ADHD and Diet

“The world needs all types of minds”

There is no evidence that the behavioural disorder ADHD is caused by diet. However, research suggests that for some people dietary changes can improve symptoms.
The science behind food’s effects on behaviour and different social disorders is still quite new and controversial. But even now almost everyone agrees that certain foods do affect our behaviour:
– Caffeine can increase alertness;
– Chocolate can affect mood;
– Alcohol can totally change us.

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Nutritional deficiencies can also affect behavior: taking a supplement of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals lead to a significant reduction in antisocial behaviour. A lot of scientists think that people who has ADHD symptoms should focus mostly on:

  • Supplements and study behind it: how several nutrients affects ADHD
  • Eliminating one or several ingredients from the diet

Research into the effect of food on ADHD started 40 years ago when Benjamin Feingold said that both – artificial food additives (colorings and flavors) and foods rich in salicylates (chemicals occurring naturally in some foods) might be ‘important agents’ of the hyperkinetic syndrome. Read about hyperkinetic syndrome – HERE

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Researchers have explored whether a deficiency of omega-3 fats might contribute to symptoms of ADHD, because these fatty acids perform a number of functions in the brain, such as affecting transmission of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin and helping brain cells to communicate. Some evidence suggests that children with ADHD may have low levels of essential fatty acids.

Deficiencies of particular vitamins or minerals — such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6 — have been documented in children with ADHD. But still there is no evidence that they are helpful for ALL children with ADHD. Furthermore, megadoses of vitamins must be avoided. 

For now, recommendations are: 

  • eat a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthful unsaturated fats, and good sources of protein; 
  • go easy on unhealthy trans fats, rapidly digested carbohydrates and fast food; 
  • balance healthy eating with plenty of physical activity.

Conclusion: A good diet can help reduce some symptoms of ADHD and improve overall health and nutrition of the child or  even grown up. 

More about Nutrition and ADHD read on – CHADD

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Next post – Your Metabolic Constitution/Ayurveda 

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