Cold headache: can ice cream cause brain frost in the head?

Cold headache: can ice cream cause brain frost in the head?

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Is there a cold stimulus from ice cream that causes the so-called cold headache?
"Don't eat too much ice cream, it can cause brain frost," is a common warning from parents to their children. But is it really true or is it just a myth that persists. But as unlikely as it sounds, there is a spark of truth!

Myth "brain frost" through ice
"Brain freeze" is not about freezing the brain, but rather a stinging headache caused by cold, such as ice cream. "About a third of the population describes this too," explains neurologist Maike Hesse from Cologne University Hospital in the ARD morning magazine.

The so-called "ice ball headache" can be caused by a cold stimulus on the palate, in which the head muscles and vessels suddenly cramp, reports the Techniker Krankasse (TK) Lower Saxony. “But not only ice cream, also ice cubes or very cold drinks can trigger this effect. The colder the food and drinks are, the more severe the cold headache can be, but this usually only lasts for a short time, ”explains the cash register.

Those who are susceptible to this should either forego the cool enjoyment or try to press the ice against the palate as little as possible.

This cold headache is usually not dangerous and disappears after a short time. But if you are prone to headaches and especially migraines, you should be careful, because a cold stimulus can also trigger a migraine attack. Those affected should best refrain from eating ice cream or, if possible, not press the ice against the palate. TK also advises "to slowly warm up the creamy, cold pleasure in your mouth and only then to swallow it".

Allergy sufferers also need to take care of cool enjoyment. Many types of ice cream contain allergenic substances such as nuts and flavorings. While the packaged ice cream from the freezer contains information about the ingredients on the packaging, those affected in the ice cream parlor should inquire about safety. Information on certain ingredients must also be shown there on the ice maps.

Myth "Ice damages the stomach" Every now and then you hear parents say to their children "No, there is no ice now. You get stomach ache from ice ”. It is questionable whether these parents really believe in it or just want to avoid further discussions with their children. The fact is that various myths surrounding the topic "Ice makes you fat and causes abdominal pain" are rampant.

Depending on its ingredients, ice cream can contain many - but only a few - calories. 75 grams of ice cream contain around 150 calories as ice cream, around 100 as fruit ice cream and around 95 calories as milk ice cream. Milk ice cream not only contains comparatively few calories but also minerals such as calcium, vitamins and protein. There is no question that sugar is also included, so it is difficult to speak of really “healthy enjoyment” when it comes to ice cream.

If you want to pay attention to your slim line, you should avoid cream, nuts and chocolate in the ice. Fruit ice cream - without cream - is more suitable. Most of the time, packaged style ice cream like Magnum or Nogger contains far more than 200 calories and can therefore be classified in the “fattening” category.

If only natural and as healthy as possible ingredients in the ice cream are desired, the cool enjoyment can also be made yourself. Many recipes don't even require an ice cream maker. For example, children are happy about an ice cream made from fruit juice.

As with other treats, you usually only get stomach ache from ice cream if you are too much of it. The temperature alone does not cause any complaints, since the ice in the mouth is warmed up and has almost reached the normal body temperature when it arrives in the stomach.

Myth "Salmonella dies in ice" Salmonella is a much discussed topic, especially in summer, because the high temperatures offer optimal conditions for the multiplication of the bacteria. Eating foods contaminated with Salmonella can cause so-called Salmonella enteritis (Salmonellosis), which is associated with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. For healthy people, the infection is usually harmless and is over after a short time. However, infants and young children, pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system can become seriously ill. Symptoms such as fever, heavy fluid loss and rapid weight loss may occur that require prompt hospital treatment.

Salmonella are extremely tough and survive even in the freezer. If ice cream is contaminated with salmonella, the bacteria do not die in the freezer, but can continue to multiply as soon as the ice is removed from the refrigerator. The risk of salmonella is particularly high with soft ice cream from the machine on the street corner or on the hustle and bustle. (sb)

Author and source information

Video: Whats behind ice cream headaches? (June 2022).