There is a lot of talk about foods having an impact on ADHD, especially in children. Researchers have been studying the effects of different foods and how they may help or worsen ADHD symptoms. There are even studies looking into whether or not ADHD is related to celiac disease in children.
While more research is needed there are some foods to avoid and foods to add to the diet of anyone with ADHD. Some research has shown that certain artificial flavors, preservatives and sweeteners may make symptoms worse. Choosing foods without artificial additives is not only healthier but it may help reduce hyperactivity in some kids with ADHD.
Contrary to popular belief, sugar may not be as bad for ADHD as originally thought. Keep in mind sugar will spike blood sugar levels in anyone, which can cause bursts of energy, then a crash in blood sugar, which can make focusing difficult. Minimizing sugar intake is still a good idea even if it doesn’t directly minimize ADHD symptoms.
It is also important to rule out any food allergies or sensitivities when trying to treat ADHD in children. Food allergies and sensitivities can make symptoms worse and if your child has a sensitivity to gluten or if they have a gluten intolerance it can cause even more health problems down the road. Learning about allergies and sensitivities early can help prevent other problems and lessen ADHD symptoms.
Things that may help children with ADHD include omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and magnesium. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in cognitive function and brain development. Studies have shown that kids with ADHD often have low levels of these fatty acids.
Zinc helps us maintain a strong immune system, it helps us heal more quickly and it may help regulate levels of brain chemicals like dopamine, which can help regulate hyperactivity.
Magnesium may also be a player when it comes to this condition. Studies have shown that children with ADHD are often deficient in magnesium. This mineral is known to help calm nerves.
Before dosing you child with supplements talk to a doctor, but choosing foods high in healthy fatty acids, zinc and magnesium is a safe way to provide higher levels of these nutrients in their regular diet.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, some studies suggest that exposure to pesticides, lead, mercury and other toxins may be connection with the development of ADHD or with aggravating the symptoms. If this is confirmed organic foods should be an important part of any diet for anyone with ADHD.
While there is still much to be learned about the connection between ADHD and diet, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the best way to maintain a strong immune system and reduce your risk of developing any condition that is caused by poor eating habits.