie.

  20. I have suffered from migraines since I was 12 years old (39 years). I have learned to watch my diet and avoid certain foods (bananas, avocados, and anything with MSG in it, nothing fermented). Some dried fruits will bring on migraine. Perfumes and colognes are also a trigger. Something you may not be a ware of it that the food and drug administration allow for the use of MSG as a fertilizer, and it is being used on several types of crops. MSG is known as a Neurotoxin.

  21. All meat can trigger migraines according to research because of tyrosine amino acid. Some people are very sensitive to it as a trigger. I eat as little meat as possible and NEVER eat red meat! That is “migraine city”! Also fish that are high in Omega 6 tend to cause more migraines than those that are higher in Omega 3, and lower in Omega 6.

  22. Is lemon sole and Chilean sea bass on the list of migraine triggers? Also, recently on the news-green light can cut migraines by 20%. Apparently, red and blue lights are high on the list of triggers. Study being conducted at Beth Israel hospital NYC

  23. All it takes is just to Google migraine triggers and peanut butter is high on the list! That one is easy. I kept a food diary for months until I figured out SALMON was one of my triggers. Sure enough, looked on Google Scholar, and there it was! Salmon can cause migraines.
    Now most of my food migraines are caused by tannins–which is present in every dark red, blue, or purple fruit and vegetable. That eliminated a huge amount of healthy food from my diet. Hate it!

  24. Hello all, I’ve suffered from debilitating migraines average of 6-10 days per month for the past 7 years. I too have struggled to figure out what my triggers are. I’ve never found any food triggers other than wine, which I stay away from now. Other triggers for me seem to be the weather, stress and hormonal. Like several others here my migraines used to wake me up around 3 AM and they would be so excruciating I wouldn’t think I could handle it until my imitrex (sumatriptan) would kick in about an hour and a half later. Now they seem to come more in the afternoon. They start in the back of my head at the base of my skull, my neck is in pain then they sweep around to the top of my head usually one side or the other. Things I’ve found that help are a wet or damp hot (heated in microwave quickly) washcloth on my face…ice pack behind my neck during a migraine and making sure I don’t bend my head forward too long, like reading looking downward or even sleeping with my head bent forward on my pillow to help prevent them. I’ve tried physical therapy, diet and acupuncture all with little or no effect. For the past six months or so I have wondered if peanut butter could be trigger for me. I have been a vegetarian for 10 years and peanut butter has been a staple in my diet. Whenever I have one of my 2 or 3 day migraines it seems I’ve always had quite a bit of peanut butter the night before. I have been eating low-carb & gluten free the last few months and have fewer headaches. Today I ate peanut butter for the first time in months for lunch. Within about an hour I could feel the back of my neck getting tight and knew I had a migraine starting. It progressively got worse and I’ve been fighting it off all afternoon and evening. I decided to Google it and came across this website. You all really have me thinking now! Thank you to everybody who has taken the time to talk about their own situations. I know we are all desperate for answers to stop this migraine madness!!!
    I also got a stomach ulcer from so much ibuprofen, sinus meds & sumatriptan taken on an empty stomach. As hard as it can be to eat when you feel that bad, eat a small piece of bread or something when taking meds….ulcers are a whole problem in themselves.

  25. I am with Jean–50+ years of headaches. I’ve been thru every Western and Eastern medical treatments available. Not ONE doctor–even at Johns Hopkins, suggested food triggers, but my Chiropractors did years ago. I am trying to stay on a tyramine-free diet and it’s practically impossible!! It’s in all kinds of proteins, esp beans, legumes, meats, nuts, and seeds. And I am trying to avoid MSG free glutamic acid as well. I found a diet of brown rice and butternut squash is about the only thing I trust by now. My headaches and wooziness are part of my daily life. You all know what I mean. Thanks for a good blog. Lin

  26. After 50 years of headaches, I am to the point of desperation and fear. I have a wonderful neurologist who has been willing to try most all reasonable helps. Yesterday I was offered an alzheimers medicine for off label med. Before I venture there, your blog has convinced me to continue diet changes, supplements and test for glutens before going on 1 more med.

