A cookbook for Parkinson’s disease

A Cookbook for Parkinson’s Disease. Source: Pixabay

A diagnosis can change someone’s life forever. In the mere minutes it takes for a doctor to tell you that you have Parkinson’s, you have had a million thoughts about how this will change you and how you will simply have to adjust. However, your diagnosis does not have to rule your life. Instead, you can take steps to fight back, alleviate the symptoms, and live the life you want.

One way of fighting back is through nutrition. Some foods have been scientifically proven to help battle against the side effects of Parkinson’s disease. If you’re feeling any of the following symptoms, try cooking up a meal with the listed ingredients.

Tremors

Tremors are the most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease and is generally what leads people to go to the doctor for a diagnosis. These shakes can be disruptive to your life, but with a low-animal-protein, starch and carbohydrates-based diet can improve your motor skills and improve the effectiveness of medication. Try some of these nutritional foods to help the body:

  • potatoes
  • pasta
  • rice
  • cereal
  • biscuits
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You should also try to get more of your protein from plants such as edamame, black beans, chickpeas, corn, avocados, and spinach rather than animal-based meats.

Constipation

Constipation is closely associated with tremors and altering your diet can help you alleviate this symptom. Try to increase the number of fibre-rich foods in your diet and reduce your sugar intake. Some good foods to add to your meal include:

  • kiwifruit
  • prunes
  • flaxseeds
  • lentils
  • popcorn

Stiffness and Muscle Cramping

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Some people experience painful muscle cramping, particularly during the middle of the night. Eating yellow mustard can help this pain pass as it contains the spice turmeric which can inhibit the activity of inflammatory agents involved in pain perception. Scientists also recommend vinegar and pickle juice, as well as staying hydrated with water.

Stiffness is another symptom that is common with Parkinson’s Disease. This can be frustrating as it can limit your ability to complete every day tasks. However, to fight against it, try applying heat or a hot bath to your muscles and eat foods with anti-inflammatory properties. These foods include berries, nuts, orange vegetables, dark leafy greens, red apples, onions, and turmeric.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure is not only a symptom of Parkinson’s, but also a side-effect of some of its medications. You should therefore increase your intake of cold liquids such as water and Gatorade on a regular basis, and eat foods high in folate and Vitamin B12. Some of these delicious ingredients include:

  • eggs
  • asparagus
  • garbanzo beans
  • cottage cheese
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From time to time you can also add meats rich in Vitamin-B12 such as wild-caught salmon and beef liver.

General Foods to Avoid

In general, it is best that you avoid certain foods that may either trigger symptoms or work against the medication that you take. When you’re cooking your dinner, try to stay away from the following foods.

  • cured, fermented or air-dried meats
  • aged cheeses such as blue cheese or Camembert
  • fermented cabbage such as sauerkraut or kimchi
  • soybean products and soy sauce
  • red Wine or tap beer

You should also make sure that you are not only eating healthy but also keeping your body healthy in other ways. Exercise regularly and be sure to stretch your muscles at least once a day. Also, get a good night’s rest to allow the nutrients to recharge your body.

You don’t have to let your diagnosis rule your life. Instead, use it as an opportunity to fight back and incorporate a new and improved nutritional diet.

Do you or does someone you know have Parkinson’s disease? Do you eat many of these foods?