Is There A Connection Between
Cheese and Migraine Headaches?

On August 31, 2012, the Today Show posted an article on their website entitled, “Why cheese, coffee may be causing your headache.” In it, they said, “You may love all that’s smoked, pickled, dried or aged–salami, aged cheeses, and smoked salmon–but they may not be loving you back. Those foods tend to contain sulfites, which may dilate your blood vessels and cause a headache, says Alexander Mauskop, MD, director of the New York Headache Center.”


Do other sources agree that cheese
is a cause of migraine headaches?

1. “Some migraines appear to be triggered by certain foods. Common offenders include alcohol, especially beer and red wine; aged cheeses; chocolate; aspartame; overuse of caffeine; monosodium glutamate — a key ingredient in some Asian foods; salty foods; and processed foods.” “Migraine Causes”, Mayo Clinic.

2. “Seymour Diamond, MD, founder of The Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, says more than a quarter of migraine sufferers have specific triggers, including food. “One of the most common triggers is aged cheese,” Diamond tells WebMD…The trouble with aged cheese is that it’s high in tyramine, a substance that forms from the breakdown of protein in certain foods. The longer a food ages, the greater the tyramine content is.” “Fighting food-related headaches”, WebMD.com.

3. “The tyramine connection was discovered by a British pharmacist whose wife was taking an monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). He noticed that every time they had a meal with cheese, she would get a severe headache. Cheese, especially aged cheese, contains substantial amount of tyramine.” “Hypertensive crisis and cheese”, Indian J Psychiatry. 2009 Jan-Mar; 51(1): 65–66.

Wellness Secrets’ Dairy Free Cheese Alternative:

We use cashew cheese as a dairy free alternative to cheese pizza. This helps eliminate eating dairy cheese, which is a cause of migraine headaches.

During our hands on vegetarian cooking class in our 5 day lifestyle live-in program, health guests make dairy free vegan cheese. Here’s one of our recipes:

Place in a blender, and blend all ingredients together until smooth:
1C Cashews or Blanched Almonds
1 1/4C Water
1T Tahini
2t Onion Powder
1t Salt
1/4C “Mezzetta” roasted bell peppers or pimentos

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