Beneficial and harmful foods for Parkinson’s disease patients

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that occurs due to damaged nerve cells, which causes an imbalance in the dopamine levels in the brain. Nearly 1 million Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a condition closely related to the dopamine levels. So, apart from being aware of the symptoms and the treatment options for the disease, it is imperative for patients to make the right dietary choices to get relief from the symptoms.

Foods to eat with Parkinson’s disease
Here are some foods that should be eaten to keep the symptoms at bay:

  • Foods rich in antioxidants
    Eating foods rich in antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress, which is defined as the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defenses. When a person has Parkinson’s disease, the reduced dopamine levels can result in tissue damage, but foods rich in antioxidants can help alleviate this. Some antioxidant-rich foods that should be included in the diet are tree nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, cranberries, spinach, and kale.
  • Omega-3-rich foods
    Foods like salmon, oysters, halibut, soybeans, kidney beans, and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve cognitive function.
Regularly consuming these can help relieve symptoms like confusion and dementia, which are commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Calcium-rich foods
    Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become weak and fragile, and it is also one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Increased severity of the neurological disorder is also linked to osteoporosis, so experts suggest vitamin D and calcium intake to help build stronger bones. Some foods that are great sources of calcium are sardines, canned salmon, beans and lentils, almonds, broccoli, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.
  • Co-enzyme Q10
    The enzyme is naturally present in small amounts in a wide range of foods like oily fish, soya oil, offal, and beef and can help relieve the symptoms of this neurological disease.
  • Foods to avoid with Parkinson’s disease
    It is also important to know which foods to stay away from to avoid worsening the disorder. The following is a list of foods that one should keep off their plates if suffering from Parkinson’s disease:

    • Dairy
      Studies have shown that Parkinson’s disease patients who consume dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk face a higher risk of worsening the symptoms. Medical researchers suggest that consuming dairy could reduce uric acid levels, which increases the risk of Parkinson’s.
    • Iron
      It can bind with Parkinson’s disease medications, reducing the amount of medication absorbed by the system.
    • Vitamin B6
      The nutrient can interact with Parkinson’s disease medications and reduce their effects. However, health experts suggest that this might not be possible if an individual is taking a combination of medications to fight the disease.

    The symptoms can vary from one person to another, so the type of diet and treatment approach also differ accordingly. It is imperative to discuss which foods should be included in or left out of the diet to help ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

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    Beneficial and harmful foods for Parkinson’s disease patients