Golden Foods for Parkinson's Disease
As if there weren’t enough reasons to eat your fruits and vegetables! Not only do they contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber benefits, but new research shows that phytonutrients in plant-based foods impact your health down to your very own DNA!1
Each different color of plant-based food has its own unique benefits with protections that extend to a cellular level.2
Extensive amounts of research reports that oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to the development of degenerative diseases. But a healthy diet can play a protective role!2
Protecting our cells
As we age, the goal is to protect the body’s cells and tissues not to lose their ability to function optimally. Here come yellow foods to the rescue! These vibrant foods help protect your brain (think cognition), vessels (elasticity, lower inflammation), and heart (healthy blood flow, lower plaque buildup).3
Many yellow foods are equally rich in carotenoids—the plant pigments found in orange foods that contain cardiovascular, vision, and skin health benefits.3
Types of yellow foods
Go for gold by embracing your favorite color-filled foods. Yellow foods include pineapple, corn, opal apples (my fave!), lemons, Yukon potatoes, summer squash, and more.
The list goes on and on. For an extra dose of antioxidants, experiment with ginger and goldenberries — the true powerhouses.
Benefits of ginger
This herb packs the heat while adding earthy tones to every dish. With just a pinch, this foodie ingredient packs a nutritious punch.
It has health benefits ranging from antinausea to antibacterial to anticancer properties.2 An animal study showed that active compounds found in ginger could help protect dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease and has anti-neuroinflammation benefits.4
Plus, the polyphenolic compounds may help decrease amyloid accumulation - the creation of plaque that disrupts neurons (the working units of the brain).5 Include a regular consumption of ginger for a wholesome and tasty way to help protect from neurodegenerative changes.6
Tasty ways to use it
- Mince into marinated teriyaki sauce for fish, tofu, or chicken dishes
- Add it into green smoothies
- My personal favorite is a ginger pineapple smoothie, yet another yellow food to include in your diet
- Grate it into homemade cookies, baked desserts, or ice cream
- Blend with frozen mango and vanilla yogurt for the ultimate sweet and spicy popsicle
- Shred it over fresh fruit salad
- Add it to roasted tomato and eggplant dishes
- Enjoy a candied version as a sweet treat
- Put it thinly sliced and cooked with broccolini
- Try it brewed in tea
- Spice up a healthy crustless pumpkin pie
Golden berries for Parkinson's
Golden berries (aka poha, cape gooseberry, pichuberry, inchan berry) are the golden ticket to brain health protection. While all berries contain a wide variety of phytochemicals and antioxidants, the amounts are no match for goldenberries.
They are in an antioxidant league of their own!7 Like ginger, goldenberries contain phenolic compounds, which play an important in protecting brain health by preventing oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell death.8
Warning, don’t consume raw or unripe golden berries since they can be toxic. But, don’t panic. There are many foods that you can’t eat raw or consume parts of, such as raw potatoes or rhubarb leaves.
Experiment with these berries
- Add dried golden berries into oatmeal
- Enjoy them as a snack on the go with some cheese or nuts
- Top goldenberries on a sweet and tart chia seed pudding
- Add them to trail mix with whole oats, roasted nuts, and dark chocolate chips
- Mix them into homemade whole-grain bars or fruit crisps, cobblers, or crumbles
- Transform raw golden berries into a jam or compote.
Do you have a favorite way to use golden berries or other yellow foods? Spread the food-spiration and share your tastiest meal and snack ideas with us in the comments!
Do you participate in a support group for PD?