Namaste: Food for ADHD

Lifestyle.

Usually when we consider ADHD, we think of children bouncing off the walls. However, adults can be effected as well and parents of children with ADHD are two-to-eight times more likely to have it themselves. 

5.4 million Children between the ages 4-17 are diagnosed annually, and a growing number of adults have been as well. And I don't think these rates are just because many young adults are hooked on Adderall.

 I myself was diagnosed in my mid-thirties as I found the symptoms worsened with age- my "tricks" to control it didn't work as well under stress and as I got older. Diagnosis is usually determined when symptoms that are marked by inattentiveness, hyperactivity or impulsivity are present for six months or more. For me, I felt like it impacted my abilities to focus on my children or when I was in a car driving. I don't think a cop would take the excuse of "but sir, I can't just sit still or not be in constant stimulation" as a reason for driving erratically. 'Don't be un-medicated and drive' is not a cool bumper sticker. I displayed other symptoms, besides being easily distracted, like being forgetful, talking excessively (I am still working on this), interrupting (add this to my improvement list) and fidgeting. 

Connection to Nutrition

Medications are not the only management tool.  There are some diet changes that can assist with ADHD too. I know, we all want a quick fix or instant gratification, but these are small changes and have been proven effective in children. So why not try it as an adult too? 

Diet Tips

Foods to Eat

  • Bananas
  • Whole Grains (for Breads, Cereals)
  • Pears
  • Lentils
  • Fish
  • Milk and Cheese
  • Eggs

Foods to Avoid

  • Food containing dyes (especially red or orange dyes)
  • Processed Foods
  • Dried Fruits
  • Sugary Foods- candies, desserts, sodas

Summary

Most medications that are given for ADHD are actually stimulants; so there is some debate on caffeine. If taken later in the day- impacting sleep- it is no beuno. Some researchers believe it lessens hyperactivity- I know weird. However, it was also shown that women who drank caffeine during pregnancy, beyond the occasional cup of coffee, were more likely to have a child who had symptoms of ADHD. Instead, focus on proteins. Don't do foods that contain salicylates (the dried foods as an example), limit electronics before bed (hard for us ADHDers to power down at night) and get outside.


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