What Is the Best Diet for Parkinson’s Disease? A Complete Guide
This article looks at Parkinson’s disease diets. It explains which foods to limit and include to improve your condition.
Diet and nutrition
Researchers have linked some foods to faster PD progression and less healthy outlook. This includes regular and diet sodas.
Other foods may be beneficial for PD and general health. PD
Also, some foods are high in antioxidants, which
Other foods can help alleviate particular symptoms, such as high fiber foods for constipation.
However, nutritional needs can be highly individual. If you have PD, talk with a doctor or registered dietitian for a personalized dietary plan.
Read more about the foods highest in fiber.
Many experts, including researchers from a
- whole grains
- legumes, such as beans, peas, and pulses
- olive oil
- foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including:
- vitamins B1, C, and D
Eating a balanced diet, such as a Mediterranean diet, provides plenty of nutrients. This may reduce the risk of developing nutrient deficiency.
Researchers also say the MIND diet may help delay PD from developing in the first place. “MIND” stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay. The MIND diet incorporates multiple healthy eating approaches to support cognitive health. More research is needed to know whether it may also offer benefits once PD has started.
Read more about the MIND diet, including what to eat and what to limit, and its benefits.
Fava beans and soybeans may be beneficial for people with PD because of their links to levodopa. Levodopa is a medication that can help improve movement symptoms with PD.
Fava beans contain a natural form of levodopa. Soybeans may help improve the absorption of levodopa in the body. However, they are not a substitute for prescribed levodopa medications.
Examples of foods rich in antioxidants include:
- green tea
- black and kidney beans
Some foods may worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s or speed up its progression. These include highly processed foods, or foods high in added sugars, saturated fats, and cholesterol. Examples of these foods include some:
- preprepared meals or sauces
- canned foods
- chips and other snacks
- bacon, sausages, and deli meat
- candy, baked goods, and desserts
- breakfast cereals with added sugars
- canned fruits and vegetables
- sodas, regular and diet
- fried foods
- certain dairy products, including ice cream, yogurt, and cheese
- prepackaged meals
If you have PD, consider avoiding certain foods if you have difficulty chewing or swallowing. These include hard, chewy, dry, or tough foods. Cutting food into smaller pieces or using a sauce to soften foods may help.
In addition to prioritizing a balanced diet, these tips may also support your health with PD:
- Ask your doctor about supplements: Some people may benefit from supplements, especially if they have low nutrient levels. However, always speak with a doctor before taking any new supplement. Supplements are
not thoroughly regulated Trusted Source Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Governmental authority Go to sourcefor safety, and they can interact with medications you are taking.
- Stay hydrated: People with PD
may experience Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to sourcedecreased thirst, raising the risk of dehydration. Talk with your doctor or a dietitian about how much you should drink daily.
- Avoid fad diets: Sometimes, people or companies claim that fad diets help cure or treat conditions like PD. These claims may not have any scientific research or support. Always talk with a doctor before following a new dietary pattern or making significant changes to your diet.
- Keep in contact with your doctor: A doctor or registered dietitian can provide personalized diet advice. They can recommend target calorie intake, supplements, and foods to include or limit. Talk with your doctor promptly if you have new or persistent symptoms affecting your digestion or general health.
- Ask for help preparing or accessing nutritional food: If you are having trouble preparing or accessing food, your doctor can refer you to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy can help with adapting your home, learning new techniques, or receiving further support.
There is no specific diet for Parkinson’s disease. However, experts say following a Mediterranean diet may help alleviate symptoms, support overall health, and possibly slow PD progression.
Mediterranean diets emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins. Mediterranean diets limit highly processed foods and foods high in added sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
Always talk with a doctor or registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet.