Fruits and Vegetables- Eat 8- 10 servings a day.
High in antioxidants needed to maintain healthy body and brain cells. No single antioxidant is best. A variety of antioxidants in diet will lead to better protection against oxidative stress. More information on this topic is available in Antioxidants. Eat a variety of color to insure a variety of antioxidants.
High in fiber for colon health and to reduce constipation.
Carbohydrates for energy.
Proteins- Select vegetable protein as your major source, followed by fish, dairy/substitute, then meat.
Carbohydrates- Whole grains better than premade processed foods.
- Stick to starch vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
- Improved glucose control means better health and perhaps better aging!
- Increase in fiber, other nutrients, and again antioxidants.
- Limit processed sugars high in fat and refined sugar.
- Limited balanced nutritional value meaning you get less protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants yet all the calories.
- Leads to fluctuations in energy levels and fatigue.
- Fruit and vegetable juices are good choices but talk to your doctor about sugar and salt levels in these beverages.Green and white tea contain anti-oxidants.
Fats- Small amount and the right kinds are good.
- Good fats- Omega 3s. Salmon, sardines, flax seed oil, walnuts.
- Olive oil instead of other cooking or salad oils. Find out more on Cooking with oil.
Fiber- Important for colon health and constipation
- Comes from many sources but many of us have trouble getting enough- Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and oats.
Spices and extras.
- Green tea
- Spices are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory- Turmeric, garlic, cinnamon. For more information check out Spice of Life.
- Alcohol- although one glass red wine is sometimes recommended due to the health benefits of the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, it can interact with Parkinson’s medicine, worsen balance, lightheadedness and confusion. You can still obtain some of the health benefits of wine by drinking nonalcoholic red wine or 100% purple grape juice made
Sweets- Eat sparingly. Many people with Parkinson’s have a sweet tooth. If you do not have diabetes, it is OK to enjoy sweets but sparingly. If you take in too many calories with sweets you do not get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need for health.
- Fruit dessert and fruit smoothies made with real fruit will help you get your extra fruit servings.
- Chocolate- flavinoids in dark chocolate (>70% cocoa) is a strong antioxidant and good for mood too!
Supplements- talk to your doctor about the following supplements.
Author: Monique Giroux, MD