  27. After 50 years of headaches, I am to the point of desperation and fear. I have a wonderful neurologist who has been willing to try most all reasonable helps. Yesterday I was offered an alzheimers medicine for off label med. Before I venture there, your blog has convinced me to continue diet changes, supplements and test for glutens before going on 1 more medicine. Can’t believe it’s been 50 years of migraines!

  28. I ate some of a holiday cheese ball that was rolled in chopped nuts. Pecans I think. I ate it yesterday and that night and the next morning I woke up with a migraine.

  29. my head hurts really bad when im eating any types of nuts like almonds, walnuts , pistachios, and tortillas i cant stand the headache its really hurts and im only 12 years old!!!! why does my head hurt sooo much???

  30. I am 51 years old and have suffered from migraines most of my life. Thank you for all the helpful information! Anything is worth trying.

  31. I noticed you live in Seattle.. Could your migraines be from climate? I haven’t any after my mine were hormone related.. But weather also affected me.. And red licorice..the red dye.. Imagine that! Oh and crossing timezones in plane!

  32. i have suffered all my life with standard allergies (hay fever, food reactions such as itchy throat and lips, etc.). Two years ago I had a severe reaction to a medication which caused me an acute case of Pancreatitis which then messed up my liver. I began to have severe reactions to foods I had never had any problems with. Had a super scary ambulance ride to the ER from Lobster Raviolis, which I’d eaten many times in the past with no issue. Last Dec I went for extensive allergy testing…5 sessions. I’m allergic to about every tree, weed and grass, and many foods. Some I’ve known about from experience as I am 56. The main triggers found were Elm trees, corn, soy, about ANYTHING high in iodine, and ALMONDS! I absolutely did not believe the almonds. I have eaten them every day my whole life. Migraines run in my family. I never ever ever got an itchy throat or lips from almonds. Thought they must have made an error. Just to humor them, I stopped eating almonds and within one week the migraines stopped! I was shocked! I was getting 3 to 5 migraines a week, some lasted up to 15 hours. I have tried to convince my sister and niece to stop eating them and they don’t believe it. Sigh. I have no problem with peanut butter or pistachios. Cashews cause a bit of nausea. Even a bowl of honey nut chex or honey nut Cheerios gives me a headache. They’re made with almond oil. Been migraine free up until yesterday….wracked my brain to think what it was from…4 days ago I ate a Heath Klondike bar. 2 Days ago we stopped at DQ and I got a mini Heath blizzard. Then last night had another Heath Klondike bar. Today read the ingredients…yup…almonds and almond oil!

  33. I’ve been suffering from migraines fir the past 30 years … Finally after 16 years the only thing that works for me is a medicine called Amerge. This past week I had migraines on a daily basis – realized pistachios are triggering them. I also realized almonds triggered them too a few years ago.

  34. Hello ‘Fellow Migraine Sufferers’
    I don’t usually leave comments, but in this case, I thought my ‘2 cents’ might help someone. I’ve suffered migraines from age 35 to 48 (current age) and have tried MANY different diets, herbs, and supplements (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, chocolate-free, tyramine-free, etc.). I’m an expert on ME after keeping food diaries religiously for years. Even with all that, I still suffer migraines about every 12 days and only know for sure that dairy is a main trigger (I’ve been dairy-free and gluten-free for last year). Well, it was only 2 months ago I saw a Naturopathic doctor for the first time and she recommended an ‘allergy blood test’ called an ‘E95 Basic Food Panel’. I had no idea that you could even do a BLOOD test for allergies/sensitivities! This particular panel tested for 95 common foods to see if a ‘sensitivity’ was present in your blood. After I did the test and received the results, I wasn’t surprised to find all the ‘dairy’ foods were in the ‘HIGHLY SENSITIVE’ column, but I was really surprised that all the CITRUS fruits (which I consume daily) and ALMONDS were also in the ‘HIGHLY SENSITIVE’ column (which I consume almost daily as well in different foods). So for the last month I’ve been avoiding all citrus and almonds and so far so good…..
    Anyone can order this test done for themselves. Even though I live in CA, my blood test was sent to Meridian Valley Lab in Tukwila, WA. I would recommend it to all migraine sufferers – you might be REALLY surprised, like I was, with the results! And if they help alleviate or prevent your migraines- that that would be a wonderful PRAISE!!

