Watermelons, Cucurbita, Histamines, & Migraines

As migraine sufferers, we need to understand watermelon

One of the many important things we need to realize about watermelon is that it is considered both a fruit and vegetable, that inhibits formation of histamines. Not only does watermelon contain seeds but it is also harvested from the field. It is part of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash. Those of us who suffer from migraines should consider that an intolerance to one or more members of this particular plant family may mean an intolerance to many if not all members of this group.

Cucurbita (the Gourd family) from the Cucurbitaceae group

Watermelon: Food with Anti-Histamines

Watermelon: Source of natural anti – histamines

Source of anti-histamines

Members of the gourd family







Let’s look at this particular group before we zero in on watermelon. Fruits and vegetables from this group are great sources of vitamins and nutrients such as A, C, iron, folic acid etc. The less known fact about the seeds is that they contain a toxin called Cucurbitin.

what DOES cucurbitin do?

It inhibits a process called “histidine decarboxylase”. – That’s certainly a mouth full.  Why is this so important for migraine sufferers?

  • The process is responsible for the body’s inflammatory response. Cucurbitin prevents the formation of histamines. Most of you have heard of anti-histamines, drugs specifically produced to inhibit the action of histamines.

Histamines cause the allergic reactions you feel when eating something inappropriate. They let the brain know that something is wrong in the body. White blood cells are dispatched to the troubled area. Histamines could be causing your headache you feel.

Watermelon is a low-histamine fruit and, the properties of cucurbtin specifically prevent the release of histamines.

Wait, what does HISTAMINES have to do with watermelons and migraines?

If watermelon prevents the release of histamines, it should be good for migraine sufferers? Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

As we have discussed, tyramine build-up in almost everything that we eat is bad for those of us with migraines. It is not that we suffer from migraine headaches, but rather that the headaches are symptoms of the actual intolerance. In the case of watermelon, it may sometimes be alright to have a slice or two. However, this will depend on what state the melon is in. You can read more about how and when to eat watermelons here and how to identify tyramine here.

Furthermore, the reasons for our intolerance may be far removed from the actual foods we ingest. If you suffer from leaky gut or SIBO or other, the very reasons why you have a histamine or tyramine sensitivity and intolerance should be investigated.

Summer grilling

As summer grilling heats up, migraine sufferers will be exposed to histamines and tyramine from many different foods. Read these articles to find out how you can safely eat around important summer grilling holidays –   Memorial Day, and 4th of July. Those of us with migraines need to pay attention and avoid specific foods around this time.

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    Amanda Patrick

    Thank you for this article. I have migraines that are a result of histamine issues. I have always loved eating watermelon but I had no idea it could inhibit histamine release. This makes so much sense why my body would want to eat watermelon. Thanks!

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