Foods That Trigger Seizures

If you have epilepsy, you may want to be aware of the foods that trigger seizures. Often doctors are not well versed in nutrition and focus intently on the pharmaceutical interventions that will prevent seizures. However, there are many foods that can trigger seizures. Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify them in your diet when you have a very wide variety of foods that you eat and the seizures may take up to 48 hours after you eat the food to appear.



Gluten is a wheat protein. The problem with the way that wheat is processed is that it is sprayed with glyphosate, a neurotoxin prior to harvesting it. Therefore, you are essentially eating a small dose of weed killer each time you take a bite of bread. This is not good for anyone, but especially someone who has a seizure disorder.

Another reason to avoid wheat and wheat containing products is due to the fact that they are high on the glycemic index. Research published in the “Neurology” journal in 2006 indicates that one half of a patient group treated with a diet regimen that had only low-glycemic foods showed 90 percent fewer seizures. Fluctuating blood glucose levels can trigger seizures. All wheat containing foods are high on the glycemic index.

It is best to take all grains out of your diet and focus on meat and vegetables if you have a seizure disorder.

High Glycemic Index Fruits and Vegetables

The Epilepsy Society recommends that you avoid certain vegetables and fruits which fall in the medium to high-glycemic index range. These include bananas, mashed potatoes, mangoes, raisins and dates. You may want to avoid all starchy vegetables including sweet potatoes. Avoiding these fruits and vegetables will help to control your blood sugars, which will improve your brain function. When your blood sugar drastically increases, the neurons can become more excitable and put you at further risk for more seizures.

It is a great idea to follow a ketogenic diet. For more information about following a ketogenic diet check out the free digital cookbook, Bacon and Butter.

Monosodium Glutamate

A food additive monosodium glutamate, MSG, is often used as flavoring in a variety of foods. It is most commonly used in Chinese food. Many individuals are sensitive to MSG. In an animal study published in “Neuroscience Letters” it determined that excess MSG can physically alter the nerves of rats and lead to epileptic seizures. Even if it hasn’t been determined that you are sensitive to MSG, if you suffer from epileptic seizures, these can become worse if you take any amount of MSG. Therefore, it is best to avoid it if possible.

Ginkgo Nuts

A study published in “Epilepsia” in 2001 reported that consuming a great amount of ginkgo nuts can cause vomiting and seizures for hours after their consumption. Ginkgo nuts are commonly eaten in China and Japan. The study discovered that these nuts can trigger seizures even in individuals who do not have a history of epilepsy or any kind of seizures. For individuals with epilepsy, it is best to avoid these types of nuts because they may be toxic to your nervous system.



Dairy is a common trigger for people who have epilepsy. The casein protein is molecularly similar to the gluten protein and can trigger a reaction within the body. Casein triggers an inflammatory response in the body, which can impact the brain. In the clip below, Dr. David Clark, DC, shares an experience treating a child whose seizures were triggered by cheese.



10 thoughts on “Foods That Trigger Seizures”

  1. This is a really interesting article, I had no idea there were so many potential food triggers for seizures. Do you know how common it is for epileptics to have food as a trigger? Do those with one food-based trigger tend to also struggle with the others?

  2. My cousin has a history of seizures, I’ll be passing this page along to her! She is a huge fan of cheese – as she has egg and nut allergies. Maybe she has inflammation like the child mentioned in the video…. Thanks for sharing this info.

    1. I was really surprised about cheese. I can sometimes tolerate it, but I cut it out for awhile and then had some brie at a buffet and the next morning I had a seizure. I’m starting to see a correlation and realize that cheese may be why the ketogenic diet is only 60% effective. It allows for cheese, but some people may be sensitive to it.

  3. This is a great article, I knew about gluten triggering seizures, but I had no idea that dairy could trigger a seizure. It would be great if doctors would be more educated in the nutrition side of things, instead of always prescribing medicine.

  4. I’m always telling my friends (well, anyone who will listen, lol) that food is the key to health. This article really shows how much that is true. Foods can be poison or medicine, and especially if you are battling something like seizures.

    Great and thorough information! I was researching for a friend who suffers terribly and I’ve sent her the link to your article so she can try changing her eating habits.



  5. Hi Melinda. Now you have me worried. I love so many of the foods you mentioned. However, I’m probably fortunate in that I don’t have an allergy to any of them. But I ended up on your page because I have a little granddaughter with type one Diabetes, When it comes to foods, there is very little written about those people that suffer this insidious illness and what they should avoid. All we know is that she needs to be on a low carb diet. Hi Carbs sends her of the scale and in a dangerous situation. Do you think you could include the carb levels of foods in future articles? Thanks Jim

    1. I could, but I’m focusing on eating the carnivore diet. Meat has no carbs, so it isn’t something that I am counting right now. I also may have a salad, but the carbohydrates in lettuce is about 2 carbohydrates. It is well under the 20 recommended for the ketogenic diet.

  6. Hello,
    I actually suffer from seizures. I have done many many things. From the keto diet, limiting bread and sugars, limiting certain foods, taking cbd and other things along with vitamins and stuff. I have had for, well this year will be the fourth year. I have many doctor appointments but we are trying to do things natural. I have to take medication, although it is a very small amount.

    Just as many of you have mentioned, I would not have thought cheese to be one of the foods. Father had mentioned it once and turns out he was correct. As for one person saying how they love foods also, I would like to comment on that.

    I love cheese. I believe it is amazing and will cut it out right away. I have legitimate reasons that line up with cheese maybe being the cause, but we will see. I also have no allergies to any foods, only the change of seasons sometimes(winter to spring, etc)

    I just thought I would share this all with you.
    Thank you for reading.

  7. I’ve found that any food that contains High Fructose Corn Syrup will cause me to have a seizure very quickly after consuming it. It’s amazing how many foods use this product.

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