Exercise and a healthy diet are two of the most potent treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Many people who live with Parkinson’s find that positive lifestyle changes slow the condition’s progression and give them better control over their symptoms.
Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease
Exercise is universally beneficial and can improve anyone’s overall health. However, those with Parkinson’s might discover these specific benefits:
- Preventing or slowing the disease’s progression
- Improving brain health
- Reducing symptoms like loss of balance or constipation
- Avoiding isolation
Nobody should have to slog through a workout they hate. Fortunately, all forms of exercise can benefit those with Parkinson’s. The best physical activities are the ones you enjoy — as long as your healthcare provider approves.
Diet and Parkinson’s Disease
Patients can manage some symptoms of Parkinson’s through targeted nutrition. In general, consuming a plant-based diet that includes whole foods offers significant benefits in reducing some of the challenges of the disease.
Although there isn’t a specific diet for Parkinson’s disease, patients should prioritize eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, and healthy fats to boost their overall health.
Water and Fiber for Constipation
Parkinson’s can lead to digestive concerns, including constipation. However, drinking six to eight glasses of water daily and eating high-fiber foods can support regular digestion.
Limit Sugar and Caffeine for Better Sleep
Researchers estimate that two-thirds of Parkinson’s patients struggle to get adequate sleep. Limiting your intake of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can promote better sleep quality.
Eat Nuts and Berries for Brain Health
Healthy fats found in nuts and beneficial antioxidants from berries can promote brain health and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Other foods to fortify your brain include fish like salmon and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
More Water for Medication Absorption
Many Parkinson’s medications can cause dehydration. Over time, dehydration can exacerbate symptoms like confusion, kidney problems, and balance issues. Get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with your medications so that your body breaks them down more efficiently.
Changing your diet and exercise routine can be difficult. Ask your physician for advice, and start with small changes instead of a complete overhaul of your habits for lasting results.