This is why the food you eat may be giving you migraines

Migraines are the actual worst. Take it from someone who’s had them her entire life (me). There are  so many possible triggers for these awful headaches that it’s hard to pinpoint what might actually be the culprit at any given time. But science has found a surprising potential cause for our dreaded migraines.

If you've ever gotten a bad headache, the food you eat may be giving you those pesky migraines.

In a new study published in the October 18th issue of the journal mSystems, researchers analyzed 172 oral samples and almost 2,000 fecal samples (yes, fecal!). They found migraine sufferers might harbor more bacteria in their mouths. So what exactly does this mean?

The study suggests bacteria could modify a chemical called nitrates, which are found in things like processed meats (think packaged deli meat, hot dogs, and bacon) and leafy greens like spinach and romaine lettuce.

Hold up — we shouldn't give up on eating our greens just yet!

The bacterias are also found in some medications, so it’s hard to tell which is the real trigger. Some people are just naturally prone to harbor more bacteria than others.

The study states:

“Bacteria in the oral cavity may contribute migraine-triggering levels of nitric oxide.

What the researchers don't tell us is whether or not they can definitively prove the bacteria does, in fact, cause migraines. But that would really be helpful in deciding whether or not to go for the breakfast bacon! For now, it's just a theory, though the goal of the study was to inspire others to research the link between the two.

We can only hope someone studies up on it more so we can be rid of migraines entirely. So what should you do if you suspect nitrates might be giving you a headache? One study co-author says to avoid the foods that have nitrates and see if there’s an improvement. At this point, if you’ve tried other methods without success, it’s worth a shot!