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How to Prevent Parkinson's Disease

Wong Shu Lee  

|

  April 12, 2022

World Parkinson’s Day takes place on 11 April every year to raise awareness of Parkinson's. 

 

Do you know what is Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a central nervous system disorder in which the region of the brain that controls movement deteriorates. This neural deterioration results in decreased dopamine levels, the brain chemical that controls coordinated movement. 

 

​​Parkinson's is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world. There are over 40 symptoms. From pain and stiffness, to problems with sleep and mental health. Everyone’s experience is different.

 

Currently, there isn’t a known cure, and it’s not fully understood what causes the dip in dopamine; however, we know that aging is the single most important risk factor for PD, with inflammation and stress contributing to cell damage. And we now know enough about the disease to understand the preventative measures that counter the aging and death of the neurons under attack.

 

In this article, we will discuss a few ways to prevent or delay PD. The fewer drugs and surgery we can have in our lives, the better.

 

Go Organic (and Local)

 

Pesticides and herbicides have been heavily implicated in causing Parkinson’s. Researchers have found high levels of pesticides/herbicides in the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers, compared to those with regular dopamine levels. Furthermore, agricultural workers who find themselves exposed to these pesticides have significantly higher rates of PD than the general public.

 

Eat Fresh, Raw Vegetables

 

If you needed more reasons to eat your vegetables, this should be the clincher. Studies show that increased amounts of the B vitamin folic acid, found primarily in vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.

 

The best sources of folic acid are simultaneously some of the healthiest foods on the planet, namely dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, collard greens, brussels sprouts, asparagus, and okra – all of which can be grown in your backyard! This B vitamin can also be found in avocado, legumes, and lentils.

 

Incorporate Omega-3 Fatty Acids Into Your Diet

 

Parkinson’s is inflammatory in nature, so researchers have spent much of their time exploring the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are strongly implicated in the prevention of cell degeneration and death, with their benefits going well beyond Parkinson’s prevention.

 

Omega-3s have the added benefits of balancing cholesterol levels, boosting immunity, and enhancing cardiovascular health. Your primary sources of this fatty acid are wild-caught fish (especially mackerel, salmon, and cod), pastured eggs, and walnuts.

 

Vitamin D3

 

Vitamin D comes from only two sources:

 

Sunlight – With the help of cholesterol and vitamins, vitamin D is changed chemically and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Animal Fat – Eating animal fat from healthy animals that are wild or grass-fed is a premier source of vitamin D.

 

Without enough vitamin D, you can’t absorb the amounts of calcium or phosphorous your body needs to function properly, resulting in a host of negative effects that become more prevalent as we age.

 

Researchers have found that about 70 percent of early, untreated Parkinson’s patients have low levels of vitamin D – identifying this statistic as a strong correlation would be an understatement.

 

Green Tea

 

Multiple studies have shown that certain compounds in green tea have myriad protective benefits on the neural network of the brain. Green tea has also been shown to sustain dopamine levels in ailing brain tissue, reducing the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms for those already diagnosed.

 

When shopping for green tea, it’s important to choose a higher quality brand, as some of the lower quality brands contain excessive levels of fluoride, which has been shown to have degenerative effects on brain function.

 

Regular Aerobic Exercise

 

In addition to physical benefits like increased lung capacity, bone density, and overall longevity, exercise has a distinct impact on brain health. Regular aerobic exercise reduces inflammation in the brain, helping to counter the inflammatory signals leading to the development of Parkinson’s.

 

CoQ10

 

CoQ10 is a coenzyme found in the bodies of most animals, including your own. Your cells use it to produce the energy for more cell growth and maintenance, functioning as an antioxidant and protecting those same cells from damage caused by free radicals.

 

Deficiencies in CoQ10 have been shown to contribute to age-related neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and patients with PD have been shown to have low levels of this crucial coenzyme in their platelets, plasma, and vital regions of the brain. A variety of studies have demonstrated that CoQ10 supplementation can slow the progressive deterioration of Parkinson’s and prevent dopamine loss.

 

CoQ10 is found in abundance in organ meats like liver, kidney, and heart, as well as grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish. Some vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower contain CoQ10, but nothing close to the amounts found in organ meats.

 

CoQ10 must be consumed along with healthy fat to enable absorption of the coenzyme, making the consumption of organ meats – high in healthy fats – a no-brainer. It can also be consumed as a dietary supplement.

 

Reduce Your Stress

 

The most important thing we can do for our long-term health, both physical and cognitive, is to reduce the stress in our bodies. All stress – physical, emotional, and chemical – causes inflammation and long-term damage throughout the body.

 

Whether you’re seeking Parkinson’s prevention techniques or ways to alleviate symptoms, any of the above dietary and lifestyle practices can have long-term health benefits. Drinking green tea, eating organic, local vegetables, and regular aerobic exercise all significantly reduce the long-term cumulative damage done by stress.

 

[Information Source: Judson’s Smart Living]

 

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