What To Eat and What To Avoid When Managing Parkinson’s Disease
Learning to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be a challenge if you’ve just been diagnosed with this neurodegenerative disorder. With 50,000 people being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year in the U.S., thousands of individuals are just beginning to learn what to expect, what things to avoid, and what types of food to eat to manage Parkinson’s. Eating the right foods, combined with medication and healthy habits can help you manage symptoms such as rigidity, tremors, postural instability, and dystonia among others to improve quality of life. Here are some eating guidelines on what to avoid or alternatively, which foods to best manage Parkinson’s disease with.
Support brain, heart, and body health
- Vary your food. Eating different types of food will ensure that you consume the essential vitamins and minerals that you need to manage Parkinson’s disease.
- Increase your fiber intake. Consuming high-fiber vegetables and other food aids digestion, eases constipation, and helps you feel full longer.
- Eat more whole grain foods such as brown rice, pasta, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, or crackers.
- Eat too many sugary foods and drinks as these can negatively impact your immune system. Opt for naturally sweetened food and reduce your sugar intake to manage Parkinson’s symptoms.
- Eat too much protein. Consuming lots of beef, fish, or cheese may affect the effectiveness of certain Parkinson’s medications. Plan on having more vegetables and carbohydrates during the day and stick to an appropriate serving of protein at dinnertime.
- Consume too much sodium, trans fat, cholesterol, and saturated fats.
Tips to ease nausea
- Consume hot and cold foods separately and eat small meals throughout the day.
- Keep your head elevated to prevent upset stomach and chew every bit carefully.
- Drink citrus juices such as orange or grapefruit juice. Opt for anti-oxidant rich, non-citrus fruit juices such as those made from freshly pressed berries, mangoes, papaya, and watermelon. These fruits contain high levels of Vitamin C which can strengthen your immune system.
- Eat when you’re nauseous. Don’t force yourself to eat when you’re not feeling well. Wait until the queasy feeling passes, or eat food at room temperature to avoid getting nauseated by the smell of hot food.
How to manage other Parkinson's medication side effects
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration-induced headaches and muscle tension.
- Drink green tea, bone broth, or ginger tea to boost your immune system.
- Drink alcohol or coffee or any other caffeinated beverages to avoid having sleep issues.
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can help you manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Follow these tips to relieve symptoms and have a better quality of life. Consult your doctor to know what other foods you can consume to help you manage Parkinson’s.
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