Despite a lack of evidence, there is widespread belief that certain foods are associated with both migraine and tension-type headaches, the most common type. More than 50% of migraine sufferers change their diet or avoid specific foods, according to an analysis of studies on headache triggers published last year in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology. As many as one-third of people who regularly get common headaches have reported a link between eating and drinking and headache, the analysis said. Although heavy alcohol consumption is generally associated with hangovers, that biological mechanism isn’t clearly understood, either…

Dr. Buchholz says he suggests to patients with severe headaches that they temporarily stop eating certain foods that appear to be linked to the condition. The tricky thing is that headache triggers vary widely between people. A food that prompts a headache on a day when a person has had little sleep, for instance, might have no effect on another day.