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Can Eating Onions Cause Headaches?

Last updated on January 6th, 2023 at 12:10 pm

Can Eating Onions Cause Headaches? Though an almost unavoidable part of our diets, onions have been known to give a lot of people headaches. Let’s find out more…

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Have you ever had a bad headache right after eating some onions? Well, you’re not alone.

There are lots of people who report experiencing headaches after eating onions. Some people also report experiencing headaches after eating a banana.

There are certain foods that can create an immune response in the person consuming them. You could also have onion allergies, which could also give you headaches.

All headaches aren’t linked to triggers. But sometimes, you may be able to tell what is triggering your headache.

If you find yourself experiencing headaches every time you eat onions, then that could be a sign that you should avoid onions. Knowing what your triggers are can better help you avoid headaches.

Why Do Eating Onions Give Me A Headache?

It has been seen that eating onions can cause headaches. Let’s first look at what we know about headaches.

Doctors haven’t yet reached a consensus on what exactly causes migraines. However, what they do agree on is that certain changes in the activity in your brain can cause headaches.

This brain activity ends up affecting your nerve signals and blood vessels. This is what leads to throbbing migraines, which for some people, can last for days.

Onion is seen as one of the vegetables that can cause headaches. While researchers haven’t yet decided why this is the case, people have often come out and spoken about getting headaches from onions.

One possible contributing factor behind this could be the presence of tyramine in onions. Foods that are rich in tyramine can contribute to headaches.

Tyramine is a naturally occurring substance, and is found in many different kinds of foods, including onions. The chemical structure of tyramine means that it is a monoamine.

An enzyme present in our bodies, called monoamine oxidase, is responsible for breaking monoamines down. This enzyme is also responsible for breaking down tyramine.

This means that foods rich in tyramine, such as onions, are more likely to give you a headache.

What Is The Raw Onion Headache Treatment?

If you have a headache from eating raw onions, then you can consider treating your headache. This is, if left untreated, your headache could continue to affect you for some time.

There are people who report experiencing headaches for days. So if you find a headache creeping up right after you’ve consumed raw onions, here is what you should do.

The first thing you should do is get some rest. If you have to work, then an over the counter medication for headaches can help you get through the day.

But where possible, try to rest when you have a migraine. This is as sleeping can help you feel better, and can often help headaches to go away as well.

You can also consider getting a head massage for yourself. You can massage your head yourself as well.

This can help you to feel better. Another thing to consider is how much monoamine oxidase you have in your body.

This is as if you eat foods high in tyramine when there’s less monoamine oxidase in your body, then this can trigger a migraine.

This is why you can consider lowering tyramine in your system. This can be done by changing your lifestyle.

Opt for more foods that have less tyramine, such as canned vegetables and frozen vegetables over onions. If you want to use onions, then keep them in the refrigerator before you use it.

This is as the level of tyramine goes down when foods are stored at a cooler temperature. Any fresh produce that you buy should also be consumed in two days.

Are Onions High In Tyramine?

Yes, onions are known for being rich in tyramine. However, they constitute an important part of people’s diets as well.

From salads to sauces, onion is an important food in many recipes. But if onions give you a headache, what should you do?

Experts believe that the reason tyramine can trigger migraines is as it causes the brain cells to release a certain chemical. This is norepinephrine.

When people have high levels of tyramine in their system, and their brain chemicals are also unusual at the same time, then this can cause headaches.

Onions are one of the foods in the vegetable group that are known for being high in tyramine. This is why some people get headaches after consuming onions.

It’s also important to note that raw onions as well as fermented onions are higher in tyramine. Cooked onions on the other hand, are less likely to give you a headache than the raw or fermented kind.

Can Milk Cause Headaches?

Drinking fresh milk isn’t likely to give you a headache. But there are many dairy products that are rich in tyramine.

Aged cheeses, for example, are known for being especially rich in tyramine. This is why consuming some dairy products can give you a headache.

