For many headache and migraine sufferers, certain foods can act as triggers.
We received this question from a viewer:
Dear Dr. Manny,
I've noticed that whenever I eat red grapes I get a headache. Could there be something in them that is causing this to happen?
Alvarez said grapes are low in calories and rich in vitamin C and fiber, so they are a nutritional snack. But they also contain a substance called tyramine, a naturally occurring amino acid that forms from the breakdown of protein in food as it ages.
Tyramine can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can trigger headaches in some people.
If you experience this reaction, you may want to avoid other trigger foods, such as:
• Smoked or cured meats
• Aged cheeses
• Citrus fruits
• Soy sauce
• Red wine
• And certain beers
Research shows that tyramine in grapes can have a negative effect on certain antidepressants called MAOIs. Patients taking these medications should talk to their doctor about their diet. Keeping a food diary to see if you may be sensitive to tyramine-rich foods could also help.
The bottom line: Learn what your triggers are – so that you can avoid them.
If you have a question, email DrManny@foxnews.com.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.