Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by trouble in focusing on tasks and inattentiveness. The symptoms of this behavioral disorder appear in early childhood. If left untreated, the symptoms of ADHD might continue through adult life.
Although medications could not cure the behavioral disorder, drugs along with behavioral therapy could reduce the restlessness and improve attention. Diets designed especially for ADHD patients could improve their behavior. Studies have shown that certain food substances might worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Eliminating foods associated with ADHD from the diet might reduce the symptoms.
In a recent study, published in The Lancet, researchers at the ADHD Research Centre in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, found that 78 per cent children with ADHD, positively responded to the ADHD diet.
Simple carbohydrates and sugary foods are unsuitable for children with ADHD. Diet for ADHD patients should not contain sugar, honey, candy and corn syrup. Refined carbohydrate products such as white rice and food items containing white flour should be eliminated from the diet of people with ADHD. Starchy vegetables are unsuitable for ADHD sufferers. However, they can consume unpeeled potatoes.
Complex carbohydrates should be the main source of carbohydrate in the ADHD diet. Vegetables are especially beneficial for people with ADHD. ADHD diet might contain apple, oranges, pears, kiwi and grapefruits. An after-dinner complex carbohydrate snack or including complex carbohydrates in dinner might improve sleep.
A protein rich diet is beneficial for children with ADHD. A protein rich breakfast and snacking with cheese, nuts, beans and eggs in between meals might improve concentration. A high protein diet increases the effectiveness of ADHD medications.Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods such as fatty fish, fish oil, walnuts and flaxseeds could improve the brain function and reduce the ADHD symptoms.
Food allergies might worsen ADHD symptoms. Through an elimination diet, allergens that trigger the symptoms of ADHD might be identified. Usually food additives, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, nitrites present in processed food, monosodium glutamate, a popular seasoning agent and artificial food colors, especially yellow and red might increase hyperactivity in ADHD patients.To prevent malnutrition, ADHD sufferers should take multivitamins and mineral supplements.