Migraines are characterized by intense headaches, sensitivity to light, throbbing pain and sometimes even nausea or vomiting. They can be very disruptive to daily life, especially in those who experience chronic migraines. Many people have identified triggers for their migraines and avoid certain foods like chocolate or cheese. But is there a way of eating that can prevent them entirely or decrease their intensity?
Rather than avoiding one or two trigger foods, a study showed that following a plant-based, high-fiber, low-fat diet may play an important role in decreasing migraine pain.
The study looked at 42 adult migraine sufferers. They were assigned to a low-fat, plant-based diet or to take a placebo supplement for 4 months. During the diet period, an elimination diet to avoid common trigger foods was implemented towards the end. After a washout period, the participants then switched protocols.
Results showed that the severity of the headache pain improved significantly while individuals were on the plant-based diet as compared to the placebo. Scientists speculate that the decrease in pain may be due to elimination of meat and dairy, weight loss, or beneficial hormonal changes that occur on a plant-based diet.
The relief from migraine pain was significant enough that many of those who started on the plant-based diet refused to return to their original diets at the end of the required time, even though the study required that they do so.
The researchers go on to suggest that the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of plant foods plays a role in migraine pain relief. In addition, eliminating inflammatory food such as meat and dairy may also contribute.
A great way to increase anti-inflammatory foods in your diet is to focus more on raw foods. A raw food diet is arguably the most powerful plant based diet as it not only incorporates the principles of vegan eating, but also eliminates all processed foods, focusing on alive, vibrant and fresh natural produce.
Advocates of a raw food diet, such as myself, claim that eating foods in their most natural raw state ensures a multitude of vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals are available in our daily diet.