Most experts agree that managing ADHD symptoms would include eating a healthy diet, getting ample exercise, especially out of doors, and regularly getting a good nights sleep. In addition to getting a handle on ADHD symptoms, establishing such a pattern of positive lifestyle choices early on may contribute to good health over a lifetime as well. While exercise and sleep are pretty straight forward following good eating habits can be a challenge – it’s not just about what’s the right food to eat. There’s also the food to avoid. ADD Online Magazine advises that “kids with attention deficit disorder should lighten up on or eliminate –sugar, food dyes, and preservatives.” This is getting easier as more and more food vendors are cashing in on the trend for “all natural” products and “preservative free” becomes a selling feature that is prominently displayed on many foodstuffs.
However, even once you master what food to avoid the challenge of how to get the recommended food into a typical diet remains. Read on for the ADD Online Magazine list of food that kids with ADHD should include in their diet. Their top food recommendations include “protein (to sustain alertness),omega-3 fatty acids (to increase brain function and memory), complex carbohydrates (to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes), and certain vitamins and minerals (zinc, iron, and magnesium, to improve focus).”
So now that you know the top nutritional recommendations to manage ADHD symptoms how do you know what to eat? Below is a list of some typical foods that contain these important nutrients. Try to incorporate most or all of the following into your diet every day.
Protein: beans, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, yogurt and nuts
Omega-3 fatty acids: fish such as trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon, as well as ground flax seed (sprinkle on cereal or yogurt) and nuts (including nut butters)
Complex carbohydrates: some fruits such as pears, apples, oranges and all vegetables
Zinc: beef, turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, oysters, pumpkin seeds, and beans
Iron: red meat, liver, egg yolks, dark leafy greens, beans, shellfish, dried fruits
Magnesium: meats, nuts, soybeans, and spinach
A simple plan could include 3-5 meals or snacks daily that include protein, fruit or vegetable, whole grain or fiber and small serving of fat such as nuts or nut butter.