How Diet Influences Parkinson’s Disease

By Home Care Assistance, 8:00 am on

If you’re caring for a parent or loved one with Parkinson’s disease, you’re likely assisting him or her with a wide range of activities to help manage their condition from medications to doctor and therapy appointments. However, have you ever thought about how their diet can improve or worsen symptoms associated with the disease?

According to Denton County Parkinson’s care experts, a quality diet can help patients to live a more fulfilling life. With certain foods packed with vitamins and nutrients and others with beneficial anti-inflammatory properties, incorporating them into the daily diet can help minimize physical side effects. On the contrary, there are some foods should be avoided, as they can exacerbate physical symptoms.

Foods to Enjoy

While a diet packed with fresh fruits and vegetables is great for individuals of all ages, it can be especially beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s. Such foods are high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants that can clear out free radicals – toxic substances that can put more stress on the body. Also, fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, and can help to alleviate gastrointestinal problems, a common side effect of Parkinson’s.

People with Parkinson’s disease commonly suffer from bone density issues. They can combat this by adding plenty of vitamin D and calcium to their diets. When you go to the store, make sure to bring home some low-fat milk for your loved one to enjoy. Milk is the best source of both vitamin D and calcium per serving.

Foods to Avoid

Levodopa is a common medication prescribed to Parkinson’s patients, but when taken with heavy protein-filled meals, can take longer to absorb into the system. As a result, many doctors recommend eating protein heavy foods such as meat, fish or cheese for dinner, and carbohydrates and vegetables during the day.

Those living with Parkinson’s should also avoid cured or fermented meats or fish, aged cheeses, soybean products and fermented cabbage such as sauerkraut and kimchi. The reason to avoid these products is because they may adversely interact with commonly prescribed Parkinson’s medications, causing adverse reactions.

How You Can Help

You can improve the quality of life of a Parkinson’s disease patient by helping them to prepare healthy and balanced meals. The right diet can not only help to manage above mentioned side effects of the condition, but can help to combat nausea, dry mouth and insomnia, should any of these symptoms occur.

To learn more about Parkinson’s care for an aging parent or loved one or for help with care at home, call 972-468-6010 and speak with a friendly Care Manager. They can answer your questions about hourly or live-in care in Denton County and can help you schedule your no-obligation consultation.