  35. I’ve had to give up chocolate, caffeine, all nuts & tomatoes due to migraines. Decaf coffee & teas contain traces of caffeine as well, so they are also a no-no for me. I’m also hyper sensitive to chemical & paint smells. Household cleaners are also a trigger. Avoiding all these has pretty much eliminated my awful migraines. Hope this helps others.

  36. My mother also suffered from severe migraines and told me that they would subside with age. However, they have increased with age. The other day I ate a handful of almonds and sure enough woke up with migraine. Sometimes I can eat chocolate but if I indulge too much inevitably get painful, debilitating ones with stiff neck. I’m still trying to figure out my food triggers and stressors as I’m becoming physically exhausted from this rolllercoaster of pain.

  37. Thank you for making this blog post. Even though it’s old it is still helping people. I love people like you who take the time to share information with others. Now, I have a jar of almond butter to give away lol.

  38. Migraine sufferer for over 30 years. It has been a real challenge trying to figure out the triggers aside from the common ones like alcohol and chocolate. I discovered the almond problem while using almond milk so now I use rice milk and no problem there. Definitely bananas and excess caffeine so I am down to two half-caffs a day. Once in a while when I wake up and a migraine is starting I use peppermint oil, an ice pack and a cup of coffee and the headache will go away but this is not a sure thing as I did this this morning to no avail. I was bad and had a banana dessert Sat. night at a special dinner and headache started next day, Sunday during church. Sumatriptan worked for about 8 hours then the pain started again so am hoping my massage therapist can work her magic. Also had to cut back on the naproxen as it was causing acid reflux big time. It’s not true that migraines become less frequent with age; I am 63.

    1. Bonnie, I’m sorry your migraines have become less frequent with age, but am glad to hear you’ve been able to figure out some of your triggers. I hope your massage therapist was able to work her magic!

      Take care,

  39. I didn’t know about my migraines. But sometimes I had a headache for some years. I go to gym then headache is passed out. I love nuts like pistachios almonds and cashews, I saw all your comments, then I got know it’s also my migraines cause. Sometimes I drank apple cider vinegar with honey that was great. Last 3days before I ate too much pistachios, But it’s till 2 days I’ve got headache allways painfull. I take too much medicines but nothing good. In future I left all nuts. Thanks everybody which comments on migraine trigger.

  40. Cathy – I am the same with 3am migraines; had this thing pretty much beat during adulthood, but at 55 or so, the migraines increased 10x or more. Sensitive to processed foods, nuts, not a big meat eater, don’t drink or smoke, and limit coffee to 2 cups /day, sometimes tea instead. Processed foods of every kind are guarantee of headache for me. Excedrine or Bayer’s migraine formula work as long as I get it soon enough (kept by the bedside with water, but rarely used). RX “Maxalt” helped for a while, but it also has to be taken early, and I don’t want to escalate it by taking too much. I can go a week or two between headaches if I watch what I ingest, smell, etc. Aside from migraines I am good.

  41. I have been a migraineur for over 15 years. I have tried everything, even Botox and accupuncture, and nothing worked. My migraines occurred daily. A headache specialist told me I was suffering from rebound headaches as a result of taking zomig (migraine killer) at the onset of every headache. I stopped the zomig and my migraines came less frequently. Recently I was advised to see if i could possibly be gluten sensitive, as gluten has been known to trigger migraines. I stopped taking breads, pasta, flour products, anything with gluten, and YES! My migraines disappeared. However, I am still sensitive to a lot of food triggers, like alcohol, all kinds of nuts, processed foods, bananas, aged cheeses. I am very careful with what I eat. Lack of sleep, colognes, bright lights, also trigger in me a headache. You have to be one step ahead of the migraine game…all the time. You have to control it, not the other way around.

  42. 40 =+ years of migraines nad have just recently found that nuts are a problem for me. I have been having the headaches start in the wee of the morning for several years. I found a link to barametric pressure. The days I am woken up from the pain, I check the weather. The pressure has always dropped in the middle of the night. Frustrating because I have no control over these headaches. I am at the mercy of the weather.

