Science is learning more every day about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. While it’s understood that diet alone is not responsible for ADHD, it is now coming to light that altering diet may lessen symptoms. Some research has shown that certain foods worsen ADHD symptoms and a change in diet can show a measurable improvement in children with ADHD. Here is a little about what diet you and your family may want to help with ADHD.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention – hence its name. The exact cause of ADHD is yet to be identified, but research through the National Institutes of Health has shown it has a large genetic component. There is no cure, and for most people the best that can be done is to manage the symptoms through behavioral therapy, medication and now dietary alterations. The jury is still out on whether or not diet modification is a treatment that works but there is evidence from several studies suggesting that dietary modification does have a positive impact on ADHD symptoms.
The Few Foods Diet
The few foods diet is an elimination diet people sometimes explore as a way to control ADHD symptoms. This diet works by eliminating all foods that may cause an adverse reaction for one to five weeks. When or if symptoms improve, you move on to the second phase of the diet, reintroduction.
In the reintroduction phase, every three to seven days foods are worked back into the diet that were previously taken out as “trigger” foods. If you notice adverse effects, then the food can be seen as a trigger food.
When it is determined which foods are trigger foods for ADHD, then a personal diet plan can be developed to minimize symptoms.
Which Foods to Eat?
The few foods diet is simple to follow. You need two to five protein sources, two to three carb sources, one to two fat sources and two types of fruit as well as a range of vegetables.
For protein, it is suggested you try beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and wild game such as venison. For carbs, rice, sweet potatoes and white potatoes are a good place to start. For fat, you want to try to use sunflower and grapeseed oils, and for fruit ripe pears and bananas. There are many vegetables that can be introduced including spinach, artichokes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bamboo shoots, bok choy, cucumbers, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions, garlic, pumpkin, beets, zucchini, and squash.
If you have more questions about hwo the diet can impact symptoms of ADHD, your chiropractor is a great resource for nutrition information. If you do decide to try a diet like this for ADHD, make sure it is supervised by a professional.
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