Parkinson’s disease is a condition where the brain becomes progressively more damaged over time.
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It’s caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain. The nerve cells are responsible for producing dopamine, a chemical that sends messages between the brain and nervous system.
Making some small diet changes could help to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Snacking on walnuts could boost patients’ brain health, according to charity the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Walnuts help to promote brain health, which is crucial for Parkinson’s disease patients, as the condition is caused by a gradual decline in brain function.
Just a small portion of walnuts could reverse the brain’s ageing process, while improving memory and learning.
The nuts’ antioxidant properties are believed to be behind their benefits for Parkinson’s patients, added Parkinson’s Life.
The antioxidants work by combatting damage to brain cells, which can be caused by harmful free radicals, it said.
The Parkinson’s Foundation said: “The right foods will also optimise your medications, keep your bones strong, fight constipation and weight loss and maintain general health and fitness.
“While there is no prescription for a Parkinson’s disease-specific diet, to maintain overall good health most people living with Parkinson’s disease should eat a variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products, and protein-rich foods such as meat and beans.
“Snack on small quantities of walnuts, cashews and other nuts to promote brain health.”
Parkinson’s Life added: “Even a small portion of walnuts in our daily diet can reverse the brain’s ageing process and improve learning, memory and motor coordination.
“Researchers attribute the benefits to their anti-oxidant properties, which may combat damage caused to brain cells by free radicals.”
Parkinson’s disease patients should also be sure to drink enough water – about six glasses a day – and to eat fibre-rich foods, the charity said.
Brown rice and whole grains are excellent sources of fibre. Eating more fruit and beans could also help to relieve digestive difficulties and constipation, it added.
Signs of the condition are mild in its earlier stages, but develop gradually over a period of time.
The most common Parkinson’s disease symptoms include tremors, slow movement, and stiff muscles.
The brain condition could also lead to nerve pain, balance problems, and a loss of sense of smell.
Supportive therapies, medication or surgery may be suggested to Parkinson’s disease patients.
Speak to a GP if you’re worried about the signs of Parkinson’s disease.