  43. My husband often gets his migraines at the same time – 4AM, lately. Some months ago, it was 2AM. His migraines turned chronic about 13 months ago. Previously had been a few to several every month. Now they are nearly every day. At first the nightly migraines woke him up out of a nightmare at the same time every night. Neurologist said they were hypnic or “alarm clock” headaches, but the characteristics have changed since then.

    1. Migraines sometimes come at specific times of day and that time of day can change. Hypnic headaches do not have the same characteristics as migraine attacks — they are different disorders with slightly different treatments (,, The most important step right now is to find out if your husband has hypnic headache or migraine, then to treat the disorder accordingly. I recommend seeing a headache specialist rather than a general neurologist. Good resources for finding one are,,

      I first sought treatment because of horrendous headaches that woke me up nightly four hours after I fell asleep each night. Even though they woke me up at night, the didn’t have other characteristics of hypnic headache. Not long after that, they changed.

      A lot of people (including me) report vivid dreams or nightmares during migraine attacks.

    2. I have had migraines 50+ years but rarely woke up with headache until menopause. Then i would wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. with a killer. That no longer happens but I still have a headache when i wake up almost every morning. One or two cups of tea and I am okay for awhile. I suspect that one contributor to middle of night or morning migraine may be arthritis of neck….which I also have. Staying off computer and doing exercises for neck arthritis helps that. Also finding the right pillow. I am always buying new pillows….for that and bc of allergies.

  44. I am just starting to make a serious attempt to figure out my food migraine triggers after suffering for 11 years (began at the onset of menopause). After only a few weeks of careful monitoring, it appears that nuts are high on the suspect list. However, I am wondering about the significance of the fact that I ALWAYS get my migraines beginning around 3AM. Anyone have anything to share about that phenomenon?

  45. I get headaches from dry roasted peanuts and almonds. If they’re fried in oil, like cocktail peanuts, I’m fine.

  46. Wow, I’ve suffered from migraines for 30 years, been to several doctors, taken a slew of tests, all to no avail. I was sitting on the couch today, after taking yet another day off work because of my debilitating migraines, mulling over yet again what the culprit could be. I suddenly realized that the one thing I love might be the problem. Peanuts. So I muster enough energy to get to the computer and I was shocked by all the people sensitive to nuts, so starting today, I will no longer eat nuts of any kind, at least for a few months to see what happens. But the thing that bothers me is that most of my debilitating migraines occur Saturday morning or sometime on the weekend. That’s why I’ve always thought my migraines were due to the let down from a stressful week at work, but what can one do when one has to make a living and their job is stressful. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I will get back on later to let you know if I notice the difference not eating nuts.

    1. Elaine, I hope you’ve found your trigger! Some people can reduce their migraines by simply eliminating a food (or a group of foods), while others have to dig a little deeper. Peanuts can be a trigger because of salicylates, or, possibly, oxalates; nuts can be problematic for these food chemicals as well as tannins. Still other people with migraine have no food triggers at all. My point? It can be complicated to sort out food triggers.

      Let-down migraines are a common phenomenon that’s unrelated to food triggers. They could occur from the release of stress or from any changes to your routine — sleeping more or less than usual, going to bed or waking up at a different time than usual, drinking less or more caffeine, eating erratically, eating larger meals than during the week. Maybe tweaking your weekend routine to be just like your weekday routine could reduce your migraines.

      Best of luck sorting this out. Please do keep us posted on what works for you.

      Take care,

    2. Hello Elaine!
      I see you have weekend migraines…..when you are at home and not work. It is possible that you have a “sick house”! This happened to me. I was in a house that we had built for nearly 10 years and was sick all the time and had horrendous migraines. My husband and I always thought it was allergies and my, thyroid, and Hashimotos. Then we moved to SD into a house that we had inspected before moving into it. So we knew it had radon. After moving in, I had daily migraines, and I am on migraine preventer meds, so I shouldn’t be having them that frequently anymore. After a month, we had a radon mitigation system installed in that house and I lived almost migraine free and my health was back to normal!! This scenario played out again when we moved 5 yrs later though this time to Iowa. Again, it was the radon. It never hurts to check these things out…

  47. I’ve been suffering from severe migraines for years and have to get Botox as a treatment for them every 3 months otherwise I end up in the ER from the pain. Giving up almonds made a bit of a difference at first, but I’ve been eating the Sunbutter mentioned and unfortunately that triggers my migraines too 🙁 Anyone else have a similar reaction? Maybe it’s because the sunflower seeds are roasted? I also react to nitrates, MSG, coffee (even the smell of it will trigger a migraine), fragrance, carageenan, etc!

