ADHD and Nutritional Diet
ADHD is a brain condition in which the levels of neurotransmitters affecting certain centers of the brain are lower than normal. Those diagnosed with ADHD have trouble with concentration, keeping still and impulsivity. The disorder begins to manifest itself in children between the ages of 5 and 8 and can affect girls and boys. Lack of diagnosis can lead to the symptoms of the condition continuing on into adulthood in a greater number of children.
Nutritionists and doctors have been exploring the relationship between nutrients and ADHD. Before you adopt any of these dietary suggestions for yourself or your child, please check in with your medical professional.
Nutrients And ADHD – What To Eat
Our understanding of how food affects every organ in our bodies has grown more sophisticated over the past decade. The affect of our diet on our brain is no exception.
Blood flows through each organ, tissue, bone and bodily organ. Since the brain is the center of the ADHD’s challenge, any nutrients that promote brain health are the ones that you want to get into your body. The brain is made up of nerve cells that pass electrical signals from one to the other, creating learning pathways. The cells are insulated by myelin sheath.
Here are some foods that can be included in the diet to help improve the health of the brain. Know this: There is no miracle cure for ADHD. Increasing proper nutrition not only helps the brain to function better but also the rest of the body. And, a healthy body is better equipped to deal with anything.
One of the main nutrients you can focus on is omega-3 fatty acids, and cold water fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are filled with omega-3s. These acids have been shown to increase immunity, heart health, brain development and hormone balance in the body.
In the brain, omega-3 fatty acids help to nourish the myelin sheath. This can potentially help electrical impulses pass quicker from neuron to neuron. Other sources of these fatty acids include nuts, flaxseed oil, flax seeds and linseed oil.
Protein builds muscle tissue. Consuming protein with as little fat as possible is best. Try eating eggs, beans, meat and nuts.
Simple carbs contain more sugar and can contain more fat. Eating too much fat can block the absorption of the good nutrients that the brain needs. Lower your fat content with complex carbohydrates: green leafy vegetables, whole grains and fruits like apples, pears and grapefruit.
What Not to Eat
Certain foods may make the condition worse for sufferers of ADHD. For instance the body of an ADHD child seems to lack the enzyme to properly break down the protein casein found in milk, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
High fat and processed foods are not good for anyone, but as mentioned above, they can block important nutrients from being absorbed and used by the body. Limit or eliminate trans fats, saturated fat foods, processed sweets and fatty meats.
Diet is not the entire picture but it does help in many ways. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, choosing the proper foods is an important first step.