Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system. It causes dopamine levels in the brain to drop, resulting in tremors, loss of balance, and other symptoms. Aging is the most significant contributing factor to the condition, but few studies show that eating healthy can reduce the risk. Here, we’ve listed some foods that can help prevent and fight Parkinson’s disease, along with a few medication options, including the FDA-approved Rytary.
Fava beans contain levodopa, a compound found in some medications used to treat Parkinson’s. Many believe that eating fava beans can help alleviate the symptoms; however, there’s little scientific evidence supporting the belief. One study showed that it might improve motor performance in those with the ailment.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. They have also been linked to the prevention of cell degeneration. Moreover, omega-3s can help maintain healthy dopamine levels in the brain, which tend to drop with age.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants and can help both prevent and fight Parkinson’s. It contains compounds that help protect the brain’s neural network and maintain sufficient dopamine levels in ailing brain tissue. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can improve brain function.
Many fresh vegetables contain high levels of folic acid, a type of B vitamin that can lower the risk of Parkinson’s. Veggies loaded with folic acid include broccoli, spinach, okra, asparagus, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. B vitamins can also be found in lentils, legumes, and avocados.
Nearly all common berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, cranberries, or strawberries, are full of antioxidants. These compounds can reduce damage due to free radicals, which have been linked to the progression of Parkinson’s.
Here are a few medication options that can also help manage the disease:
This FDA-approved prescription medication contains two active medicines: carbidopa and levodopa. Carbidopa-levodopa medications are most commonly used for treating Parkinson’s.
This prescription medication is a dopamine agonist. It mimics the effects of dopamine in the brain; in other words, it makes up for the lack of brain dopamine.
Selegiline is an MAO-B inhibitor, meaning it prevents the breakdown of dopamine in the brain by hindering the enzyme monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B).
Many people have been looking for info on Ongentys for Parkinson’s lately. After all, the FDA recently approved it for use with levodopa to decrease the number of “off-episodes” per day. Ongentys is a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor, and it prevents breaks down of levodopa in the body, helping it work better and for a longer time.
This is another effective treatment prescribed for people with Parkinson’s disease. GOCOVRI® (amantadine) is one of the few treatment options approved by the FDA as an add-on therapy for dyskinesia or off episodes, a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease.