Eating a banana can cause migraines

Purely a matter of form, episode 2 : Proper nutrition for migraines

There is something like a rule of thumb: anyone who has severe headaches for more than 15 days a month suffers from chronic migraines. The doctor can determine whether it is this type of persistent headache or whether the attacks are side effects, i.e. whether they have a neurological cause. The question is: what other than medication can help? And what is considered a trigger?

Internist Anne Fleck sees factors such as psychological stress, fatigue and hormonal imbalance as a decisive reason. “For me there is no doubt that diet is a triggering factor. Clinical experience shows: “The more food is processed, preserved and fermented, the more problems it causes migraine patients. The fresher and untreated, the better tolerated.

Cheese, says Anne Fleck, is a negative example. Two ingredients are considered problematic: tyramine and phenylethylamine. Both release messenger substances in the body that act as stress triggers in the brain. Well-matured or fermented cheeses - Camembert, Brie, mountain cheese, Gruyère, Roquefort, Gorgonzola - and wine, especially Riesling or Chianti, or even sherry, have a high proportion of tyramine.

Another trigger is refined sugar. Goodbye, commercial cakes, tarts, cookies, ice cream, candies and especially: chocolate. "For migraine sufferers, dark chocolate is even worse than milk chocolate," says Anne Fleck. A recent study on 100 patients states that the consumption of chocolate was a frequent trigger of migraines in 75 percent of the test persons. Ripened cheese was recognized as a trigger in almost half.

Fruits and vegetables can cause headaches

Histamine, says Fleck, can also be such a problematic messenger substance. Red wine, for example, has a histamine content that is up to 200 times higher than that of white wine. Matured sausages such as salami are similarly problematic. Worse, not all fruits and vegetables get migraineurs. Strawberries, raspberries, bananas, citrus fruits are among the foods that release histamine. Tomatoes, spinach, aubergines, sauerkraut, avocado can be the wrong choice - depending on the individual tolerance. Fleck: “There is a discussion in medicine as to whether migraines are also promoted by food allergies. Whether someone reacts to certain foods with migraines is always a combination of several factors. "

Is there a recipe for avoiding the lurking danger? Doctor Anne Fleck recommends avoiding the classic, well-known migraine foods. It is best to try out what you actually react to with headache attacks under nutritional guidance.

Glutamate-containing finished products are also considered suspicious

In children, it was found that chocolate and oranges in particular caused problems, as did tartrazine, an artificial color found in gummy bears, among other things. Ready-made products containing glutamate, including canned goods, are also suspect, coffee or cola, because caffeine releases adrenaline.

Fleck's advice is simply to prepare dishes from fresh ingredients: cook three handfuls of vegetables a day, consume two handfuls of fruit. And once again she teaches the patient about good vegetable oil with high-quality omega-3 fatty acids.

For people with migraines, she says, rituals are also good. Everything that reduces stress is useful: to plan regular meal times every day, for example, and to take your time with meals, to consciously incorporate rest periods, to get enough sleep, to learn relaxation techniques. Sport or at least regular exercise can also be a kind of relaxation. It is also important to drink enough.

Her last tip also takes a little time: "A food diary is a good everyday tool."

Recipe for a bulgur salad

Ingredients for the salad (4 people)

200 g of coarse bulgur

400 ml vegetable stock

250 g cucumber

2 beefsteak tomatoes

2 carrots

Salt, nutmeg, pepper

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley

1 sprig of mint


Roast the bulgur in a hot saucepan without fat for about a minute. Pour in the broth, bring to the boil and cover and let soak for 15 minutes over low heat. Let cool down, stirring several times. Wash and dry the cucumber, cut off the ends and cut the cucumber into small cubes. Peel the carrots and grate finely. Rinse the parsley and mint with cold water, pat dry, pluck the leaves from the stalks and cut finely.

The dressing

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp light balsamic vinegar

Salt, pepper, sugar, cumin

Mix together salt, pepper, sugar, cumin and vinegar, fold in the oil. Mix the prepared ingredients with the sauce.

Attention: In the case of migraines - depending on individual tolerance - the tomatoes should possibly be left out

Nutritional values ​​per serving: 390 kcal, 8 g protein, 12 g fat, 38 g carbohydrates

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