Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that affects a person’s control of their body movements. It affects the brain’s neurons and can lead to symptoms such as tremors, shaking, difficulty moving and a loss of sense of smell. It can also contribute to development of dementia. Parkinson’s disease is not contagious or fatal, and while its causes are not fully understood, it is thought to be genetic in a small number of cases. Parkinson’s disease occurs in approximately four per 100,000 people in Australia with this figure rising to one in 100 over the age of 60. There is no known cure of Parkinson’s but there are medications to help manage it. There are also dietary considerations that can help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s. At Home Care Assistance, we know that diet plays a crucial role in healthy ageing. Our Care Professionals often help our clients with their grocery shopping and meal preparation to help them eat healthily. This article will look at some of the dietary considerations for Parkinson’s disease.
Which Foods Help minimise the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals and oxidants fall out of balance in the body. This can contribute a variety of health issues – especially for elderly people. Oxidative stress can also exacerbate the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
It is therefore suggested that an antioxidant rich diet is especially important for those with Parkinson’s disease. Antioxidants can be found in foods such as tree nuts, berries, spinach, and Kale, as well as nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes and capsicums.
You might also like to include fava beans in your diet. Fava beans contain levodopa which is often containing in Parkinson’s medications.
Omega-3’s are another nutritional element that is good for brain health. They can help with secondary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as dementia and confusion. Omega-3’s can be found in seafood as well as flax seeds, kidney beans and soybeans.
Managing the Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Diets that are often recommended by aged care services and in home care services that may reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s and other brain diseases include fasting, ketogenic, and other diets.
Intermittent fasting – which is controlling calorie intake once or twice a week – pushes our brain to perform in healthier ways, much like exercise pushes our body to perform in healthier ways.
Fasting helps turn fats in a person’s body into ketones. This encourages a healthy transformation in the synapse structures that are critical for brain health.
Two methods for fasting diets include the 5:2 diet or a time-restricted diet. The 5:2 diet involves consuming 500 calories per day for two consecutive days of the week, with normal calorie intake for the other two days. The time-restricted diet involves condensing everything you eat in a day into 8 hours. This allows your body to use the other 16 hours to burn fats and create ketones.
Like an exercise program for your body, it is a good idea to ease into fasting. For example, by fasting for one day only to start with. You might find initially you experience symptoms such as light-headedness or grouchiness, but these will settle down once your body adapts. As you get used to fasting for one day a week, you can add a second day.
The Keto Diet’s Connection to Parkinson’s
A Keto diet emphasises fat, a moderate amount of protein, and very little carbohydrates. The diet causes a person to burn fats rather than carbohydrates which keeps it in a state of ketosis. When people on a keto diet were compared to people put on a healthy, monitored, high-carbohydrate diet. Both groups showed improvement in motor and non-motor symptoms. However, the people on the keto diet had a better improvement on other symptoms such as cognitive abilities, fatigue, pain, sleep, and urinary issues. Many researchers suggest that ketogenic diets are safe for those with Parkinson’s disease for up to two months.
Treating Parkinsons’s Disease.
While Parkinson’s disease is not curable, it is treatable. Our Care Professionals at Home Care Assistance can assist our clients with grocery shopping and meal preparation that supports any dietary needs. They can also help with other activities that are good for brain health such as social interaction and exercise. There are many strategies you can use to promote brain health including dietary strategies. Diet and nutrition can play a key role in minimising Parkinson’s symptoms and maximising quality of life. Fasting and ketogenic diets can now be added to the growing treatment toolbox for Parkinson’s.
Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near me today.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.