Do you know or have a child with ADHD? If so, please read this blog to get some tips that may help. There’s a lot of research being done about this condition and your mind is probably already overwhelmed with questions…should I medicate my child? How will this affect his/her learning abilities? What does this mean for home life? Amid all these unknowns, you can take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. According to the CDC, in 2016, 6.1 million children and adolescents have either previously or currently been diagnosed with ADHD. It is a phenomenon that is currently at the top of many research lists and studies. Likewise, many of these studies have been devoted to the effects of diet on ADHD. So far, there are no proven links to food as the cause of ADHD, but there are studies which indicate that avoiding certain types of foods and additives can lessen some of its symptoms. So the question now is, just how and when can you modify your child’s symptoms depending on the types of food you let them eat?
Not surprisingly, candy, sodas, caffeine and products with high fructose corn syrup have made the top 7 list of foods to avoid. “Excessive sugar and caffeine intake both cause symptoms of hyperactivity and easy distractibility,” says Dr. Barnhill from the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, a 2013 study indicated that 5-year-old children who consumed sodas on a regular basis were more prone to exhibiting aggression and social withdrawal. This one doesn’t come as a big surprise as parents have been limiting caffeine and sugar intake for years as a means of controlling hyperactivity.
Interestingly enough, similar studies performed by the Mayo Clinic do give us a few surprises, so don’t stop reading just yet! One might think that if diet is directly linked to the indicators of ADHD, it might be helpful to provide vitamins and other dietary supplements. This has been proven INCORRECT. As a matter of fact, mega doses of vitamins and minerals can be toxic and interact negatively with many medications given for ADHD. Likewise, avoid frozen fruits and vegetables as they contain organophosphates which are commonly used in insect control. These foods can exacerbate ADHD symptoms and cause neurologic-based behavioral problems. Finally, it has been advised that there is a possible link between seafood and increased ADHD symptoms. The traced amounts of mercury found in seafood is the culprit here. According to one Mayo Clinic doctor, “Mercury, like cellulose, is extremely hard to digest and can accumulate in the brain over time”.
Finally, it’s best to consult with a doctor or ADHD dietary professional to learn more about which foods can negatively contribute to the behaviors connected to ADHD. You want to make sure that you eliminate some of these harmful additives but also still provide a balanced and healthy diet for your child. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ‘food for thought’ today. Again, food has not been proven to cause ADHD, but more and more doctors are linking these type of ‘food sensitivities’ to some of the common symptoms of ADHD.
Contact us at Dynamis Learning Academy if you would like to have a phone consultation to discuss your child’s needs. We have tutors on staff that can help a child with ADHD learn strategies to be more efficient in doing homework and turning it in to the teacher on time for credit.