Parkinson’s and Food
Your nutrition and health are very important in your fight against Parkinson’s disease. In a world filled with complications and diseases, you need to be more careful where you spend your time and how you choose to live. Taking care of yourself is the first step in resisting any type of disease or flu. Even if you have an incurable disease, having a healthy diet can still increase your immune system.
People with Parkinson’s always fear the worst. We can’t blame them because this disease is very difficult and may cause depression. What we do suggest is that they eat healthily and exercise for the sake of their body. You can take medicine or any kind of treatment to reduce the symptoms but looking after your diet is basically an ideal way to ease some of the pain and complications.
In this article, we’re to give you a quick list of what things to eat and the type of diet you should follow.
Before we get into the details of this article, let’s give you a quick overview of what Parkinson’s disease is.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation:
Parkinson’s is a nerve-related disease that takes over your ability to control motor-related movements. You’ll find it hard to control your hands when they are in extensive shaking mode, or even other parts of your body depending on the stage you are in Parkinson’s disease. Patients find it difficult to move in severe cases and need help to walk around the room. Others may suffer from mental illnesses as Parkinson’s increases your chances if you had dementia.
Parkinson’s differs in its symptoms for most people. You may find some suffering from uncontrollable shakes in their hands only, while others in most parts of their body like their legs. It’s not necessary to have all the symptoms but in most cases, patients might suffer from all of them. It’s very difficult to determine the diagnosis of this disease in its early stages. It comes in low-frequency tremors that even the person with it doesn’t notice these shakes. A study shows that Parkinson’s can be diagnosed for both men and women, so gender isn’t a factor. However, statistics show that 50% of men get it more than women. Although it’s still diagnosed for women as well.
Another study shows that age is a factor in Parkinson’s diagnosis. Most people get diagnosed with Parkinson’s at higher ages like 60 or more. Although it's still possible that younger people might get diagnosed with the disease, it’s still pretty rare according to the stats. Young people with the disease have inherited it from their family tree, but it’s not always genetic-based.
Parkinson’s and Food
There’s no clear medication or well established diet for Parkinson’s disease (PD), but there are a few things you can eat that will reduce the symptoms and keep you in tip-top shape. Most patients try to eat large sums of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, and dairy products. Other foods rich in protein like meat and beans are found to have a positive effect on PD. Nuts, fish, and eggs are also very good, not just for your disease but also for your figure as well.
People think that medication is the only way you can reduce your symptoms and feel better in the process. They don’t know that food and exercise play a great part in your PD treatment. Indeed, medication gives patients greater results and efficient results, but still maintaining a healthy lifestyle will guarantee that small sums of medication will be enough to keep you going. Relying on medication alone will create bad side effects and addiction in the future. Most patients reach a point in their life that requires them to take more doses to get the same results as before. This only happens when you give up and let yourself go. Having people around to support you will give you the confidence boost to adapt to a healthier diet.
Finally, exercise is key. For some people at severe stages of PD, this might not be possible. That’s why you should take the step in exercising your body during the first stages of your PD diagnosis. Yoga and other physical stretching exercises help control your tremors and other motor-related symptoms.
What Kind of Food to Eat?
Eating healthy food, as mentioned, can increase your immune system and decrease the effectiveness of your Parkinson’s symptoms. Even so, it’s still not enough. You can’t expect to eat anything healthy and find results in a few seconds. There are some specific nutritious foods you need to focus on that will give you the results you need.
Increasing your consumption of foods that contain antioxidants is very important and useful for your PD. You can find antioxidants in food like tree nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pistachios. Other than nuts, you can find them as well in foods like blueberries, blackberries, and most of the berry family. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants are very healthy to eat, as well as spinach and kale. Eating lots of these vegetables will increase the antioxidants in your system and hopefully treat your PD.
You can also find results from levodopa found in fava beans. It’s the same material used to create some of the PD drugs and medical treatments, so it could be effective to consume it naturally. Furthermore, consuming Omega-3 will help prevent mental illnesses caused by Parkinson’s like dementia and confusion. This type of nutrition can be found in salmon, halibut, oysters, soybeans, flax seeds, and kidney beans.
Note that all of these foods haven’t been fully proven that they can be used as PD treatments. In some cases, they do have a great effect on some people but that still isn’t sufficient, to say the least.
What Kind of Food to Avoid?
We strongly advise you that you see a professional before taking any further steps in your diet. Even though consuming healthy food might seem sufficient, there are some foods that can harm you and increase your PD effects. Here are some food products you should avoid when having PD.
Try to stay away from dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt. In some studies, it’s been said that these kinds of food may increase the symptoms of your PD and make them reach severe stages fast. Although holding back on these dairy products will also put you at risk for lack of calcium. That’s why it’s very important that you take calcium supplements to make up for the calcium lost from your body. Some research indicates that the reason for your body’s defect in managing calcium in your bones is because of PD itself.
On the other hand, other food products that contain high saturated fat have been indicated as harmful to the body and your PD. It hasn’t been scientifically proven because some studies are discovering saturated fat that could benefit your health. Even so, there’s no harm in being cautious around this because you’ll never know what harm could come from it.
There are many ways you can treat your PD but not every strategy is effective. There are medical drugs you can take to reduce some symptoms and exercises you could do as well. Food as mentioned before could also give you a good advantage over your PD so keep your health up.
Technology has also put in the work to create several ways to reduce PD symptoms. Brain surgery is one of them and our amazing Steadi-Two is also very effective. You can use the Steadi-Two to reduce your tremors by using its cutting-edge technology. It helps you control your tremors by using a smart fluid that stiffens & works together with a counterweight that moves in the opposite direction of your tremor.