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use diet to treat ADHD
As previously discussed, a balanced diet is good for us all, but especially important for those with ADHD. Making sure that the brain gets the key vitamins and nutrients it needs to function at its prime, comes from diet. Here are some breakfast ideas for ADHD sufferers, that focus on starting the day with key nutrients.
According to ADDitudemag.com,
“Children need more calories and protein per pound of body weight than adults do, to ensure normal growth and development and to maintain good health. The average daily amounts of calories and protein recommended by government health experts for normal-weight children and adolescents are as follows:”
- Ages 1-3: 1300 calories, 16 grams protein
- Ages 4-6: 1800 calories, 24 grams protein
- Ages 7-14: 2000 calories, 28 – 45 grams protein
With these protein numbers in mind, here are a few brain boosting breakfast ideas to try:
Whole grain waffles topped with natural peanut butter and apples, with a glass of milk
Oatmeal with honey and fresh fruit, topped with nuts, add a side of milk
Organic eggs, scrambled with whole wheat toast and a glass of orange juice
Yogurt, with granola, topped with nuts and a glass of milk
Ham and cheese breakfast sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin, side of orange juice
Make a homemade power granola with flax seed, (kids can help); serve on yogurt or with milk
Organic, nitrate free sausage, with scrambled eggs, and cheese, all wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla
Fruit smoothie with bananas, favorite berries, yogurt and a splash of 100% fruit juice (could add flax seed or protein powder)
Grilled almond butter and banana sandwich with a glass of milk
Keep a balanced diet in mind at each meal. Feed the brain to keep it working at its prime!
There are studies that suggest that there are certain foods to avoid with ADHD. The first is an obvious one, sugar. Studies have shown that sugar could make children who are hyperactive more hyper, destructive . The larger amounts consumed could make that hyperactivity worse. They simply get amped up and cannot sit still. The more hyper children get, the harder it will be to pay attention. A double whammy for those with ADHD. Our bodies crave sugar since we rely on glucose, but studies have shown that ADHD can make those cravings even stronger. Sugar in moderation is best for everyone, period.
Sugar is in nearly everything today. Sugar can be disguised in its many forms as well. This makes finding it tricky. Read the labels and look for some of these sugar disguises: high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, cane sugar, molasses, dextrin, rice syrup, saccharose, sucrose, maltose, and corn sweetener. Sugar by any other name, is the same! Remember that!
The next items on the list of foods to avoid include artificial dyes and preservatives. Studies have shown that these ingredients could also increase the level of hyperactivity in those with ADHD. These artificial dyes and preservatives are in nearly all processed foods. Keeping the amount of processed food consumed in the diet to a minimum is key. This is for those with or without ADHD. These chemicals are not good for our bodies. The chemicals I speak of are things like Red #3 (Carmoisine), Red #40 (Allura red), Blue #1 (Brilliant blue), Blue #2 (Indigotine), Yellow #5 (Tartrazine), Yellow #6 (Sunset yellow), Green # 3, and Orange B, as well as the food preservative, sodium benzoate. So the fun fruity cereals like Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms are filled with a ton of these colors and preservatives. Try cereals that are free of dyes like Cheerios or oatmeal. Serve 100% fruit juices instead of sodas and fruit cocktails. Read the labels and you will find more options to chose from.
Foods that cause allergies should be avoided as well. Reading the labels in this situation will help you avoid the common culprits in this area. This includes wheat, gluten, corn, and soy. Here again, studies have shown that these food allergens could cause the inattentive and hyperactive symptoms to increase. You can speak to your doctor about testing to see what foods your child might be allergic or sensitive too. A process of elimination will be necessary to give you the best ADHD diet.
There are theories that say the presence of certain substances, rather than the absence, in one’s diet could lead to exacerbation of symptoms associated with ADHD. Talk to your doctor and find out if an elimination diet could be an option to improve health. A well-balanced diet with the fewest amounts of processed foods may improve health and have a positive effect attitude.