World Parkinson’s Day 2022: World Parkinson’s Day is observed annually on April 11 to spread awareness about the neurodegenerative disease which has a wide range of symptoms from shaking, stiffness, balance and coordination issues to difficulty in walking and talking. The day also marks the anniversary of James Parkinson who wrote the article – An Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817, recognising the disease for the first time. (Also read: World Parkinson’s Day: Common myths surrounding brain disorder busted by experts)
The theme of this year’s awareness month for the Parkinson’s Foundation is #FutureOfPD, focusing on research, care, and life planning, according to Parkinson’s News Today.
The neurodegenerative movement disorder occurs when the dopamine-producing cells in a part of the brain called substantia nigra start to deteriorate. It mainly affects people over 60, although younger people are also at risk. The symptoms of the disease are tremor in limbs, stiffness, problems in coordinating movements, posture problems, and sleep problems. There is much to be still known about this condition.
Parkinson’s disease has unfortunately no cure but it can be managed by making some dietary changes.
“There are a variety of meals that can help a person with Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Fish oils, fava beans, antioxidant-rich meals, and foods strong in vitamins B1, C, and D are some of them,” says Dr. Santosh Kumar Jha, Medical Superintendent, Porvoo Transition Care.
Eat Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in studies to reduce nerve inflammation, increase neurotransmission, and halt neurodegeneration.
“Patients with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from eating more omega-3-rich fatty fish or taking an omega-3 supplement,” adds Dr Jha.
Limit sugar and salt
It is advised to limit sugar, sodium and salt intake and eat plenty of grains, vegetables, and fruits to manage symptoms.
Add antioxidant-rich foods to your diet
“Antioxidant-rich foods, such as brightly coloured and dark fruits and vegetables, should be consumed by the patient,” says the expert.
Avoid processed foods, dairy products
A person with Parkinson’s disease may also want to avoid processed or high-cholesterol foods.
“Processed foods including canned fruits and vegetables, dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, and low-fat milk, as well as foods rich in cholesterol and saturated fat, fall in this category,” says Dr Jha.
Eat soft foods
“Chewing and swallowing problems are common in people with Parkinson’s disease. As a result, foods that are difficult to chew and swallow, such as tough meats, may be avoided,” says the expert.