One man suffering debilitating migraines that last 72 hours claims to have been freed after switching his diet to one rich in vegetables.

American man, 67, suffered severe headaches over the past 12.5 years. In his search to stop them, he tried all possible medications, as well as cutting out certain foods. 

The man was cured by a diet rich in nutrients, including dark green leafy vegetable such as spinach and watercress, within three months.

This man was 60 when he started the diet, and has been free from migraines for seven years. 

Doctors, who detailed the case in BMJ Case Reports, attributed his improved condition to the high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients found in the leafy green vegetables.  

A diet of full of nutrient rich diet in dark leafy green vegetables has been credit to curing a man who commonly suffered debilitating 72 hour migraines

One man suffering from debilitating migraines that lasted 72 hours was cured by consuming a high-nutrient diet, rich in dark leafy green veggies. 

“Given the pivotal role of a pro-inflammatory state and an oxidative status in migraine pathophysiology it is probable that this patient obtained relief and reversal from chronic migraines through increasing his phytonutrient intake,” they stated.

Before he began the low-inflammatory vegetable diet (LIFE), he suffered from chronic migraines that lasted up to 72 hours on any given day. 

When asked to rank the headaches, the man gave a range of 10-10. 

Two months later, his migraines were gone.   

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a headache that causes severe or moderate pain in one side of your head. 

It is a common health condition, affecting around one in every five women and around one  in every 15 men. Most cases begin early in adulthood. 

Migraine can be of many types. Some have flashing lights or other warning signs.

People can experience migraines often, as many times as they want in a given week. Other people may suffer for years without experiencing any symptoms. 

A GP should be consulted if severe, frequent, or persistent migraine symptoms are present. These symptoms can be classified as more than five days per month by NHS.

The exact cause of migraines is unknown but they are thought be the result of temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain.

Certain triggers, such as stress or certain foods or drinks, can increase or cause migraines in some people.

Although there are no treatments for migraines, the NHS states that certain lifestyle and medication changes could reduce or eliminate symptoms.  

The man couldn’t understate how much it made a difference to his life when he compared his old anti-migraine drug regimen. 

He wrote, “Most days I was either suffering from a migraine, or trying to recover from one.” 

‘If I missed the 15–30min medication window, the migraines would be a 12 out of 10, and I could end up in bed in the fetal position. “I was desperate.

According to the photographer, the diet changed his whole life.  

‘I can’t even remember the last time I had a headache. I’m no longer in prison within my body. He wrote, “I have my life back.”

LIFE is a diet that includes at least 5 ounces of cooked or raw dark green leafy vegetable every day and one litre daily of green smoothie. It also restricts intake of starchy vegetables, oil, dairy, meat, and other animal protein such as red meat and dairy. 

Dark green leafy vegetables are important overall sources of carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, which are phytonutrients proven to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress 

Before going on the diet, blood tests revealed the man had a normal level of beta-carotene, a red-orange component found in many fruit and vegetables, 53 µg/dl.

After a month on the LIFE diet this rose to 92 µg/dl then rising to 150µg/dl for the next seven-and-half years.  

The phytonutrients, which are naturally occurring compounds in plants foods that have been shown to provide various health benefits, can be found in food.

New Yorker Dr David Dunaief, one of the authors, stated that while the report only covered one case, the report highlighted the benefits of a plant-based diet for those with chronic migraines.

He said that while this case is about a patient with a very strict diet, the LIFE diet had reduced migraine frequency in many other patients within three months. 

“Prospective studies are needed to determine the impact of WFPB and LIFE diets on migraine sufferers.”

There was one drawback to this study: The man in the study was HIV positive. We don’t know how the HIV status of the patient and antiretroviral medication he was taking contributed to his symptoms. 

According to the authors, more than one billion people suffer from migraines. These headaches are described as pulsating, unidirectional headaches that last four to two hours and can be accompanied by light and noise sensitivity.

You can be classified as having migraines either intermittently, meaning they occur less frequently than 15 days per year, or chronic which means you have them at least 15 times a week and on at most eight days per month.  

According to the NHS, migraine attacks affect approximately one fifth of women and one-fifth of men.

Although it is not known what causes migraines, they can be caused by temporary brain changes.

According to the NHS, there’s no treatment for migraines. However medications and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms and frequency.


Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

According to the NHS, meals should consist of potatoes, wholegrain carbohydrates and bread.

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen as well as dried and canned are counted

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide