Does Blue Cheese Really Trigger Headaches?

As much as we love food, it seems like eating is getting more and more complicated these days, what with all the things we're told to avoid. Many of us are gluten-sensitive, we hear (per Beyond Celiac), so it's best to avoid bread, pastries, and pancakes. Then there all the chemical additives in food that are no good for us, from artificial colorings that may make us hyperactive (via ADDitude Magazine) to high-fructose corn syrup which can cause diabetes, as Healthline reports. Food allergies, says the BBC, are at an all-time high, leading us to wonder if it's still safe to eat common allergens such as peanuts and dairy.

Sometimes ordering off a menu can feel like a minefield. And if you're someone who's prone to headaches, you may have already been dealing with this problem for years. Headache sufferers agree that certain foods and drinks — such as red wine, soy sauce, and processed meats, according to Everyday Health — can bring on a mild headache, or even a migraine. One culprit that's often blamed for headaches is blue cheese, but does it really cause them?

Aged cheeses should be avoided if you're prone to headaches

According to Everyday Health, aged cheeses are often named as headache triggers for those who suffer from migraines and milder forms of headaches. Among the cheeses known to cause headaches, aged cheeses such as Parmesan, Gouda, and blue cheese are said to be the worst. So is there any truth to this widely held belief?

Apparently there's something to it. According to Everyday Health, aged cheeses are high in tyramine, a substance that forms in cheese as its proteins break down over time. The longer a cheese ages, the more tyrosine there will be in it. Tyrosine is a known catalyst for headaches, especially for those who suffer from them often. So if you love blue cheese and other aged cheeses, but also suffer from headaches, it might be worth reconsidering your diet. "There is not much research on cheese as a migraine trigger, but it is generally agreed that aged cheese is more likely to cause a headache," Noah Rosen, director of the Headache Institute in Great Neck, New York, told Everyday Health.

For now, we'll sadly put a pause on delicious, creamy blue cheese dressing.