  48. I have had migraines since I was a kid but only got diagnosed around age 40. Recently I started to eat almonds every day and have no problems with the nuts, and much less problem with migraines. Almonds are supposed to be a good source of B vitamins and magnesium which may help to reduce the frequency, duration, or severity of migraines (depends on who you ask). Obviously this won’t help if you’re one of the people who are sensitive to almonds, just pointing out the almonds don’t cause migraines for everyone who gets migraines. Same with caffeine, I’m more likely to get a migraine if I skip coffee (I assume it starts out as a withdrawal headache; can progress to migraine if I do nothing, or is aborted if I have coffee).

  49. Have figured out over the last couple of years that I get migraines for two reasons: pre-menstrual and 24 hours after eating any kind of nut. The nut ones can be mild or severe and are always responsive to ibuprofen (lucky me) but will return within 24 hours for following 3 – 4 days. Always associated with the pain is dehydration and nausea, helped alot by rehydration salts – or coke if I need a convenient alternative. No such problems with cheese, bananas or chocolate so doesn’t seem to be a tyramine trigger. I’ve tried the occasional tiny bit of almond just to check and yep – 3-4 days of low-grade migraine follows. I reckon my reaction has definitely got worse since generally cutting nuts from my diet – used to be able to get away with an almond flavoured biscuit, but not any more. Weird how such reactions work – the less you have of a trigger, the more of a trigger it seems to become. But hey, the headaches caused by a handful of nuts are severe and long-lasting and in the end, I can do without nuts!

  50. that’s interesting about the diet and the poison Jeannie. I got my first migraine in over a year last night. as usual, it came on slowly over the course of the day. first i was really tired for a few hours, then it creeps up and takes over until by the time i lay down to sleep there is no way because of the crushing pain. i think it started with the peanuts i ate. they are cheap too so maybe it has something to do with how they are prepared or processed. i am going to stay away from peanuts altogether and see what happens. i feel like my heads swells inside, like the tissue, (maybe sinuses) and i can’t breath as well and so less oxygen to the brain is making me tired. then it turns to pain.

  51. I was feeling fine until l decided to have an almond butter and jelly sandwich as l just bought the almond butter today.l couldn’t understand why l suddenly had a headache then l thought maybe the almond butter is a trigger and l came to look it up and l see many people have the same experience.Now l think l remember why l stopped eating it a few months ago.oh well …

  52. I an so thankful to have come across this. I have recently been suffering from headaches and could not figure out why. And now to realize I have too been eating a lot of almonds recently.. Now I know to watch myself when eating them and only have 3 instead of 13.. 🙂 one happy camper



  55. I do not realy suffer anytype of headache problems and have had about 5 migraines in my life.
    I had one last night and when I do get them I get them bad enough I find myself dry reaching most the time.
    I was trying to put it together and why was it I got them.
    I looked up this site and looked at what I had eaten in the day. I dont eat breakfast most days but had cerial with yes nuts in it in the morning.
    Then because I was home for the day had some toast and peanut butter for lunch.
    I then looked in the fridge and my wife had got me some boiled peanuts so tucked into a few of them latter in the day. Buy 6pm I was seeing stars.
    No more nuts for me in large lots like that. I thought it might be beer as I had suffered a few times when drinking a beer but what do we have when we have a beer yes a hand full of nuts.

  56. Re: seed butters
    I am almond and peanut sensitive and joyfully eat the Naturally Nutty seed butters. Sugar free too. Don’t let the name fool you, the company makes both nut and seed only butters.

  57. In my life I’ve eaten tons of trailmix, peanuts and almonds but never had a migraine until several months ago. Then I started, each week or two, being awakened in the middle of the night by a crushing headache which persisted for several hours. I noticed or imagined after a few months of this that while I had the headache I had a lingering taste of almonds in my mouth from the night before. I stayed away from almonds for a while, but they are irresistible and one evening I ate a handful. Sure enough, a huge headache followed so I stayed away from them for a few months until I decided that it didn’t make sense to think that almonds could cause headaches, and enjoyed a handful. Sure enough, a huge headache woke me up. No more almonds for me.

