Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat for a day -- and no fair skipping the items you're embarrassed about. "The idea is to write it down ... without judgment," says Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD, a nutritionist, wellness coach, and personal trainer with Cafe Physique in Atlanta. "You can't change what you're not aware of or don't acknowledge."
The good news is, you don't have to change everything at the same time. In fact, the trick to healthy living is making small changes—taking more steps each day, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water, or saying no to that second helping of buttery mashed potatoes. One thing you can do right now to make your lifestyle healthier is to move more.
Learn how to breathe. Believe it or not, most of us have never been taught how to breathe properly. Diaphragmatic breathing is a hidden gem that needs to be shared with more of the population because the benefits are life-changing. Breathing at one-third capacity, which is how most of us breathe, can cause tension and exhaustion and even encourage aches and illness. Breathing with your diaphragm ensures your lungs are filled to their capacity and allows your muscles (including the brain) to be in a more relaxed state, aiding stronger decision making and enhanced performance. Here’s a handy video to show you how it’s done:
A healthy lifestyle is a valuable resource for reducing the incidence and impact of health problems, for recovery, for coping with life stressors, and for improving quality of life. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows our lifestyles play a huge part in how healthy we are. From what we eat and drink, to how much exercise we take, and whether we smoke or take drugs, all will affect our health, not only in terms of life expectancy, but how long we can expect to live without experiencing chronic disease.
Some foods do not fit into the five food groups because they are not necessary for a healthy diet. These foods are called ‘discretionary choices’ and they should only be eaten occasionally. They tend to be too high in either energy (kilojoules), saturated fat, added sugars, added salt or alcohol, and have low levels of important nutrients like fibre.
Confidence increases: as above, as you take on more and more challenges, you realise that the comfort zone you had once placed yourself in is now far too small for you. Watching yourself grow can be an invigorating experience, as can the feedback you receive from others regarding your progress. Let the positive energy spur you on to bigger and better things.
Cut down on processed food. Processed foods are not good because (1) most nutritional value is lost in the making of these foods and (2) the added preservatives are bad for our health. Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt content, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. Processed foods are anything that is not in its raw form. In general, most food in supermarkets are processed — the more ingredients it has on the label (especially the ones ending with ‘ite’ or ‘ate’), the more processed they are. Watch out for those with salt/sugar in the first 5 ingredients and go for unprocessed food as much as possible.
Low FODMAPFor sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a low FODMAP diet can significantly improve symptoms. Healthy Food Guide has a collection of FODMAP-friendly recipes so you can look after your IBS without struggling to find things you can eat. For more low FODMAP recipe ideas see our recipe filter for recipes that can easily be made into a low FODMAP options.