Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can affect both children and adults, can cause restlessness, difficulty concentrating, lack of focus, and hyperactivity. Treatment may involve behavioral modifications, medication, and counseling or psychotherapy.
Changing the diet can also help treat symptoms of ADHD, although researchers are still studying the effects of foods on patients with the disorder. Below are some ADHD nutrition tips that may help patients with ADHD manage the disorder. Many processed foods contain additives such as artificial colorings and flavorings, BHA, BHT, and preservatives.
Patients with ADHD may be sensitive to these additives, causing their behavior to become more erratic after eating additive-containing foods. Other patients may have food intolerances to common allergens such as dairy and gluten. Not all people with ADHD are sensitive to artificial ingredients or allergens, and it may be difficult to determine which people are, but cutting some of these foods out of the diet may help regulate symptoms.
Foods that are high in salicylates or that contain caffeine, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats can exacerbate symptoms in patients with ADHD. In addition, some evidence suggests that children with ADHD do not consume enough omega-3 fatty acids.
These healthy fats are found in fish, some nuts, and flaxseed and can help with brain cell communication. Eating nutritionally-dense, fresh foods may help improve symptoms of ADHD. Focusing on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and sufficient protein will prevent patients from consuming artificial chemicals.
Eating well can also help keep the blood sugar levels steady, which helps to stabilize mood swings. Some evidence suggests that ADHD nutrition should involve taking supplements that contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, or vitamin B6, but these claims have not been proven