Fresh milk is less likely to give you a headache. Also note that you can opt for soy milk as well, as it’s known for having less tyramine.

There are many kinds of cheeses that are rich in tyramine, such as cheddar, Swiss, Camembert and Stilton. You can also find cheeses that are less rich in thranine, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese and soy cheese.

Milk that hasn’t been stored properly in a cool place can also develop more tyramine. This is why you should always keep your milk stored in your refrigerator.

Can Eating Onions Cause Headaches?

Are There Any Spices That Cause Headaches?

There are some people who have said that they’ve had headaches after consuming spicy foods. However there is no scientific link that has yet been found between headaches and spices.

However, you should be careful regarding how much spice you consume. This is as if you go above your spice level, then this can result in you feeling hot.

Aside from needing to cool down, this can in some people, also trigger a headache.

What Are Some Foods That Cause Headaches?

Do you want to know about foods that trigger headaches? Some foods, when eaten at some times or together with some other foods, can cause headaches.

This means it isn’t just what you’re eating that’s a problem, but also when you’re eating it. But what are the foods you should avoid, if you don’t want to get a headache?

  • Caffeine: If you become addicted to coffee, and this is a real possibility, then you’ll need to consume the same amount every day. Consuming less can give you a headache.
  • Aged Meat and Cheeses: Aged meats have nitrates and nitrites that can cause headaches. Aged cheeses are rich in tyramime.
  • Alcohol: Withdrawal from alcohol is associated with migraines. This is more commonly known as a hangover.
  • MSG: For some people, MSG, which is used in everything from Chinese food to barbecue sauces, can trigger a headache.
  • Citrus Fruits: These, as well as other foods high in acids, can trigger headaches.
  • Aspartame: Experts aren’t sure why this triggers a headache. But if you get headaches from foods, then avoid foods and drinks with aspartame.

Can Chicken Cause Migraines?

If you cook and eat fresh chicken, then this is unlikely to cause migraines. However, food that has been left in the refrigerator for a long time can become unsuitable for consumption.

This also applies to meat that has been kept in the freezer for a long time. You should also never store cooked and raw chicken in the same place.

As long as you ensure that you’re cooking fresh chicken and consuming it within two to three days, you’ll be fine. But if the chicken is old or your dish has been in the refrigerator for a while, then you shouldn’t eat it.

FAQ Related to Headaches and Eating Onions

Can Eating Onions Cause Headaches?

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People have lots of questions about onions and headaches. Here are the most common questions they have.

What Foods Trigger Headaches?

There are certain kinds of foods that tend to trigger headaches in people. If certain foods lead to you experiencing headaches, then you should avoid them.

The reason behind why you’re getting a headache could be varied:

  • From consuming food rich in tyramine
  • As a reaction to an addiction, such as a caffeine addiction
  • After consuming alcohol, especially the following day

But what are the foods you should be avoiding? Foods that are fermented or aged should be on the top of your list.

Also opt for fresh produce that you consume within two days. Canned and frozen vegetables have less tyramine.

Aged cheese is a great source of tyramine, as are fruits like bananas and tomatoes.

Are There Any Side Effects To Onions?

Onion is a popular vegetable of choice across the world. And one of the main reasons behind this is the positive health benefits associated with it.

However, onions can also trigger a headache in some people. You should also be careful careful you’re cutting onions.

This is as when you cut onions, you are likely to end up shedding tears as a reaction. Cutting onions under water means that you won’t feel the need to cry however.

Also don’t leave your onions out in the open. Either use them up immediately, or store them in your refrigerator.

Why Do Onions Make Me Feel Ill?

Some people report feeling ill after consuming onions. This is as they could have onion allergies.

Onions are also known for triggering headaches in some people. This is as onions are rich in tyramine, and this can trigger a headache.

Raw and fermented onions are the most likely to give you a migraine. When cooked down, you’re less likely to get a headache from onions.

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