There are a number of diseases that are still incurable to this date.The only way to deal with them is to prevent yourself from being afflicted with the disease.
One such disease is the Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system, which causes impaired movement for the sufferer that gets worse over time. Symptoms include tremors that often start with just one hand, rigidity, and slowed movement. This is because the nerve cells in the brain that are responsible for making the dopamine chemical start to fail and eventually die. Parkinson’s is common in people who are above 60 years old, but it can begin as early as 40 for other people.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for this condition, but there are medications that are prescribed to help reduce Parkinson’s symptoms. There are also proposed home remedies that could either prevent the disease from developing or at fight it during its onset.
One example of home remedy is known as fava beans. Also known as field beans, broad beans, Windsor beans, and horse bean among many other names, fava beans are similar to chickpeas and lentils. They contain tons of fiber and are a lean protein choice, particularly for vegans. Fava also contains several nutrients including iron that helps boost energy, magnesium, vitamin K and B6, copper, and zinc.
Fava Beans vs. Parkinson’s Disease
Aside from the mentioned nutrients above, fava beans also have levodopa, the same chemical found in medicines that are used for treating Parkinson’s disease. In fact, the whole plant where the beans come from contains levodopa and these include the stems, pods, young beans, and leaves.
There are small studies that showed how levodopa, particularly in fava beans, can aid in controlling symptoms of the disease – meaning it is as effective as levodopa-containing drugs. There are also reports about some patients who said the effects from the beans last longer than the medicines’ effects. According to some experts, this may be due to the other substances found in the beans that could help reduce PD symptoms.
Levodopa amount in fava beans can vary depending on a variety of factors, including:
- Fava species
- Area where the plant is grown
- Conditions of the soil
- Rainfall amount
It appears that immature or young beans in the pod are the richest in levodopa, while the dried or mature beans contain the least amount. Three ounces of fresh beans can give about 50 up to 100 mg of levodopa.
Although more research is needed to prove fava beans can really help treat PD, there are studies that discovered how the beans can help improve motor function. One study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, suggested that dissolving the beans (both dried and fresh with the outer shell) in water and alcohol can increase levodopa and carbidopa in the blood of the patient. This leads to improving motor performance in people with PD without them suffering from side effects.