Does Diet Affect ADHD Symptoms?
A diet or dietary supplement regime that reduces the symptoms of ADHD would be a huge benefit for anyone living with this disruptive disorder. However, to date, the evidence provides only limited support for restrictive diets, avoiding preservatives and artificial food dyes, consuming more omega-3 fats, or taking specific vitamins or minerals.
A healthful diet may reduce symptoms of ADHD by reducing exposure to artificial colors and additives and improving intake of omega-3 fats and micronutrients. And it will certainly improve overall health and nutrition, and set the stage for a lifetime of good health.
Foods that May Help Reduce ADHD Symptoms
While there hasn’t been a great deal of conclusive research on diets that improve ADHD symptoms, there are some foods you can eat which are good for the brain and could help make your symptoms better. Richard Sogn, MD, at WebMD has these dietary recommendations.
- Maintain a high-protein diet – This includes beans, cheese, eggs, meat, and nuts – all good sources of protein. He suggests eating these kinds of foods in the morning and for after-school snacks to help improve concentration and possibly make ADHD medications work longer.
- Reduce simple carbohydrates – He suggests cutting down on the quantity of candy, corn syrup, honey, sugar, products made from white flour, white rice, and potatoes without the skins.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates – These include vegetables and some fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, pears, grapefruit, apples, and kiwi. Eating this type of food in the evening could help you sleep.
- Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids – You can get these from eating tuna, salmon, and other cold-water white fish. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, and olive and canola oil are also foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. You could also take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
Better Dietary Habits May Mean Fewer Symptoms
Poor diet and eating habits do not cause ADHD. And when it comes to controlling the symptoms of ADHD – such as impulsivity and inattention – there is no substitute for medication and behavioral therapy, which are the most effective approaches. But recent research suggests a possible connection between the degree of ADHD symptoms and diet.
ADHD and Eating