Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide. Though genetics plays a role in determining who develops the condition, research has found ways to both prevent and slow the progression of the disease. If your senior loved one is at risk for developing the condition, these natural methods may prevent it.
Medical professionals have long known exercise can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Recent research has found exercise may prevent the disease as well. A study published in the March 2012 edition of Harvard Health Letter found exercising early in life can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 30 percent. Study participants who exercised in their 30s and 40s, years before the average person displays symptoms of the condition, had the best results.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Lifestar Home Care, a leading provider of home care service. Lifestar Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Eat More Sweet Peppers
Seniors who smoke cigarettes are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Cigarettes pose other health risks, so scientists looked into tobacco’s properties to identify how it may prevent the disease. They discovered tobacco is part of the Solanaceae family of flowering plants, which also includes sweet peppers.
When researchers at the University of Washington studied whether sweet peppers might offer benefits similar to those provided by tobacco, they found individuals who regularly ate sweet peppers decreased their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. More research is being done on other members of the Solanaceae family to determine if they have similar preventive effects.
Get Some Sun
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D3, a nutrient that helps with calcium absorption and promotes the growth of strong bones. Researchers have found an estimated 70 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have low levels of vitamin D3. Increasing vitamin D3 levels may prevent the condition. If your loved one can’t tolerate the sun, talk with his or her doctor about vitamin D3 supplements.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful source of support and information about healthy lifestyle habits for seniors. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oklahoma City, OK, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Lifestar Home Care. Our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Switch to Green Tea
If your loved one enjoys drinking coffee or herbal teas, encourage him or her to switch to green tea. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the entire body. It also contains compounds that protect the brain. Green tea provides protection for neural pathways and can increase the production of dopamine. A lack of dopamine may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Increase Red Meat Consumption
Eating red meat increases uric acid levels in the body. At one point, high uric acid levels were believed to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. However, recent studies show eating meat may decrease the risk.
A 2016 study published in the medical journal Neurology found men with high uric acid levels were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than men with normal uric acid levels. Researchers believe urate (a salt derived from uric acid) may protect neural pathways from the development of the condition.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Oklahoma City families can rely on Lifestar Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (405) 288-9275.