Over the past two decades, more and more children with learning disabilities have been diagnosed, and while there is debate about the reasons behind this, one thing is certain – this makes life difficult for them. Children with ADHD or ADHD find it difficult to concentrate on important things, tend to be hyperactive, and as a result of their behavior, many of them are also labeled as “problem children” unnecessarily. Although there are drugs that help treat various types of attention deficit disorder, it can also be mitigated by proper nutrition. By avoiding certain foods that aggravate the symptoms of ADHD and increasing the intake of recommended foods, you can help your children enjoy a healthier lifestyle and also significantly reduce the patterns of behavior of these disorders.
Foods to avoid:
- Foods with artificial colors
Nutrition has a significant impact on our lives, there is no doubt about it, and it can exacerbate or alleviate ADHD symptoms in children. According to psychologist David Schab of the Columbia University Medical Center, one of the foods that aggravate ADHD is food coloring, especially red # 40, blue # 2, yellow # 5, and yellow # 6.These colors can be found in salty and sweet snacks, Sodas and processed cereals, so it ‘s important to carefully check the labels of the various foods that you buy for your children’ to make sure they do not consume these harmful colors that cause the worsening of attention deficit disorder.
- Foods with high glycemic index
Jumping blood sugar causes worsening ADHD symptoms, so avoid simple carbohydrate foods such as white bread, white rice, fast food, packaged food, and more. In addition, you may want to check the labels of various foods that you are buying. Do they hide other types of simple sugars, such as maltodextrin, or simply look at the list here, which lists the foods that may aggravate symptoms of attention deficit disorder.
- Artificial additives: In a 2007 study, researchers found that artificial additives in foods caused children with ADHD to be hyperactive and exacerbated symptoms of the phenomenon in children diagnosed with it. As a result, some foods have already been identified in Europe as causing such effects, but by the time these marks reach Israel, it is recommended that children be prevented from eating foods with artificial additives. In this case, too, it is important that you read labels of various food products and prefer those that do not contain preservatives and flavor and fragrance supplements so that your children will not only get healthy nutrition, but will also be able to significantly overcome the symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder.
- Medications and foods containing salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is one of the most important herbal hormones, and has extensive uses in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in cultivation. Apart from its widespread use and the fact that it benefits most people, this acid also exacerbates asthma, fatigue and ADHD. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid medications containing this acid, such as aspirin, and ask the pediatrician for an alternative that does not contain it. In addition, eating foods high in salicylic acid, such as chips, crackers, almonds, plums, oranges, pineapples, canned mushrooms, olives, puree and tomato sauce, will help minimize the consumption of this acid and its negative effects.
Foods that should be consumed more:
Now that you know which foods it is important to avoid in order to minimize the symptoms of ADHD in children, it is important to know which foods are recommended to consume more in order to improve their focus even more:
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on a number of ADHD symptoms, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and low concentration. This is because this essential acid, which our body can not produce alone, is essential for the proper functioning of the brain, and among children with attention deficit disorder, it significantly reduces the negative symptoms of the phenomenon. In a 2009 study conducted in Sweden, 25% of the adolescents tested and received a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids experienced a marked decrease in ADHD symptoms after three months. After half a year, 50% of the adolescents tested improved, so it is definitely recommended to include high-acid foods in your child’s diet. Click here to discover 12 foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Iron Supplements: Many parents and even some experts in the field are unaware of the importance of iron when it comes to ADHD. In a study conducted by the American Medical Association, it was found that among children with arrhythmia, iron levels were 22 compared to children without such disorders, whose level of iron was 44 according to American standards. 22 is still within the norm, so many people tend to ignore this problem because it does not indicate anemia, but still – it is desirable to be in the highest range in terms of the index of this essential mineral. Iron deficiency worsens symptoms of ADHD, so it is important to keep it at least at the right limit (for children in Israel – 50-120 mcg / dl). Apart from the iron levels, it is also important to check blood levels of blood in order to determine if they are low and should be increased. In case the results are indeed low, it is important to consult your pediatrician regarding iron supplements so that your levels will rise and yield the desired results in terms of reducing attention and concentration disorders.
- Foods rich in zinc and magnesium
Besides iron, zinc and magnesium are also two minerals that play a significant role in the moderation of ADHD symptoms. Zinc regulates the levels of the neurotransmitter Dopamine, and it improves the efficacy of the Ritalin drug given to children with attention deficit disorder. Therefore, it is important to maintain proper levels of this mineral as recommended in detail in the following link. In addition to zinc, magnesium also plays a significant role in regulating ADHD symptoms by helping focus, which children with these disorders find it difficult to do. Click here to find out which foods contain high levels of magnesium. Although there is no conclusive evidence regarding the effect of these two minerals on the level of attention and concentration, we have observed a correlation between their low levels and the worsening of the symptoms of the disorder, so it is important to maintain proper doses in your child’s body.
- Elimination diet
ADHD is expressed in a different way and severity in each child because of the physiological differences of each of us. Therefore, it is recommended to examine whether certain foods aggravate ADHD in your children to find out if they are the ones behind some of the symptoms. To do this, you may want to consult a dietitian and remove certain food items from your child’s menu, such as gluten or lactose, to see if it is affected. In many cases there has been a decrease in the symptoms of ADHD in children who are trying on an elimination diet so that apart from drugs, it is recommended to examine whether there are natural ways to improve the condition by eating properly and adapting to your child.