  58. I ate a lot of dry roasted peanuts about 2 weeks ago. Within 10 minutes I got a migraine. Today it happened again, with a half of a pb and j sandwich. I was going to try almond butter, which I like too…but now I’m scared. Did anyone else try the sunflower butter?

  59. tyramine is the cause of all my headaches. my doctor analyzed the food i ate which caused the headaches.
    tyramine is a protein in peanuts, and all fermented and aged foods,
    wine,aged cheeses, chocolate, also yogurt, yeast,
    sour cream, chocolate, and nuts have the protein. you can eat a little but if you pass your threshhold, its a splittiing headache and high blood pressure.

  60. Just a note for those who lump together nuts and peanuts–they are in different food groups. While both may be triggers, they are NOT the same. Peanuts are legumes; they grow in the ground. Tree nuts are (true) nuts.
    I don’t deny that both could be triggers for migraines, but it really is important to distinguish the difference.

  61. RE: B vitamins and headaches – niacin will cause headaches as it is a vaso-dialator otherwise known as the niacin flush and is often found in B vitamin supplement combos – daily vitamins with large amounts of niacin can cause headaches in some people – i have finally found a daily vitamin that does not cause me headaches after years of searching “Mulitbionta”

  62. peanuts and most other nuts are migraine triggers for myself and my husband as well as my oldest daughter. we have to be careful of what we eat and make sure its peanut free – id rather do with out then suffer with the headache.

  63. Got a migraine last night after eating alot of almonds over the past two days. I have had them from eating cashews aswell which sucks cause I love them. After reading this I’m slowing down on the nuts, so much for being good for you!

  64. I,too, have had migraines for at least 30 years. I am finding that some of these headaches are from a recently diagnosed condition called glaucoma. Never had a clue until my sister, who has had glaucoma for years, told me that the ones that come on during the night and start around my eye and eyebrow area are probably glaucoma. She was right. Now, I am aware that peanuts and almonds cause those that start in the back of my head and migrate to the front. After testing this theory many times by trying to cheat, I realize that I must give these nuts up and use my glaucoma drops religiously. By doing these two things I have eliminated most of my migraines. Still, I believe there is another trigger. Will try to figure it out. I love coffee in the morning, strong, dark Folgers and I love chocolate, the dark bitter sweet kind. I will be crying alot if I have to give these joys up.

  65. I have been a sufferer of headaches for a long time now, I was told they are not migraines but tension headaches. I never really thought about food triggers for them. I started drinking almond milk over the last 6 months because I love to eat a bowl of cereal and I cannot drink cows milk. Well the headaches became more frequent. I stopped drinking it for 3 weeks and noticed alot less headaches. So I wanted to put it to the test and had just a couple of almonds and guess what… Raging headache… Who woulda though…

  66. Just happend upon this site, because I was reading how almonds are the “end all be all” for you. Puhleese. If I read one more article about almonds… I think it’s a conspiracy. It was explained to me that it was the protein/amino acids in certain foods, i.e. nuts that trigger migraines. Have you seen the list of amino acids??? It’s really hard to avoid. If one is trying to build muscle… protein is essential. This makes for a very frustrating diet. However, everyone is created differently so everyone is affected differently. I know some mirgainers that can eat chocolate!!!!! wahhhhhh of all the things I miss, it’s the peanut butter. I do cheat sometimes I can get away with it and sometimes I pay. What does work for me… exercise, hydration and vitamins and of course sticking to the migraine diet as much as possible. Happy New YEar to you all and all the best for less headaches this year!

  67. I rarley ever get headaches, even reagular ones. One day I felt very tired and fatigued. The next day I felt the same with bad headache and light headedness to the point of blotchy vision. Per freak chance my coworker and I were talking about food and he said his uncle went to the doctor for sudden migranes and found out he was getting them because he was recently eating large amounts of almonds. Between the day I started feeling off and the day before, I had had eaten about 30 0z of mixed nuts, the second most in the mix was almonds. Small world.

