Weight management can be tough for everyone! In this month’s Cures from the Kitchen we bring you our top foods to support a healthy weight.
People with Parkinson’s may experience weight gain and weight loss. People experiencing weight loss may not be eating or absorbing enough calories. If you don’t have an appetite or seem to be losing weight unintentionally, talk to your doctor about possible problems absorbing food, which can happen with Parkinson’s.
People experiencing weight gain may be eating more calories than they burn through activities. Knowing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – or how many calories you burn to keep your body functioning at rest – can help you gauge how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis. Two-thirds of the energy your body burns is used to maintain body functions at rest such as heart rate, body temperature, lungs and kidneys. There are many factors that also influence basal metabolism such as age, height, stress, hormones, smoking, caffeine, sleep and food! To get an idea of your BMR and the number of calories you need to eat in a day, visit the Active website’s online calculator.
Foods can also influence your metabolism. Here are some of my top considerations from the kitchen to support metabolism for weight loss goals:
Consuming water can increase metabolism by 30%! Try to drink half your bodyweight in ounces throughout the day. For example, a person weighing 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces or 2.2 liters of water a day.
Your body needs healthy fats for a healthy metabolism. Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, fish, nuts and seeds are healthy fats that can help increase metabolism while supporting healthy cellular functions.
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that influences metabolism and helps you feel full. There are many factors that influence leptin levels and the body’s sensitivity to the hormone. In general, avoiding processed foods and eating a diet high in fruits, veggies and lean proteins can help your body produce and use leptin. Be mindful of your protein intake if you’re taking levodopa for PD. Protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa.
CoQ10 helps your cells produce energy and, therefore, supports a healthy metabolism. Good, plant-based sources of CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. Organ meats, such as kidney and liver, are also high in CoQ10.
While incorporating healthy foods be sure to limit if not eliminate foods that slow down metabolism:
Sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup)
“You are what you eat”, applies to both your body and mind. Try incorporating the advice in this column to support optimal health, satiety and metabolism as people with Parkinson’s living inspired lives.
Dr. Bethany Tennant is a Naturopathic Physician & Certified Nutrition Specialist and has been involved with BGF since 2012. Dr. Tennant is passionate about neurodegenerative conditions, natural sports medicine and medical nutrition. She sees patients at 2bwell Clinic in Lake Oswego, OR.