People who suffer from chronic migraines may want to adopt a plant-based diet.
Over one billion people worldwide suffer from migraines, which are characterised as one-sided, pulsating headaches lasting from four to 72 hours. They are often accompanied by sensitivity to noise and light and sometimes prodromal auras.
While prescription drugs can help prevent and treat the condition, researchers have now reported that abiding by a healthy diet and eating a lot of dark green, leafy vegetables may offer an alternative.
Citing the case of a man who had endured severe migraine headaches without aura for more than 12 years, the report authors advised him to adopt the Low Inflammatory Foods Everyday (LIFE) diet, a nutrient-dense, whole-food, plant-based diet, and eat at least five ounces by weight of raw or cooked dark green leafy vegetables every day, drink one daily green LIFE smoothie, and limit intake of whole grains, starchy vegetables, oils, and animal protein, particularly dairy and red meat.
After two months, the man noticed the frequency of his migraine attacks decrease dramatically, with the length and severity also reduced.
After three months, his migraines stopped completely, and haven't returned in over seven years.
"This report suggests that a whole food plant-based diet may offer a safe, effective and permanent treatment for reversing chronic migraine," they wrote. "While this report describes one very adherent patient who had a remarkable response, the LIFE diet has reduced migraine frequency within three months in several additional patients (personal communication)."
Full study results have been published in the journal BMJ Case Reports.