Have you or your child been diagnosed with ADHD? Maybe you suspect you or one of your children may have ADHD.
Good news, recent research shows your diet is one of the most influential factors for making ADHD worse or reducing or eliminating ADHD symptoms. Why use drugs first when the food we put in our bodies may have the most powerful health influence (good and bad) on ADHD? Start by examining the most basic and fundamental cornerstone of your health — the foods (and non-foods) you put into your body?
Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Center in the Netherlands, and lead author of a study on food and ADHD, stated in an interview with NPR that ADHD is easy enough to regulate through diet.
“Food is the main cause of ADHD,” lead researcher Lidy Pelsser told NPR. “After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums.” “The teachers thought it was so strange that the diet would change the behavior of the child as thoroughly as they saw it. It was a miracle, the teachers said.” After five weeks, more than 60 percent of the kids in the test group had seen their moderate-to-severe symptoms fade to mild or fall out of the clinical range altogether.
Always consult with your doctor before making any diet or lifestyle changes. Never stop taking medications unless approved by your doctor.
Alright, Lets Get Straight to the Point—-The Diet
The diet couldn’t be much simpler, really. It only restricts unhealthy foods.
To summarize, you are going to cut foods with preservatives, known allergen foods, some food colorings, added sugars and high glycemic foods. This is a low allergen diet. Most ADHD symptoms are heightened by food sensitivities and allergies.
If you did nothing but cut all dairy, beef and 90% of the sugar in your diet, you would see very positive changes. Incorporate the other changes and for most people, the positive impact will be simply amazing.
FIRST TWO WEEKS:
1) NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow’s milk. This is the single most important restriction. Instead try sugar-free Almond milk or sugar-free Rice milk. Drink water instead of milk. Do not drink Sodas, Gatorade, sweet teas, etc., they do not count as water.
2) NO YELLOW FOODS. Especially Corn or Squash. Bananas are white. Don’t eat the peel.
3) NO JUNK FOODS. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don’t eat it.
4) NO FRUIT JUICES or DRIED FRUIT. Too much sugar content. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. Later on you can have juice, but dilute it with water 50/50. Dried fruit is normally coated with sugar and has concentrated sugars in them. Limit fruits to 2 to 3 servings per day.
5) CUT SUGAR INTAKE BY 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but give it a try. Do your best without going crazy. This does not mean cut the sugar in real food like a sweet potato, carrots or beets. Eliminate as much added sugar as possible. Some names of added sugars are; sugar, raw sugar, beet sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cane juice, glucose, sucrose, turbinado sugar, maple syrup, rice syrup, malt, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose and corn starch. If you stay away from refined and processed foods you will have no problem with sugars. If you have been consuming a lot of sugars in your diet, you may have a headache for a day from the withdrawal effects.
6) CUT CHOCOLATE BY 90%. Only consume 85% or higher dark chocolate. No more than a single piece, once a week.
7) NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS (NutraSweet, Splenda, aspartame etc..) None. Period. Use Stevia in the Raw , Truvia or Pure Via.
9) NO PROCESSED MEATS. this includes luncheon meats, sausage, hot dogs etc….
8) NO meats, however if you must have meats, eliminate beef, eggs, chicken or pork, eat only lamb or turkey. Wild caught fish like cod, salmon or whiting is fine. If the package says it is in a sodium or salt solution for flavor or freshness do not buy it. It has preservatives.
10) NO FRIED FOODS, saute, grill, steam or broil instead.
11) AVOID FOOD COLORINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
12) NO white bread, cereals, white rice and white potatoes. They turn to blood sugar very quickly. The best whole grains are; brown rice, oats, oat bran, quinoa and buckwheat. Ezekiel Bread is Ok and is always in the frozen foods section. Wheat may be an allergen for some people.
13) LIMIT OR ELIMINATE refined and processed foods and most of the problem foods listed above become a non-issue. This means foods like Mac n Cheese, biscuits, rolls, pastries, most cereals, canned starchy foods like, Spaghetti O’s etc… This does not apply to canned beans or veggies. However always buy organic canned veggies when possible. If buying non organic canned foods, always rinse them very well.
14) NO REFINED VEGETABLE OILS, use only extra virgin olive oil or organic virgin coconut oil
This is a big change if refined and processed foods are a big part of your daily diet. No more mac and cheese, cereals, biscuits, etc….. However I will say that making these changes will have a profound effect on your overall health not just the ADHD
Eat as close to nature as possible, eliminate refined and processed foods, avoid known allergen foods, eat hypoallergenic foods.
You can start to add in other foods to see how they affect you or your child. Add one food at a time. Over a 48 hour period check their behavior. If there is no negative response then it may be a safe food. One food I would not add back are dairy products.
Nutrients That Are Important.
Most people with ADHD are deficient in these nutrients.
Water, water, water. It flushes toxins from our bodies, give us energy and helps us focus. A good formula to determine your fluid needs is to drink 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces of liquid. If you weight 200 pounds you will need at least 100 ounces of water or total combine liquid.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids– they are important for brain development and mental focus. (salmon, cod, halibut, sardines, krill oil, ground flax seed, flax oil, chia seeds, hemp oil)
ALA (alpha linolenic acid) , (a type of Omega 3 fatty acid) bests source is borage oil and primrose oil.
Protein– protein is very important for making neurotransmitters needed for healthy mental function. The best sources are; Turkey, lamb, salmon, cod, halibut, trout, quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. You only need a small amount of protein to be healthy. To determine your protein needs, divide your weight by 2.2 to convert to kilo grams. Then multiply that number by .8 and that is how many grams of protein you need per day. If you are an athlete or have an illness you may need more protein.
A great dietary supplement to help is Vive Energy Spice (not the chocolate for ADHD)
ADHD Drug Side Effects: Source http://www.adhdnews.com/adhd-drug-side-effects.htm
If you really want to reduce the symptoms of ADHD changing to a low allergen and low sugar diet can have a huge impact. In a matter of days positive changes will be noticed.
Other Great ADHD Articles
Wally Bishop C.N.C.
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.
- Is an ADHD Diet the Answer? (everydayhealth.com)
- Food Additives and ADD/ADHD: What’s the Connection? (everydayhealth.com)