Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease has four components: What to Eat, What Not to Eat, Useful supplements and How to Eat, given symptoms of the disease. This will be a four piece series. Some of it is basic: the foods and superfoods that enrich the diet. Some is specific to the typical complaints from either the disease, the medications and the often restrictive lifestyles that PD patients often adopt. And the how-to acknowledges that the disease creates some physical problems that adaptive devices might help.
Mucuna in flower, source of L.Dopa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease Part 1: What to Eat
People with Parkinson’s have some extra requirements in their diet. Because shaking can burn calories, it is easy to become underweight, although that is not universal. Yin deficiency is generally seen in symptoms like shaking, muscle spasms, constipation, poorly nourished muscles and skin, as well as dehydration. Blood deficiency can be seen with pale skin, lips and tongue as well as with muscle wasting. While we have limited knowledge of what causes the substantia nigra to stop making dopamine, it is likely that missing nutrients will be implicated in both the production of dopamine and the preservation of brain cells. People with Parkinson’s often suffer from constipation and muscle spasms. So what should you eat?
Berries and other fruits- While people with Parkinson’s who are not overweight can eat fruit rather freely, it is best to deal with nutrient-dense berries. Blueberries, huckleberries, goji berries, blackberries, raspberries, organic strawberries, pomegranates, and [...]
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Yom Kippur is coming and people will be fasting. I was asked to put together some information on what will allow people to have a good fast that will allow them to focus on the meaning of the holiday without keeling over from blood sugar fluctuations. Here are a few tips to keep the fast from debilitating you and to keep hunger pains from being a major distraction. (You will still know you are fasting.):
- In the weeks preceding Yom Kippur consider shrinking your stomach by reducing portion size. You can get used to less food intake which will lessen the shock.
- From the first of Elul, reduce carbohydrates like bread and sugar. This allows your body to get used to not depending on regular sugar rushes. (Starches become sugar within minutes.)
- Keep those honey cakes and sugary treats for a sweet new year to the first part of the 10 days before Yom Kippur and only take a little starch the day before. You don’t want to have huge fluctuations in blood sugar.
- The day before eat proteins and fats that will not cause your blood sugar to rise and crash. You can prepare with either a meat or dairy meal. Eggs, beans, fish, cheese, chicken, quality meat if you can get it, nuts, butter, and avocado will help maintain your blood sugar. Continue reading…
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Me in Guatemala doing acupuncture outreach, not waiting around for life.
I was recently asked, under the anonymity of a Google comment, how I can be into herbs and health when I am clearly fat, I’m sure the question has been let unasked a lot more than it was voiced. And my first instinct was to get all defensive: the great American herbalist Michael Moore was fat. The great Annishinabe medicine woman and ethnobotanist Keewaydinoquay Peschel was fat. What does fat on your body have to do with what you know, anyway?
The short answer is that once you are fat, unless you are slightly fat or you had a short term weight gain, it is incredibly difficult to reverse. You can lose weight, but it doesn’t last. You can do quite a bit to stay healthy via your diet and lifestyle, but you may end up healthy and fat.
I’ve been fat since age 5, with a short break during my late teens and 20s when I felt like and metabolically was an underweight fat person. Maybe it was my grandmother’s Native genes clashing with a 1960s Standard American Diet- I took after her rather than my parents. Maybe it was a reaction (mine? my parents?) from nearly dying as an infant from weight loss due to digestive problems, although I didn’t notice them pushing food. Perhaps I caught one of those obesity-promoting adenoviruses. Maybe it was all those fattening antibiotics I had for ear infections before anyone considered that dairy might [...]
Chai tea ingredients
I had a homemade chai this week that blew me away. No cinnamon, no cloves, no allspice, although it could be modified if you prefer. And this was made without foamy milk:
Grate a 1″ x 2″ piece of ginger into a stainless steel pot with 3 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
At the 10 minute mark add 8 crushed cardamon pods and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper.
When finished add 2 tsp. of black tea leaves and steep 5 minutes. Strain and serve. Makes about 2 cups.
Traditionally evaporated milk and Demerara (brown cane) sugar to taste are added. The evaporated milk adds a unique richness, but I generally use milk from a grass-fed cows (and have never seen this in evaporated form,) but you could use an organic half and half.
The recipe as it is warms the spleen, enhances digestion, quickens the blood and awakens the senses. It hydrates with about a loss of 5% from the caffeine. If you want to eliminate the sugar, either leave it out, use stevia to taste or add 2 Tbsp licorice chips or one crushed lo han guo fruit with the ginger.
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Recent research shows that pickle juice reduces exercise-induced cramps. What is the relationship between the vinegar in the juice and magnesium in relieving cramps or blood sugar spikes? Does the acid level have a long term effect on the acidity of the body? [...]
Greenman Sean Donahue, of Green Man Ramblings is host to the May Herbal Blog Party on Herbs for Sexual Health and Vitality. A number of prominent herbalists have written articles on various facets of sexuality and herbs, from improving function to contraception. Here is his reblogged post with the links to the articles:
Saturday, May 15, 2010
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It is almost Spring. Even if your garden is primarily ornamental, you can include medicinal herbs, many of which are lovely. And don’t forget to eat the weeds, once you know what they are and what is safe! [...]
Meat and Vegetables
We are badly in need of a study that compares good vegetarian to good meat-containing diets using quality foods, with high vegetable content and good quality fats in both diets. Too often vegetarians are compared to a standard American population, health-conscious vegans are compared to non-health conscious omnivores and studies on omnivores with low meat diets are extrapolated to suggest that a diet with no animal food altogether may be superior. The study should isolate the effects of gluten from other starchy foods and meats from fish. Continue reading…
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A recent large study of children with high body mass indexes (BMI) found that many children of normal body mass had high fat percentages while 25% of children with high BMI were not obese by fat percentage criteria.
BMI (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) does not distinguish between the weight of muscle, fat or bone and has a statistical artifact that tends to classify tall children as overweight. Continue reading…
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Cordyceps is an adaptogen from a fungus that invades an insect body that increases stamina, prevents cancer cell proliferation, increases immune system function and reduces arrhythmias. [...]
When Agave nectar first burst on the scene as a healthier sweetener, it appeared to be superior to sugar and other dietary sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. It was easy to imagine that for thousands of years Native Americans had been tapping the sap of the agave plant, Continue reading…
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Paxil (paroxetine) not only causes serious birth defects but, along with imipramime, is no more effective than a placebo [...]
Going gluten and dairy free can be daunting. How to prepare, what to eat, recipes for ceremonial foods. [...]
Blueberry juice fermented with the Serratia bacteria normally found on blueberry skin was better than blueberry juice at preventing diabetes. Probiotic designer foods are likely to come. [...]
An estimated 90,000 patients die from hospital-acquired infections due to lack of handwashing. Doctors wash hands 50% of the time. Deaths are comparable to 30 World Trade Center bombings or a jumbo jet crash every two days. [...]
Antidepressant pharmaceuticals, especially Paxil and tricyclic antidepressants can cause birth defects. Review of alternatives including exercise, sunlight, Vitamin D, fish oil, magnesium and herbs. [...]
Pole moxa on hand
I often give clients a stick of moxa to use between appointments, especially if they run cold or are overstressed. Continue reading…
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January’s herbal blog party is on warming herbs. Several herbalists helped participate to share what helps get them and their loved ones through the winter. [...]
There are how to videos on YouTube for all kinds of medical conditions from setting broken fingers to delivering a baby in a taxi. Know your limits and how to choose well. [...]