Why We Get Ice Cream Brain Freeze?

Why we get ice cream brain freeze? Brain freeze conditions occur in blood vessels. When drinking or eating, liquid or food touches the palate before being swallowed. When something very cold such ice cream touches in the center of the palate, the cold temperatures will affect certain nerves which control the reflexes of the anterior cerebral artery wall.

Reflexes will dilate or narrow the vessels to work when exposed to temperature differences in the oral cavity. When cold food or liquid touches the center of the palate, the nerve responds and triggers blood vessels in the head to expand.  It's causing a surge of blood flow in the area of the vessel. Its rapid enlargement causes the head to have a headache and brain freeze.

Eat ice cream slowly to avoid brain freeze.
image by Geraly/Pixabay.

The skull has a closed structure. The sudden increase in blood flow can increase the pressure inside the skull and cause pain associated with the brain freeze or other headaches. The researchers say, rapid changes in the bloodstream, or brain freeze events, could be a natural survival mechanism in humans, which is to ensure the brain stays warm.

Brain freeze or headaches due to eating ice cream can be a cure without the need for complicated medical treatment. The frozen brain can usually disappear quickly (between 30-60 seconds) after a cold food or drink in the mouth is swallowed. Or you can also do the following easy steps:

  1. Touch the tongue to the palate to warm the part. This step is thought to alleviate the surge in blood flow to the head.
  2. Drink warm water. Take a sip of warm water slowly and hold it for a moment around the mouth to warm the palate.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with your palms, then take and exhale into the palm. It will keep a warm breath in the hand and increase the temperature in the mouth.
  4. Stick your thumb to the roof of the mouth. When the brain is frozen, the body temperature is much higher than the temperature in the mouth. But, make sure your thumb is clean by washing it first.
It is recommended to eat ice cream or other cold drinks slowly to avoid brain freeze.

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