For many years, I have been interested in the role of nutrition in our health. My reading convinced me that heart disease could indeed be prevented with good nutrition, but what has continually amazed me is the mounting evidence that a whole host of chronic illnesses can be prevented and reversed with an excellent diet.
My latest revelation is that the migraine headaches that affect millions of Americans, can be either reduced in frequency and intensity, and, in many cases, eliminated by switching to a whole foods plant-based eating style.
obesity is also associated with the frequency and severity of migraines. (2)
Both Dr. McDougall and Dr. Fuhrman have had good results by switching their patients to a whole foods plant-based diet. Many have totally eliminated their migraines, and others have seen the symptoms greatly reduced. Recently, I have provided nutrition advice to two friends who are migraine headache sufferers. Both have switched to a whole foods plant-based diet, one switched last summer, and the other made the change over a month ago. Here is what they recently reported to me:
Friend #1 -- “Migraines. As you know, I used to have them 2 or 3 times a week...and I'd lose a whole day and sometimes more because of them. I had one while in FL a couple weeks ago... However, I have only had 3 or 4 since September! That is a record for my whole life!!"
Friend #2 -- "I haven't kept you up to date recently with my progress, but I'm doing VERY WELL!!!Come this Thursday, it will be a month without a migraine or even a slight headache!!!! That is HUGE for me, as I would get them every 1-2 weeks for 3-4 days. I have not gone a month without a migraine in at last 1 1/2 years. So I'm feeling very confident with my diet. For the past 3-4 weeks I've been drinking a spinach, kale and banana smoothie every morning, so I start my day with spinach and kale.
Point being, I'm eating more dark green vegetables than I have in my entire life!!! This is definitely the key factor for me. I'm gonna stick with this diet for a while."
It is very gratifying to see the progress that my friends have made. Some references on the subject of migraine headaches and whole foods plant-based diets are:
1. Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times Newsletter, Newsletter no. 29, January 2007
3. Spierings EL; Ranke AH; Honkoop PC. Precipitating and aggravating factors of migraine versus tension-type headache. Headache. 2001; 41(6):554-8. Martin PR; Seneviratne HM. Effects of food deprivation and a stressor on head pain. Health Psychol. 1997; 16(4):310-8.