What Should Aging Adults with Parkinson’s Eat?

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It’s best for aging adults with Parkinson’s disease to limit alcoholic beverages, be cautious about their sugar intake, and avoid highly processed foods. However, having Parkinson’s doesn’t mean having to focus on a long list of prohibited foods. There are many nutritious and tasty foods seniors with Parkinson’s are encouraged to include in their regular diets. Below, you’ll find some of the commonly recommended foods aging adults with Parkinson’s should eat. 

Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The National Institutes of Health references a study based on 20 years of research that suggests foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may boost cognitive health. This can be helpful for seniors with Parkinson’s who are concerned about the symptoms related to thought processes and memory (Parkinson’s-related dementia). 

Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, seniors with Parkinson’s can also get an omega-3 fatty acid boost from other foods, such as: 

  • Kidney beans 
  • Soybeans and soy products 
  • Chia, flax, and hemp seeds 
  • Walnuts 

A home caregiver can help your loved one prepare nutritious meals. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Arlington families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Berries can be beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s because they contain an abundance of antioxidants, which are substances that slow damage to cells. This added cell protection may minimize the cell damage that aggravates Parkinson’s-related symptoms. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, elderberries, and goji berries are among the tasty and nutritious berries with high antioxidant levels. 

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of senior care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Leafy Green Vegetables

The Parkinson’s Foundation notes there’s no specific Parkinson’s diet. But they do point to research suggesting kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables can provide a broad range of benefits for people with Parkinson’s, including keeping muscles and joints as healthy as possible to minimize issues with mobility. 

Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Inflammation is believed to play a role in the progression of Parkinson’s-related symptoms. Age-related joint inflammation can also make mobility problems related to the disease worse. One way to counter issues with inflammation is with foods that naturally reduce tissue swelling. Some of these include: 

  • Whole grains and other high-fiber foods 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Spices such as turmeric, garlic, and ginger 
  • Green tea 

Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshade vegetables are high in vitamins A and C. They also have cell-protecting properties. Additionally, these foods help with gut health, which can be good for seniors with Parkinson’s, who tend to be susceptible to bloating and other gastrointestinal issues. Along with tomatoes, options with nightshade vegetables include: 

  • White potatoes 
  • Eggplant 
  • Bell peppers 

Fava Beans

These legumes contain a natural form of levodopa, which is a chemical in what’s considered the most effective drug for Parkinson’s disease. It’s fine for seniors with Parkinson’s to occasionally enjoy fava beans because of their additional bone and immune system health benefits. However, these beans shouldn’t be used as a substitute for the medicinal form of levodopa, since it’s not easy to control how much of the chemical is absorbed through eating. 

Seniors with Parkinson’s need to eat healthy, but they may not be able to make nutritious meals on their own without help. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Arlington, VA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our 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. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us today.