Citrus Fruits and Migraines

Can citrus fruits trigger migraine headaches?

Universally, citrus fruits have always been claimed to be among the most healthful features of any diet. However, citrus fruits can be a potent trigger for migraine headaches in susceptible individuals as they contain synephrine and octopamine that can cause flare-ups of headaches.  The types of citrus fruits that are implicated are:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruits

It is believed that some of the nitrogen-containing substances in citrus have an effect on blood vessels and have the ability to lead to a migraine attack.

Although it may appear to be a bit extreme for migraine sufferers to avoid citrus fruits completely, a careful analysis of the dietary diary is advised to be undertaken so as to establish a possible role of citrus fruits in the provocation of  migraine headaches.

Other types of fruits that can potentially trigger migraine headaches are overripe bananas and dried fruits.  Overripe bananas may trigger migraine headaches in certain people due to its high content of tyramine.  Most dried fruits are implicated as they contain high levels of sulfites which is another factor for migraine attacks. Migraine sufferers may have to opt for unsulfited dried fruits which are usually sold in natural food stores.