Migraine Trigger Close-up: Watermelon


Watermelon is wonderful this time of year – sweet, juicy, and crunchy. If you are out grilling during the summer holidays, it can be a perfect dessert. If you can get watermelon that is cold, it is even better. Consuming watermelon is also great from a health standpoint. The vegetable contains lycopene which is said to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Unfortunately, migraine sufferers can experience increased migraine episodes from watermelon.

Yes – watermelon may not be safe if you suffer from migraines!

Several health websites, including those of some prominent Universities, state that watermelon is safe to eat for those of us with migraines. This is only true under certain conditions as the fruit cannot be too ripe or unripe – it has to be perfect. The problem with perfect is that it does not leave a comfortable margin of error. As with other foods, aging is a real problem for those of us with migraines. After a certain period of time, sugars are broken down into alcohol and CO2. This process of decay also produces a biogenic amine called tyramine, which can be a migraine sufferer’s worst nightmare.

So what does “Unsafe” watermelon actually look like?

When a watermelon is a pale shade of green or white, it is unripe. If you consume it at this stage, you experience an acidic taste. For migraine sufferers, the increase in acidity may cause a migraine headache.

Watermelon that is unripe

 

If the watermelon is too ripe, it develops dark red soft spots as in the picture shown below.

 

Watermelon that is too ripe

It will also have light pink/white indentations that may or may not contain seeds. It also tastes too sweet, with a slight bitter after taste. If you see any of these spots, throw the watermelon in the trash. The spots are indicating that the vegetable is high in tyramine. When you cut the watermelon in half, it should be the same pink color across. If it is too red, it is also a cause for concern. You also need to make sure that the inside is not bleeding out into the shell as shown below.

 

Watermelon piece gone bad

Proper way to reduce the risk of a migraine

  • Don’t buy too much!
  • Cut the watermelon up immediately when you bring it home from the grocery store and place in the refrigerator. Only put as much as you are going to eat that very day into the refrigerator. Place the rest of the chopped up pieces in one or more zip lock bags and right into the freezer. This guarantees that each piece remains as fresh as possible.
  • Do not leave the watermelon out for anymore than two days if you suffer from migraines. In fact, one day may be the maximum

Under no circumstance should you follow advice that says you can safely leave the watermelon out to ripen for several weeks if it is not yet ripe.

*Continue reading about Strawberry triggers and how to safely choose, prepare, and eat strawberries*

**Click the following post to discover how biogenic amines like histamines from fruits such as strawberries affect migraine sufferers**

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Jodie
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Jodie

I’ve been trying to figure out the triggers of my 6 yr old’s severe migraine attacks which make him vomit. After logging his attacks and finding watermelon was a common and then seeing how fast it affects him after eating it I googled migraines after eating watermelons and I was shocked to see this! I would have never guessed watermelon but it makes complete sense now! Thanks so much for this site for helping us solve his trigger! I have a better understanding of tyramine now and hopefully he won’t suffer so much anymore!!

Sherri
Guest
Sherri

At first I thought – it’s not the melons that are giving me a migraine?! But after this past weekend and my body reaching to some delicious watermelon & honeydew melons. Migraine and throwing up – losing a day (out sick from work). I accepted the pattern that I wanted to ignore. Yes, it is the melons that are causing the migraines. I wondered if it was just me or are others suffering from melon too. Now I know this is a REAL thing. A bummer but, know your triggers!
Thank you for this information!

Viola Gabanowicz
Guest
Viola Gabanowicz

Well, like so many others, I get migraines after eating watermelon…bummer. I love this fruit and am grieving having to stop eating it. Used to be one of my favorite foods.
Additionally, want to “complain” on a different type of food, or beverage that I used to enjoy, in moderation, of course: beer…Do I ever miss having a glass of cold beer out on the deck, in the middle of Summer…Gives mi brutal migraines within 12 hours.
I HATE migraines!!

Ania
Guest
Ania

I was eating watermelons all my childhood, everyday in summer. But those were normal melons, with seeds ready to shoot on target or play with, those stories what happen if seed eaten, priceless. Melons I remember were sophisticated in taste, middle super sweet, and metallic cucumber near skin. There were the times, when I could eat only this for weeks. Since they made seedless watermelons, I feel, that it is pure sugar, or worse – cheap sweeteners, injected into poor fruit plus color. It tastes way to sweet and plain, without the refreshing feeling.Feels like a candida attack with fluids… Read more »

Becky
Guest

B-3 help any one or Anti-histamine like Benyadryl?

Rufina Alebin Ferrer
Guest
Rufina Alebin Ferrer

Same here, had some fruits for breakfast, watermelon and cantaloupe, on an empty stomach, and in a short while I had a migraine attack, so I goggled it.
Now I know better, I guess I need to do more research on foods that trigger migraine.

