Good nutrition is one of the important aspects of managing Parkinson’s. Four common reasons for hospitalization among people living with Parkinson’s disease (bone fracture, dehydration, bowel impaction, and weight loss) can be lessened by proper nutrition.
Parkinson’s Health suggests making the following nutrition habits part of your game plan:
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, even if you aren’t thirsty
- Eat natural laxatives – prunes, vegetables, and foods high in fibre – to prevent or relieve constipation
- Eat something cold and sour before a meal to help prevent dry mouth
- Talk to your doctor about any food-specific issues related to your medications. For example, meals high in protein may interfere with the absorption of levodopa. So if you use levodopa, you may need to adjust the amount of protein in your diet
A balanced and nutritious diet including three meals a day (or four smaller meals) is recommended. You should aim to eat a mixture of:
- starchy foods – for example bread, rice, potatoes or pasta
- fruit and vegetables
- dairy products
- proteins – for example meat, fish or beans and pulses, but again we note that some people taking levodopa medication may find a large protein meal slows the effectiveness of the medication. Check with your specialist to find out if this is a consideration for you
Parkinson’s UK has a Diet booklet you can download or order for more complete information.