While eating a particular diet won’t cure Parkinson’s disease, it can still boost a senior’s overall health. Eating certain foods may also combat symptoms of the disease and encourage certain drugs to work better. Just make sure your senior loved one discusses any major dietary changes with a doctor if he or she is taking medication for Parkinson’s, because certain foods can impact some drugs. With that in mind, here are some healthy foods seniors living with Parkinson’s disease should consider.
Oatmeal is high in fiber, which is perfect for seniors with Parkinson’s disease, because it can combat constipation, a common Parkinson’s symptom. Combining high-fiber foods with six to eight glasses of water a day goes a long way toward keeping bowel movements regular. Oatmeal is also high in other nutrients like phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Consider making oatmeal a breakfast staple for your loved one.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and starting off each morning with a nutritious meal is a great way to remain healthy in the senior years. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Des Moines home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
It’s important for your loved one to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Because many seniors with Parkinson’s have difficulty chewing and swallowing, small squishy berries are often easy to eat, and they’re also loaded with antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body. The stress and damage placed on the cells by free radicals is thought to contribute to Parkinson’s disease.
Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease are deficient in vitamin D, and one boiled egg contains about 11 percent of the daily recommended intake of the vitamin. Make sure your loved one eats the yolk, as that is where most of the vitamin D is stored.
If your loved one needs a snack that’s easy to access, consider a handful of walnuts each day. Walnuts are ideal for boosting brain health, which decreases as Parkinson’s disease advances. Some studies have shown that walnuts can slow or reduce the aging process of the brain and even help with issues like memory loss. Like berries, walnuts also contain antioxidants that can remove free radicals.
5. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel also make a great addition to the diet for several reasons. Like eggs, fatty fish are high in vitamin D. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost brain health and stave off cognitive decline. As an added bonus, they can fight against heart disease, which is important because those with Parkinson’s are twice as likely to develop heart disease.
Parkinson’s disease can affect a senior’s overall health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Des Moines families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
6. Greek Yogurt
Many seniors with Parkinson’s find they often lose their appetite and don’t feel like eating. When this happens, it’s important to pack as many calories and nutrients and as much protein as possible into one snack or meal. Greek yogurt is a great food to use in this situation. Best of all, you can mix it with foods that are high in antioxidants, like berries, walnuts, and dark chocolate. The probiotics in yogurt may also keep your loved one’s digestive health in check.
Though seniors with Parkinson’s need to eat healthy, they may not be able to make nutritious meals without the help of other family members. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Des Moines, IA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To schedule a free in-home consultation, get in touch with us today at (515) 264-2438.