Joan
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Joan

I have not had a migraine in over 30 years, until today. I ate a bunch of watermelon over the last few days and a bunch today on an empty stomach and ended up with a blind spot in my left eye, followed by a terrible headache. So I googled the connection too and was shocked to say the least, to find others having the same issue. At least I’m glad to know what probably caused it. I’ll avoid it in the future…sadly.

Andrea
Guest
Andrea

Hi everyone, For me beside headaches, heart palpitation is also triggered after watermelons and many other fruits. My cure to this is 1 tbsp. of Chlorella and 1 tbsp. of Spirulina in 250ml water drink it up and it is gone in 2 min.

Ela
Guest
Ela

I am not a migraine sufferer. But I noticed that I suffer from huge, splitting headaches after eating watermelon, especially if on an empty stomach and in large quantities. Ironically it’s my favorite fruit.

MariAnne Bolton
Guest
MariAnne Bolton

OMG, was I so hurt and disappointed when I found out that watermelon will trigger migraines. I LOVE watermelon. I had to give it up. It hurts so bad. I hadn’t had watermelon, nor a migraine attack all year. Then last month my husband brought home the BEST tasting watermelon that I have had in a very long time. I enjoyed it. About 1/2 hour after eating the watermelon I had my first attack this year. Knowing I had been careful about what I was eating, when I did a process of illumination, I concluded that it could have only… Read more »

MariAnne Bolton
Guest
MariAnne Bolton

Spelling CORRECTION: . . .”process of elimination” . . .that’s a whole different world.

Johan swart
Guest
Johan swart

I do get terrible headacs from alcohol and happens round about after the third or fourth drink my neck are so stiff and shoulders like going into a spasm. Today i had watermelon and also google it to find out why i am having the same type of headach or megraine as when i had alcohol.

prachi
Guest
prachi

I can’t tell you how helpfull this information is …..I used to have constant migraines…but if I take regular multivitamins , it helps.
Recently I read that watermelon is good to prevent water retention so I started having it everyday and since then my life became hell. I got attack of chronic migraine attack after having watermelon,specially if i take it empty stomach.

This is why I endup reading this and got the answere of my problem.

alienredqueen
Guest

Weird…hubby and I both suffer migraines, and watermelon is not a trigger for either of us. I’m glad. I love my watermelon. lol

Nancy Cornell
Guest

I was wondering why my Sinuses killed me after eating watermelon no more

Maanaay
Guest
Maanaay

I love vegetable salads, specially onions and tomatoes and cucumbers. On top of all this, I love watermelon. Yes, I too get severe headaches if I consume watermelon. However, I do not get headaches normally at all and I am not a migraine patient.

Humera Rafiq
Guest

My fav fruit of all, I suffer with chronic debilitating migraines. Noe need to stop eating it.

Diane
Guest

Excellent info.. thank you for sharing.. I was not sure if it was the watermelon or iced tea I had started having this summer.. never had migraines before so often.. I narrowed it down to the watermelon and now am so happy to see the reason and that I can avoid them completely.

billy thompson
Guest
billy thompson

This explains everything, now I understand what was happening to my head. Boy does it hurt. I’m through with watermelon forever. Thanks

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

I’m Vegan and eat LOTS of fruit. I get migraines from time to time and I thought it was my blood sugar. My Dr did a test to check my blood sugar levels for the last 3 months and they were normal. The only thing I noticed was the afternoons I get the migraines are the days I ate large amounts of watermelon for breakfast and lunch.

Beth
Guest
Beth

I have the same issue with watermelons. Migraine and full body inflammation and pain. Is there tyramine in other melons as well?

Tudy
Guest
Tudy

I just had water melon less than an hour ago and I suddenly started having this horrible headache. I usually have very bad migraine attacks so I decided to search in google if water Melon triggers migraine and your page was the first. Thank God I’m not a fan of water melon cause apart from the migraine, it also has a bad effect on my bowels. Thanks a lot you just saved my life :*

Asaf
Guest
Asaf

Thank you so much for the information. I recently discovered that after eating watermelon I have migraine attacks, which made me search in google for it. I landed on your site and now it’s all comes clear to me…

SHARON WHITE
Guest
SHARON WHITE

I too ate a beautiful heaping bowl if watermelon, perfectly ripened and sweet. I had the Worst migraine in a very long time.
The only thing in common from the last time was watermelon. Who knew? Thank you for the info.

Susan Taylor
Guest
Susan Taylor

I’m 62 years young but have underlying kidney disease. Bought the first watermelon this spring, ate a bowl and refrigerated the rest. The morning after I ate it I was sick. Sick!! Serious headache, diarrhea and nauseated. I felt totally hungover. I thought it because we had partied a little out on our boat fishing. A couple of days later, I ate some more with the exact same effect! I’m done with the fruit! It DID trigger a migraine! The first one with complete aura flashing in my eyes. The second time, a total headache, no aura. Thanks for this… Read more »