The Real Reason You Should Avoid Chocolate If You Get Migraines

Having a headache can really put a dark cloud over your mood. The dull throbbing can make going about daily life a chore. If headaches are a drag, then migraines are downright brutal. The Cleveland Clinic states that migraine headaches are a neurological disease that can cause debilitating head pain, extreme sensitivity to light, and nausea. Severe migraines can even result in a temporary loss of vision and leave you bedridden for days.

If a migraine has left you down for the count, know that you are not completely helpless. Everyday Health lists a few proven remedies for crushing head pain, such as sleeping it off in a cool, dark room. Applying a cold compress to your neck, guzzling water, meditating, and taking whiffs of lavender can help as well.

Whether these remedies work or not, your state of weakness brought on by your migraine may have you reaching for something that often feels like an instant cure-all: chocolate. But before you break off a brick of the sweet stuff, know this.

Chocolate was listed as the number one food that triggered migraines

According to a 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients, patients who frequently suffered from migraines named chocolate as the number one food that triggered or aggravated a migraine attack. One reason behind this may be because chocolate releases the feel-good hormone, serotonin, into our brains. A rush of serotonin may make most of us feel instantly better, but it might also be the activating culprit in the development of a migraine.

As stated by American Migraine Foundation, chocolate consumption is thought to negatively impact 22% of people who experience migraines. This could be because it contains caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine. These two ingredients are known to negatively affect those who experience both headaches and migraines.

We know chocolate can act as a quick cure for everything from a bad afternoon to a broken heart. However, with its headache-inducing ingredients, you may want to think twice before indulging. We recommend refraining from breaking off a sweet brick of goodness if you are at risk of encountering the brutality that is a migraine.