IF you’re unlucky enough to suffer with migraines then doctors have suggested you should switch to superfoods to help with pain relief.
A migraine is a common, intense headache that affects around 10 per cent of the population worldwide.
The NHS says that one in every five women and around one in every 15 men experience migraines.
People who have migraines are usually treated with painkillers and are told to avoid trigger foods such as chocolate or alcohol.
Now medics have said that prescribed medications, diet elimination and activities such as yoga and medication offer little relief – but that dark green leafy vegetables could help.
Writing in BMJ Case Reports, experts revealed the case of a man who had experienced migraines for more than 12 years.
He had been taking medication and had also cut out trigger foods such as cheese, chocolate, nuts, caffeine and dried fruit.
Alongside this he was also practising yoga and meditation and nothing had worked.
He had been experiencing migraines 18-24 days of every month and the pain would start suddenly on his forehead and on the left side of his head.
The pain would last around 72 hours and he also suffered with sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting.
Medics advised him to adopt the Low Inflammatory Foods Everyday (LIFE) diet, a nutrient dense, whole food, plant-based diet.
The diet involves eating five ounces (141 grams) of raw or cooked dark green leafy vegetables every day.
These include so-called superfoods such as kale and spinach, as well as drinking one 32 ounce (907 grams) green smoothie.
He was also told to limit his intake of whole grains and animal protein such as dairy and red meat.
What are the stages of a migraine?
There are four stages of migraines, prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome.
Below are the symptoms for each, as shared by the Mayo Clinic.
- Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffness
- Increased thirst and urination
- Frequent yawning
- Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
- Vision loss
- Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
- Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking
- Hearing noises or music
- Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
- Pain on one side or both sides of your head
- Pain that feels throbbing or pulsing
- Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
After following the diet for two months, the patient said his migraines had reduced to just one a month.
The length and the severity of the migraines lessened and he was also able to consume some ‘challenge foods’ such as eggs and ice tea, which had previously set off the headaches.
The medics said that his headaches stopped after three months and haven’t returned in over seven years.
It’s important to note that the study was conducted on just one man and a broader study would needed to be conducted.
The experts added: “This report suggests that a whole food plant-based diet may offer a safe, effective and permanent treatment for reversing chronic migraine.
“While this report describes one very adherent patient who had a remarkable response, the LIFE diet has reduced migraine frequency within 3 months in several additional patients (personal communication).”
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