What Is the Role of Parkinson’s Diet?
A special diet for Parkinson’s disease plays an important role in the treatment process, helping to control symptoms and improve well-being. Also, an important fact is that a properly selected diet can affect the effectiveness of drugs used in the treatment of this disease and speed up the process of achieving remission.
Since, according to the research of scientists, Parkinson’s disease is associated with a lack of dopamine in the body, one of the treatment methods for Parkinson’s disease is to maintain a diet with an increase in dopamine, sometimes it is even advised to pay attention to foods containing high amounts of antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative stress in the brain.
Unfortunately, medical research suggests that approximately 60,000 US residents are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year. Among the common symptoms of this ailment are muscle stiffness, loss of smell, trembling of the limbs, increased fatigue, and disorders of the vegetative nervous system. Most often, this disease is diagnosed in elderly people. However, there are young people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
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In this article, we’ll talk about the relationship between treatment for Parkinson’s disease and diet, which must be followed to relieve symptoms.
What Vitamins and Food Should Parkinson’s Diet Include?
- Vitamins B1, C, D, iron, zinc, and other nutrients are found in products such as potatoes, nuts, carrots, spinach, buckwheat, peas, red meat, egg yolks, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster);
- Vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid) are found in products such as cabbage, dairy products, rose hips, grains, fish, bananas, and berries;
- Antioxidant food is contained in parsley, artichoke, green tea, turmeric, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, and cherries.
Beans сan help treat Parkinson’s disease. Fava beans contain levodopa, which is an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Although there has been no research into effectively treating the disease with beans, but the research suggests that beans can help improve exercise performance without side effects.
Vitamins B1, C, D, iron, zinc, and other nutrients. Research from Trusted Source suggests that people with this condition are deficient in vitamins B1, C, D, iron, zinc, and other nutrients. The lack of these substances may be associated with neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration, which are key points in Parkinson’s disease.
Vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid). Also, foods containing certain vitamins and nutrients also help improve the course of the disease. Food should contain B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid), they are involved in the regulation of metabolism in the nervous tissue and participate in increasing dopamine in the human body. Folic acid and B12 reduce the amount of the amino acid homocysteine, which will be useful in the treatment of this disease since it is the amino acid homocysteine that is believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease.
In addition, these vitamins positively affect the mood of those suffering from these ailments.
Vitamins are Important Components in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
Let’s take a closer look at which vitamins are an important component in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and in which foods you can find them.
|Vitamins||Foods containing these vitamins|
|Vitamins B1 (thiamine)||Contained in potatoes, oatmeal, nuts, carrots, spinach, buckwheat, peas
whole wheat bread
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||Contained in eggs, cabbage, dairy products, rose hips|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||Contained in obtained from grains, meat, fish, bananas, potatoes, berries|
|Vitamin B9 (folic acid)||Folic acid (B9) is found in dark green vegetables (spinach, asparagus, lettuce), avocados, beans (less in egg yolks)|
|Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)||Can be found in fish, soybeans, seaweed liver
|Vitamins C, A (antioxidants)||fruits and berries; especially bright colors – red, yellow, black (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, black currants, red peppers, beets, carrots)
|Vitamin E||Contained in unrefined vegetable oils, egg yolks|
|Vitamin D||oily fish
They are found in parsley, artichoke, cabbage, beans, green tea, turmeric, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, and cherries.
Oxidative stress is damage caused by unstable molecules in the body when there are more than needed, which can cause damage to adipose tissue, DNA, and proteins. Some of the studies that have been carried out indicate the influence of the oxidative process and the disappearance of the condition in Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, antioxidants should be included in the diet to control the level of unstable molecules.
Let’s summarize what you need to eat with Parkinson’s disease:
- Fruits, vegetables, herbs, potatoes, nuts, various seeds;
- Red meat;
- Fish (river and sea) and seafood;
- Fermented milk products;
Let’s summarize what foods containing useful substances that need to be included in the diet for Parkinson’s disease:
- The patient’s diet should include fruits, vegetables, herbs, potatoes, nuts, various seeds;
- Legumes – recommended in the early stages of the disease, limited when taking medications containing levodopa. Brussels sprouts and broccoli should be discarded because, for all their usefulness, they contain lutein, which increases the risk of developing the disease;
- Butter is rich in animal fat, it is recommended to replace it with vegetable oils – sunflower, olive – for dressing salads and frying;
- Red meat contains a large amount of iron, which is safe and necessary under normal conditions. But in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, excess iron has a toxic effect on neurons, accelerating the progression of the disease. White meat (turkey, rabbit, chicken) is recommended.
- Fish (river and sea), shrimp, lobster, and crabs are limited due to their high selenium content).
