13 Surprising Things That Could Be Triggering Your Headaches

A screaming kid, a looming deadline, a smelly car—all annoying, but also potential headache triggers. Check out this list to help figure out why your noggin is throbbing.

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Pickled, aged, smoked, or marinated foods

Tyramine, a naturally occurring compound that can contribute to headache pain, is in a wide variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables. The highest amounts are in foods that are aged, marinated, smoked, or pickled—think sauerkraut, tofu, cheeses, and pickles. Significant amounts of tyramine are also found in bananas, (especially overripe ones—tyramine increases as the fruit ages), avocados, onions, and chocolate. The more tyramine-rich foods you consume, the worse your pain may be.

“As the proteins in cheese break down over time, the tyramine content goes up,” says Tania Elliot, MD, an allergist and internist and former host of the TV show The Doctors. “You’ll want to be careful with aged cheese like bleu, Gouda, and Parmesan, as well as other foods containing tyramine.” Here are home remedies for headaches that actually work.