If overlooked as a child, many adults who suffer from Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder never receive a diagnosis. However, in recent years more awareness has focused on the disorder, and many adults are finally receiving the attention they need. Between 1997 and 2006, the number of ADHD diagnosis has increase by three percent a year, and by an average of nearly six percent a year between 2003 and 2007.
Now that more people are becoming aware of the disorder they possess, they can begin to take steps to help them control their ADHD. One of the easiest ways to help manage the condition’s symptoms is through diet. An ideal ADHD diet helps the brain function better, while also decreasing the restlessness and lack of focus that makes the disorder so hard to deal with.
An ideal ADHD diet should include a combination of adjustments to the following.
- Nutrition- the food you eat on a daily basis can either improve or negatively effect your ADHD symptoms. Properly managing your diet can also help ensure you’re getting plenty of food that can minimize your symptoms.
- Supplements- a lack of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can negatively contribute to your ADHD symptoms. Improving these nutritional components in your diet can help you attain a better balance that improve or lessen symptoms.
- Elimination- removing certain foods and ingredients from your diet that are suspected of contributing to ADHD symptoms can decrease unhealthy triggers that can make certain symptoms or behaviors associated with the disorder worse.
A Change in Diet
While researchers are just beginning to get an understanding of what role diet plays in managing ADHD, certain foods that are good for the brain are suspected of being ideal for individuals looking to improve their symptoms. Many doctors recommend that diets designed to help deal with ADHD include:
- Lots of protein- diets that include plenty of beans, cheese, meats, eggs, and nuts add valuable protein that can help the mind improve concentration, and can potentially prolong the effectiveness of ADHD medication.
- Less simple carbohydrates- eating less candy, corn syrup, sugar, and products made from enriched white flour can help decrease such ADHD symptoms as loss of focus and concentration, and feelings of being amped up or restless.
- Eating more complex carbohydrates- increasing the number of fruits and vegetables you eat can help you sleep better at night, and improve concentration the next day.
- Increased omega 3 fatty acids- adding more omega 3 to your diet from sources such as tuna, salmon, and other cold-water fish is an ideal way to help improve cognitive function in the brain.
Since everyone’s body reacts differently to what they eat, you should consult your doctor if you have any questions about the best diet that can help you manage your ADHD. You might find that eliminating certain foods from your diet only makes your symptoms worse, or that trying to make drastic changes leaves you feeling tired, sluggish, and worn out. However, through a little trial and error, you should be able to find the right combination that can help your improve your ability to deal with your ADHD symptoms.
Timothy Lemke blogs about health for Dr. Roy Lusch, a Portland dentist at Gateway Portland Dentistry.