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Parkinson’s diet: The 2p snack that could reduce risk of Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s disease is a condition which is diagnosed in approximately 18,000 people every year. Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in an area of the brain – the substantia nigra. This can cause a range of symptoms – but one main telltale sign is tremor. Eating a healthy diet is important in everyday life, but one snack may be particularly good to eat to reduce risk of Parkinson’s.

The NHS says one in 500 people are impacted by Parkinson’s disease, with symptoms most likely to develop in those aged over 50.

However, around one in 20 can develop the condition and experience symptoms under the age of 40.

There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s – with studies ongoing into prevention and treatment.

One study has found maintain a healthy diet and eating plenty of vegetables and nuts is linked to fewer symptoms.

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The study – carried out by Parkinson’s UK – found in particular maintaining a healthy diet is integral in middle age.

Eating snacks like nuts release antioxidants, something which could help to improve Parkinson’s symptoms according to Healthline.

Tree nuts are high in antioxidants, with some costing as little as 2p per nut.

Pistachios cost approximately £5.30 for a bag of 250 grams, this equals around 2p per nut.

Walnuts, Brazil nuts and pecans are also high in antioxidants.

Similarly, berries are a source, as are some vegetables.

Healthline outlines foods high in antioxidants include

  • tree nuts, like walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pistachios
  • blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, cranberries, and elderberries
  • tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and other nightshade vegetables
  • spinach and kale

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A healthy diet may help to reduce risk or lessen symptoms however is not a cure researchers have warned.

More research needs to be done on the risk factors, treatments and prevention of Parkinson’s disease.

Commenting on the study Claire Bale, Head of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said: “While a healthy lifestyle may help reduce risk, it does not appear to prevent people developing Parkinson’s altogether.

“There is still a pressing need to develop better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s to improve life for the 145,000 people in the UK and the millions around the world living with this devastating condition.”

Key Parkinson’s symptoms include

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
  • slow movement
  • stiff and inflexible muscles

People who have Parkinson’s may also have other psychological or physical symptoms such as

  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problems (this may increase the chances of a fall)
  • loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
  • problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • memory problems

Anyone concerned about Parkinson’s disease should make an appointment with their GP.

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