The Science of Eating Well with Parkinson’s Disease

Assorted vegatables

Movement Disorders, an official journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, published a study crediting two specific diets: the Mediterranean diet and the similar but lesser-known MIND diet as being beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The Mediterranean—or Medi—Diet

Introduced in the 1960s, this diet took inspiration from those who dine along the Aegean Sea. The Medi diet encourages us to eat real, whole foods—foods that we prepare ourselves from unprocessed, unrefined ingredients. The foods include seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and olive oil. Poultry and dairy, as well as sugary drinks, are shelved entirely.

The Mediterranean-DASH-Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay—or MIND—Diet

The MIND diet is nearly identical, differing only in that it prioritizes leafy greens, berries, and poultry. It also adds milk, potatoes, and fruit to the list of restrictions. The MIND diet was first published in 2015 in an attempt to refine the Medi diet to further promote brain health and minimize cognitive decline. One analysis found the MIND diet to be associated with a 13% reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or the progression of symptoms.

Whether you choose the Medi or MIND diet, be sure to check with your doctor before making any major dietary changes.