Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s movement. Certain eating habits are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. For some people with this condition, it may also be helpful to make dietary changes to control symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease can affect anyone. However, it affects around 50% more men than women.
Some common symptoms of Parkinson’s are:
- Difficulty walking
- Balance problems
- Problems with coordination
Parkinson’s symptoms usually develop gradually over a period of several years. Early symptoms may include a slight tremor in one hand and a general feeling of stiffness in the body.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that around 50,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year in the United States.
Diet is a potential factor that can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease or slow its progression.
This article looks at foods that can help a person reduce their Parkinson’s symptoms. Foods that can make symptoms worse are also studied.
The following foods can be helpful in slowing the progression of the disease or reducing your risk of Parkinson’s.
Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids
Some research suggests that fish oil may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Studies suggest that omega-3 fats can help reduce nerve inflammation, improve neurotransmission, and slow neurodegeneration. Therefore, eating more oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids or taking an omega-3 supplement may benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.
Fish and seafood that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include:
Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of other health benefits. It can also help improve cardiovascular health and brain function, and slow the rate of cognitive decline.
In addition to potentially providing direct benefits to Parkinson’s patients, omega-3s may help reduce the risk of dementia and confusion in general. These are also secondary symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Find out more about the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids here.
The most effective drug for Parkinson’s disease is levodopa. Fava beans contain levodopa, so some people believe it can help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Fava beans can help people with Parkinson’s disease, but it’s important that people don’t use them as an alternative to prescription treatments.
Not much research has been done on the effectiveness of fava beans in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease. However, one study suggests that consuming fava beans can lead to significant improvements in motor performance in Parkinson’s patients without experiencing any side effects.
Foods that contain nutrients that people may be deficient in
Some research suggests that people with Parkinson’s disease often have certain nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
The above study suggests that some of these deficiencies may be linked to neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinson’s disease.
As a result, people with Parkinson’s may want to consume more of the following foods.
The following foods are good sources of iron:
Foods that contain vitamin B1
The following foods are good sources of vitamin B1:
Foods that contain vitamin C.
The following foods are good sources of vitamin C:
Foods that contain zinc
The following foods are good sources of zinc:
- Cereal products such as wheat germ
Foods that contain vitamin D.
The following foods are good sources of vitamin D:
Foods that contain antioxidants
Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body. They are necessary for health. However, when there is an imbalance and there are more free radicals than necessary, they can damage adipose tissue, DNA, and proteins in the body.
The damage these free radicals cause is known as oxidative stress. This is a condition that occurs when the amount of free radicals in the body is too high, which contributes to cell damage. Some research has linked oxidative stress to the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Antioxidants keep free radicals in check, so a diet high in antioxidants can help fight oxidative stress. Therefore, a person with Parkinson’s may want to include foods rich in antioxidants in their diet.
Some good sources of antioxidants are:
- Blueberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, strawberries and raspberries
- Pecans, walnuts, and brazil nuts
- Spices like turmeric
- Herbs like parsley
- Cocoa powder and cocoa products
- Broccoli, artichokes, spinach and kale
- Citrus fruits
- Green tea
- white beans, black beans and kidney beans
A healthy diet in general
While the foods listed above can be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s, the most important thing for people with Parkinson’s to focus on their diet as a whole.
The Parkinson’s Foundation suggests that people with Parkinson’s follow the following diet tips:
- Avoid dieting and try to consume foods from all food groups.
- Consume lots of grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- Limit your sugar intake.
- Reduce your salt and sodium intake.
- Consume foods that contain antioxidants, such as: B. colored and dark fruits and vegetables.
- Follow a diet that is low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
There are a number of foods that can make Parkinson’s disease symptoms worse or make the disease progress faster. These foods include the following.
Some studies suggest that a “Western” diet may be linked to the severity of symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.
This type of diet is high in processed foods. Some examples of processed foods are:
- canned goods
- Breakfast cereal
- Ready meals
One study suggests that some of these items, including canned foods and sodas, can be associated with “faster.” [Parkinson’s] Progress. “
The researcher behind another study also suggests that consuming many processed foods “contributes to increased intestinal permeability and dysbiosis due to an overgrowth of Gram-negative bacteria”.
They add that there appears to be a “positive correlation” between this increased intestinal permeability and the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms.
The researcher suggests that this may be due to the neurotoxic molecules produced by these bacteria, which enter the bloodstream and cause intestinal symptoms that extend to the esophagus (gullet) and oropharyngeal cavity.
Symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and problems with language and smell are common in Parkinson’s disease.
Given that processed foods can be linked to the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms, people with the condition may want to avoid them.
Certain dairy products
Some research suggests that dairy products may be linked to a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease. For example, one study suggests that consuming skimmed and skimmed milk may be linked to an increased risk of the disease.
Another study adds that eating yogurt and cheese may be linked to faster progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Therefore, a person with Parkinson’s may want to avoid consuming large amounts of these dairy products.
Foods with saturated fat and cholesterol
Some studies suggest that dietary fat intake may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Although higher levels of cholesterol may increase a person’s risk of Parkinson’s, higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids may decrease the risk.
Therefore, a person with Parkinson’s may want to reduce their cholesterol intake in order to better control the symptoms of the condition. You may also want to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diet.
However, more studies are needed to investigate the link between dietary fat and Parkinson’s disease.
Foods that are difficult to chew
Many people with Parkinson’s have difficulty chewing and swallowing food. In this case, a person needs medical help. A speech and language therapist may be able to help a person resolve this problem.
However, if a person finds that certain foods are difficult to chew and swallow, they may want to avoid those foods.
Such foods include:
- hard foods
- dry, crumbly foods
- tough or tough meat
If a person wants to eat tough meat, they could try using gravy or gravy to soften them and make eating easier.
You could also try chopping meat into smaller pieces or putting meat in casseroles, which can make it more tender.
Having a drink with a meal can also make chewing and swallowing easier.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. It is characterized by tremors, stiffness, and difficulty walking and balancing. A person with Parkinson’s can also have problems with their coordination.
There are a number of foods a person can eat to help relieve Parkinson’s symptoms. These include fish oils, beans, foods high in antioxidants, and foods high in vitamins B1, C, and D.
There are also some foods that a person with Parkinson’s may want to avoid. These include processed foods like canned fruits and vegetables, dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and low-fat milk, and those high in cholesterol and saturated fat.
A person with Parkinson’s may also have difficulty chewing and swallowing food. As a result, they may also want to avoid foods that are difficult to chew and swallow, such as: B. tough meat.