According to Japanese scientists, a daily Mediterranean-style diet could potentially halve the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The study, by the University of Tokyo, studied the eating habits of 249 newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients and compared them to 368 healthy volunteers.
Researchers then split the participants into three groups of ‘healthy’ diets (consisting of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, pulses, mushrooms), ‘western’ (high number of red meat, processed foods and animal fats) and ‘light meals’ (roughly half way between the two).
The study discovered that those placed in the ‘healthy’ category had a 46% less chance of developing Parkinson’s than those who ate little or none of the foods in the ‘healthy’ food group. They also found that the remaining two diets had no protective effect against the disease.
“A dietary pattern consisting of high intakes of vegetables, fruits and fish may be associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease,” a spokesperson from the study has said.
These findings, published in the European Journal of Neurology, claim that Parkinson’s disease is more likely to occur when cells in the body undergo oxidative stress.
However, if a person eats a rich diet of fruit and vegetables, which are all well known for their antioxidant properties, their diet will help block the oxidation process.
The results back up previous studies that claim a fruit and vegetable-rich diet plays a key role in preventing Parkinson’s disease, a condition that currently affects over 120,000 people in the UK.
According to Parkinson’s UK, the symptoms most often associated with Parkinson's are tremor (shaking), slowness of movement and rigidity. However, there are many other symptoms of Parkinson's, not all of which affect movement.
The different types of Parkinson's symptoms are often divided into 2 categories: motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms are related to movement, while non-motor symptoms include problems such as pain, depression, constipation and sweating. For advice and support visit Parkinson’s UK.
It’s not the first time scientists have pointed to a rich fruit and vegetable diet as a way of boosting our health. Recently researchers discovered that fruit and vegetable juices help keep skin cells healthy and complexions radiant while other studies claim fruit and vegetable diets beat heart disease – and even boosts male fertility.