Parkinson's disease: what to eat?

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So as not to disturb the absorption of drugs, fight against constipation and possible swallowing problems related to Parkinson’s disease, the food and well-being advice of Claire Trémolières, dietician-nutritionist at Henri Mondor Hospital.

seniors at table

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The meal punctuate the days, they are a source of energye but also pleasure and of sharing. In the Parkinson disease no food is to be avoided, thefood play a primordial role for maintain well-being and fight against the undesirable effects of the disease.

Eating away from taking medication


” The anti-Parkinson’s treatments do not do compete with dietary protein, informs Claire Trémolières, dietician-nutritionist. There is a digestive fight between the two, and it is the proteins that win! It is therefore recommended to eat at least 30 minutes after have taken your medicine. ”

It’s important to talk about his rhythm of life with his neurologist because they tend to give precise schedules for drugs, which do not correspond to the schedules of the patients. For example: if the medication is to be taken at 8:00 pm and the person usually eats at 7:00 pm, he should not eat before 8:30 pm She may still eat before, which will lead to digestive competition with medications or eating very little, increasing the risk of undernutrition.


“Parkinson’s disease mainly causes a constipation, a risk of malnutrition and sometimes swallowing problemssays the dietician. The diet can then help fight against these disorders. ”

Constipation: how to limit the risk?

Constipation is often present from the beginning of the disease and lasts until the end.


“It entails, not only, a digestive discomfort, but also, when it is important, a delayed absorption of treatments, says Claire Trémolières. ”

Three good hygiene habits are to be adopted.


” It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking 1 l to 1.5 l of water, herbal tea, tea or coffee every day, “says the dietician.

You can choose waters rich in sulphates and magnesium such as Contrex, Hepar, Courmayeur, Badoit, Rozanna, Quézac …


“One must also introduce into one’s eating habits a source of fibers found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, continues the dietician. However, if you are not used to consuming fiber, you have to go gradually and start with soft and cooked fibers. ”

From high fiber foods : Dried fruits such as prunes, dried figs, dates; the Whole grains such as wholemeal bread, bran bread, whole rice or whole pasta. Vegetables and fruits with peel such as leeks, spinach, green beans, tomatoes as well as apple, kiwi, cherries or grapes. Finally, dried vegetables like lentils, chickpeas, beans.

Undernutrition: bet on protein and fat

Undernutrition is one of the consequences of Parkinson’s disease. It can lead to loss of muscle mass, especially among older people who appreciate less the meat.


” It is necessary count between 1 g and 1.2 g per kilogram of body weight to distribute during the day, says Claire Trémolières, and favor animal proteins, better absorbed by the body. For patients who do not like meat, it is necessary to think of cheese for example, doubling or even tripling the recommended portion usually of 30 g. ” And for vegetarians ? “It’s more complicated, warns the dietician. It is necessary bet on legumes, but they are less well absorbed at the intestinal level. So it takes a certain amount: count raw 75 g per person, and you have to pair with cereals : rice, pasta … »

In case of malnutrition, we must also think of enrich the meals with lipids. “We can increase the intake without increasing the volume on the plate, reassures the dietician. It is enough, for example, to add a knob of butter in the puree, a cheese melted in the soup, a spoonful of oil directly on the plate … ”

Swallowing problems: pay attention to certain foods


Some foods are harder to swallow than others, warns the dietician. This is the case for example of the semolina, of rice, of quinoa, crust foods like the bread, the rusks, the puff pastry, the shortbreadothers are hard or have a skin which makes them unsuitable. ”

In case of swallowing problems, it is necessary adapt the diet at risk in removing the skin, in cooking more foods, presenting them with a sauce to make them easier to swallow.

“And when it becomes too dangerous, you have to go through textured, minced “Advises the dietician.

Think about relaxing activities

Theanxiety, the mood disorders, the depression may be side effects of Parkinson’s disease or treatments.


“The practice of yoga, of the relaxation therapy or from meditation has several advantages, warns the dietician. These activities not only allow to limit the sedentary lifestyle, which is important for fighting constipation, but also for keep a social bond and D’alleviate anxiety. ”