We’ve constantly been told about the fact that there’s no such thing as “the proper nutrition for treating ADHD.” So no matter how many right foods you eat, your ADHD will still be there unless you undergo ADHD treatment that involves cognitive psychological methods. However, this case is not 100% true. You should know these ADHD proper eating habits.
Certain Foods Can Help Treat ADHD
To get the most out of your treatment, you need to go through a holistic treatment program, with proper nutrition and eating habits being a part of the plan. The right diet can have a potent effect on your overall mood, memory, behaviour, and cognition. On the other end, the wrong diet can worsen the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These are the reasons why it’s essential to incorporate a balanced nutritional diet, along with keeping track of all of the best foods for ADHD.
The theory of food being a contributing factor towards the improvement of ADHD can be reinforced by two studies conducted by Dutch Professor, Lidy Pelsser. In her research, she found out that an elimination diet has improved ADHD symptoms in 70 percent of children with ADHD. Eliminations remove sugar, dairy, gluten, eggs, and certain meats from one’s diet.
This finding caught a lot of attention from experts all over the world. It just shows that for an ADHD patient, anything that you put in your mouth matters. Eating to improve one’s health can be equated to enhancing one’s quality of life. Food directly impacts your neurotransmitters in both dopamine and serotonin, with both playing a significant role in one’s perception. For example, serotonin is responsible for your sleeping patterns, appetite control, and overall mood. Dopamine, on the other hand, is responsible for regulating pleasure in the brain.
5 Nutritional Principles for Treating ADHD
As an ADHD-diagnosed individual, the food you eat should contain the right nutrients that your body needs and can properly absorb. We’ve come up with five simple food and nutrition guidelines that will help treat both your body and brain.
Rule #1: Manage Your Calories; DO NO OVEREAT
It’s crucial that you eat only high-quality calories. However, you should also be careful as not to overeat. Impulsivity, a common trait for ADHD patients, makes use do things without forethought. Having an impulsive behaviour can potentially lead to eating the wrong food. As a matter of fact, impulsivity is closely linked to obesity. It doesn’t matter how much quality food you eat. If you fail to manage your calories properly, you will still end up being overweight, which would contribute more to your ADHD tendencies. Eating smart and counting your calories will give you the best results that will affect your mood and overall disposition and metabolism.
Rule #2: Drink Lots (and Lots) of Water
A little-known fact: your brain is composed of 80% water. Dehydrating your brain, such as drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, will harm your cognition and judgment abilities. To keep your brain hydrated and in excellent condition, it is essential that you drink as much water as you can every day. At the very least, drink 10 glasses a day.
Rule #3: Only Eat High-Quality Protein
It is essential that you start each day with protein to boost your concentration and focus. Protein works to balance your blood sugar levels, improve focus, and provide your brain with the needed building blocks for overall brain health. However, you should consume protein similar to how you take your medicine: take it in small doses.
Great sources of protein include the following:
- Fish (salmon)
- Chicken (skinless)
- Raw nuts
- Vegetables such as spinach & broccoli
- Fruits such as avocado
Rule #4: Stop Eating Sugary Foods
Sugar is your number one enemy. It can increase inflammation in both your mind and body, and cause an erratic firing of your brain cells. Too much sugar can trigger other diseases such as obesity and diabetes. There have also been findings pointing to sugar as a leading cause of aggression. A recent study found out that children who consumed sugar every day resulted in higher risks of showing tantrums and violence later in life. So with that said, the less sugar you eat, the better your life is going to be.
Rule #5: Incorporate the ‘Rainbow Diet.’
The rainbow diet involves eating foods that reflect the colour of the rainbow. These would include the following:
- Yellow Squash
- Red Bell Peppers
These foods boost the antioxidant levels in your body, helping you clean your system and keep your brain young and healthy.
Disregard the myth of nutrition not being a contributing factor towards ADHD treatment. The right food and diet play a huge role in treating ADHD, as well as improve one’s overall well-being. These five food tips will help positively jumpstart your nutrition program. For more information about ADHD nutrition, visit The ADHD Centre. Our Clinic also has nutritionists that are aware of the proper nutrition for treating ADHD.