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The information I share in this blog is based on my personal experience, conclusions, observations and studies, or taken from books and educational materials, which are mentioned in the articles. I am not a medical professional, nor a health expert. Before implementing any of the information shared in this blog, consult with your physician or nutritionist!
The ADHD Diet Plan. What To Avoid?
We are living in a time full of technology and innovations. And it seems that our attention span has significantly decreased while the information overload (and stress) skyrockets! As a consequence, new physical and mental conditions start to emerge – like the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Executive Functioning Deficiency. Although their real cause is still not 100% proven, many pieces of research show that there is a direct link between our obsession with smartphones, tablets, and computers (like the one conducted by the University of Virginia).
But there seems to be another culprit that plays a significant part in disrupting the natural functions of the brain – our diet. The INCA study (Impact of Nutrition on Children with ADHD) showed undoubtedly that 78% of the kids that followed a certain healthy elimination diet had a significant decrease in their symptoms!
Here is the diet that the participants followed!
Take out sugar from your ADHD diet plan!
One of the very first things that made a huge difference to the health of the subjects of the study was eliminating sugar. Now it is a well-known fact that our brain reacts to sugar in a similar fashion as to strong synthetic drugs like cocaine. This explains why regular consumption of refined sugar disorganizes our thought patterns and causes mood swings and unstable energy flow.
I personally have seen these effects myself. I made an experiment years ago – I quit sugar for 30 days and I was feeling wonderful – lots of energy, less anxiety, better mood. But when I had to take a single chocolate bar (my colleague was having a birthday party, and in Bulgaria, you do not refuse treats! 😀 ) I was surprised from my body’s reaction. I got heart palpitations, my brain became foggy, I felt anxious and stressed, and all of this because of a single chocolate candy! Then I realized that sugar is definitely one of the strongest and wide-spread narcotics out there! It is no joke!
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No white sugar! No artificial sweeteners! No food dyes!
No artificial sweeteners either
When the masses become more and more educated about the hazards of consuming sugar, the market was flooded with all sorts of substitutes. And, of course, the producers claim that the sweeteners are much safer and healthier compared to the traditional refined white sugar. But is that so?
Regular consumption of these sweeteners is linked to the development of some serious ailments like cancer, seizures, headaches, depression, attention deficit disorder, dizziness, weight gain, birth defects, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc. So, in a way, some of these substances are far more dangerous than sugar and should not be part of your (or your kid’s) ADHD diet plan! And the logical conclusion is that it is best for people with all forms of this health issue (ADD, EFD, etc.) to stay away from these substances.
Artificial food dyes and coloring
This one is big! I have spoken to many moms with kids who have ADHD and a big percentage of them share that by simply eliminating foods and drinks with artificial dyes made a huge positive impact on their children’s mental health! And this is quite reasonable – although these chemicals are labeled “safe”, they certainly have a bad reputation. And they certainly deserve it! So, definitely, make sure to exclude any artificial dyes from your healthy ADHD diet plan.
Stay tuned for part 2 – what to actually include in your healthy ADHD diet plan!
‘Till next time!
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