  68. I loved peanut butter and ate a lot of it. I started getting headaches that would last all day. I discovered that it was peanuts that caused them. Sun butter is a product made from sunflower seeds. It taste very much like peanut butter. Try sun butter I think you will like it and no headaches.

  69. I have been blaming my migraines on caffeine and/or processed sugars for years. While it is true that processed sugars do give me migraine, I still had them when I did not eat sugar. I have recently stopped eating almost all nuts and have suffered 3 days after with light headed, nausea, dizziness and almost a costant headache. Thanks for this information!

  70. I am discovering that FOOD is a trigger for me. At least, that’s what it seems like. I have a new neurosurgeon, and he has a list of trigger foods. The common component is tyramine, and it’s in all nuts and seeds.

    I don’t know how I will survive without the peanut butter. I eat it every day.

    1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE nuts especially almonds but as of late I am getting way too many migraines with aura. I have been eating roasted almonds by the carload. I just love those things. Now I am going to remove them from my diet and see what the heck happens. I would like to take my brain and throw it out!

      1. I too have migraines. I thought nuts were giving me migraines but I also get migraines from certain seasonings. If the nuts have a smoked seasoning on them it will be that which gives me headaches. Try plain or even raw nuts before going without them completely.

    2. I’m allergic to corn and cashews. Has help me for years not to bave the headaches they caused.

  71. I have lately realized the cause of my headaches are almonds, I refused to accept it initially because I love almond based chocolates and sweets, also some roasted ones with my beverages. I have stayed away from them for the past 2 weeks and haven’t gotten a headache.

  72. Everytime I eat almonds I get a feeling of coming migraine attack. I noticed that water with lemon helps a lot. I asked my naturopath doctor about it and he told me that lemon helps to flush bile (some how it’s related to migraines)

  73. Peanuts have long been a problem for me and I’m now trying to figure out if I’m having a problem with almonds or not. I’ll be upset if I am.
    But I’d also like to mention that beyond peanuts, which are legumes, many other legumes are trouble for me too — peas, snow peas, lentils, so you may want to be vigilant about some of these closely related things

  74. May 26th, 2009
    I def. have a correlation between nuts and migraines – I can almost guarantee that I’ll have a migraine if I eat peanut butter!!!! Sucks, because I love it!!!! Also yogurt will give me a migraine – weird, but true!!!

  75. I work in health care and am like the cobbler’s kid with no after advising everyone else to keep a food journal, I finally did it myself and figured out nuts are the common denominator…the migraine does not start until about 6 hours after I eat them though. Both peanuts and almonds are triggers..well, hope I have at least one thing figured out…migraine’s are disabling me… i will try apple cider vinegar…I’ve heard that from someone else too!

  76. I to am victim of migraine headaches. Last year I was getting them frequently till August 23rd which is the date I started drinking 2 Tbs of Apple cider vinegar daily. I did not suffer from a migraine again till just a few days ago on May 23rd. The only things different I did was I had eaten a lot of almonds that day and the days before it. I also had tuna for lunch. ?? not sure if thats a trigger. I am thinking it was the almonds.

  77. I have been a mgr sufferer for forty years. In the last decade I have discovered that various foods are really problematic for me, including chocolate, alcohol and coffee. I was afraid it was the caffeine until it was explained to me that the problem with coffee is the OIL. So, tea is fine. Meanwhile, I have had all these mgrs since Xmas, when I started eating walnuts on squash for breakfast (I know, I am weird). I had NO IDEA it might be the nuts. I am off them as of now and will report back. Thanks for the heads up. Glad to know we are all in this together and battling it out with the monster migraine meister. -Kate

  78. I have had migraines for years..Recently i gave up almond butter as well as peanut butter…In the past 3 weeks of no almond butter i have had ZERO migraines?

    At the same time i gave all this up and it has been hard since nuts are in everyhting, i also began taking 400 mg of Riboflavin and increased by B12 as well.

    Now i don’t know which is the key…

    Any experience with B vitamins for migraines?

  79. Yep, nuts are a trigger of mine too. I can have some… but not too much. And I can’t mix them with other triggers.

    I really hate that I can’t eat too much of them. It’s pretty much the only protien that I can tote along with me if I’ll be away from the house.

    That’s the most frustrating part for me too.


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