- Eggs are one of the most valuable sources of protein, but they contain lecithin, which competes with dopamine for receptors in the brain, making replacement therapy difficult. Recommended in the evening 3-4 times a week, because levodopa is better absorbed during the day.
- Bread is best used in black, bran, and whole grain, but not white. Wheat – contains a large amount of protein and iron, therefore it is undesirable in the diet, like red meat.
- Fermented milk products, milk – contain animal fats, it is recommended about 150 ml per day, (low-fat).
- As for cheese, you can add it to the patient’s diet in small quantities, since it contains a large amount of lactose. There are studies linking high consumption of milk sugar and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
What Drinks Will be Useful in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease?
- Pure water;
- Berry juice;
- Weak black tea with little or no sugar;
- Still mineral water.
Particular attention is paid to fluids, as a lifestyle with limited mobility and weakened intestinal activity leads to constipation. In order to avoid this problem, you must include in Parkinson’s diet at least 1.5-2 liters per day, preferably with a mild taste.
What Foods are Prohibited on the Parkinson’s Diet?
Among such products are:
- The cereal that people are used to eating for breakfast;
- Fast food;
- Canned food;
- Carbonated drinks;
In addition to foods that can have a positive effect on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, theses are also a number of foods that should be excluded so that there is no worsening of the condition.
So, look at the list of the food that must be excluded from Parkinson’s diet:
- Trusted Source research suggests that canned food and sodas significantly worsen Parkinson’s disease. It has also been found that a large number of processed foods contribute to the development of dysbiosis and intestinal permeability, which is associated with the severity of Parkinson’s disease.
- Some studies have suggested that dairy consumption may have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
- The Trusted Source study concluded that low-fat milk may be associated with a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Research also suggests that sometimes there is a relationship between the consumption of yogurt and cheese and the complication of the disease.
- And also the consumption of fats and cholesterol leads to an increase in the risk of the appearance of Parkinson’s disease, however, the consumption of polyunsaturated fats, on the contrary, can reduce the risks of this disease.
Another important topic worth touching on is chewing food in Parkinson’s disease.
It can really be difficult for people who have this ailment, if such a problem still exists, then the sick person should be excluded from the diet:
- Solid food and tough meats
It is better to cook meat in the form of gravy or sauce to relieve the patient from suffering, and you can also give the person water with a meal, which will facilitate the chewing process.
Additional Tips for Foods That May Be Included in Parkinson’s Diet
Let’s take a look at some additional dietary guidelines for treating Parkinson’s disease:
- There should be 5-6 small (no more than 200 g per serving) meals per day;
- Heavy, high-calorie food is best consumed in the morning, leaving something light for the evening, this diet regimen is suitable for the digestive system, which works the slowest at night;
- The patient should eat slowly, chew food thoroughly. This will help to avoid nausea, suffocation and will give additional physical stress to the muscles of the face and larynx;
- A small portion is what you need with Parkinson’s disease;
- Do not drink sugary drinks before meals, this will weaken the appetite, which is already not expressed in Parkinson’s patients;
- In the later stages, when it becomes more difficult to chew, it is better to eliminate solid foods from the diet;
- The menu should be varied.
If you have noticeable weight loss, keep a food diary so you can keep track of how much you eat and what calories you eat. Do not significantly reduce calories from food. Even with little physical activity, tremors and muscle spasms consume a lot of energy.
- Can Diet Get Rid of Parkinson’s Disease?
Unfortunately, with Parkinson’s disease, no diet will help cure this disease, but dietary changes can make the disease easier to progress. The patient should consult a doctor for a special diet rich in certain vitamins and nutrients, which will help reduce the severity of symptoms and improve well-being.
- Can I drink alcoholic beverages with Parkinson’s disease?
It depends on the drugs you use to treat your condition. Alcoholic drinks can be consumed in small quantities with some medications, and with some, it is strictly prohibited. However, only a doctor can analyze the combination of your medicines and alcohol.
- What foods will need to be avoided when treating Parkinson’s disease with levodopa?
Often, in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, patients are prescribed the addition of levodopa to the diet, but some foods incompatible with levodopa will have to be excluded from the diet. These include beef, chicken, pork, fish dishes, and eggs.
- Does coffee affect Parkinson’s disease?
A 1968 study shows that people who drink coffee are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
- What vitamin helps to get rid of the shaking in Parkinson’s disease?
Vitamin B1, also called thiamine helps prevent tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. So, doctors recommend patients include foods containing vitamin B1 in Parkinson’s diet. Recall that B1 is found in pine nuts, pistachios, pork, sunflower seeds, green peas, oatmeal and lentils.