Diet changes could dramatically help manage behavior of kids with ADHD, study says

Eleven percent of children from ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the majority of them take medicine to control the symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, a round of new, peer-reviewed studies have revealed that simple changes in diet can dramatically help manage it.

It can also help in behavior of children without ADHD.

• Remove artificial colorings from your child’s diet. These dyes — especially Red #40, Blue #2, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6 — trigger hyperactivity in many kids, notes Columbia University Medical Center psychiatrist David Schab, MD, MPH. In addition, they serve to “get children interested in foods that are globally unhealthy — Pop-Tarts, sodas, processed cereals, energy bars.”

• Eliminate food additives, especially the preservative sodium benzoate, from your kid’s diet.  It is most commonly found in soda and other carbonated beverages, fruit juices, jams, salad dressings, condiments, and pickles. Be sure to read ingredients labels and beware of fast-food menu items, which can contain a significant dose.

• Remove medicines and foods containing salicylates, found in hundreds of medicines, including aspirin, as well as some fruits. In some people, salicylates can cause or exacerbate asthma, fatigue, and, notably, the symptoms of ADHD.

• Supplement your kid’s meals with targeted micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals), including vitamin D, the range of B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Be sure to consult with a skilled naturopath or integrative physician so that you do not oversupplement.

 

• Consider your child’s gastrointestinal health. Working with your doctor, you may want to add probiotics to his or her supplements, along with the supplement tricycline (which contains berberine, artemisinin, citrus extract, and walnut hulls). This treatment is designed to improve problems related to leaky gut, a condition in which damaged intestinal walls release undigested food particles into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is associated with a range of inflammatory and immune responses.

• Try an elimination diet. Remove casein (found in dairy products, such as milk and cheese) and gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye) from your child’s meals and see if it makes a difference. Reintroduce these substances after they have cleared the system (three weeks for casein, three months for gluten) only if no positive changes have occurred with elimination.

• If your child is still acting hyperactive, try a restrictive diet of water and organic rice, turkey, lamb, lettuce, carrots, pears, and other whole foods that rarely cause food allergies. See if your child’s symptoms subside; if so, slowly reintroduce foods to his or her meals to see which items cause symptoms to reemerge.

• Consider a low-glycemic eating plan high in protein and fiber, and low in carbs, such as refined carbohydrates and sugar.

• Rebuild your child’s diet based on whole, organic, nutrient-dense foods.


NOTICE: THE CONTENT IN THIS ARTICLE ARE PERSON OPINIONS. FOR EVERY CHANGE IN A CHILD DIET CONSULT A CERTIFIED HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER.