Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is another of the many chronic conditions affecting millions of children and often follows them into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent symptoms, such as difficulties sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
Over the past few years, the number of ADHD cases has dramatically increased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it has gone up by 42% during the last eight years! Interestingly enough, science shows that a large amount of children with ADHD have a tendency to develop other corresponding neurological conditions like dyspraxia, dyslexia, autism, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, sleep disorder and learning disabilities. These findings indicate the common mechanism of these conditions. The majority of these children are given powerful, mind-altering medications, that have not been researched in long-term studies meaning that nobody knows what devastating side effects they will cause these children in a few years’ time.
At the same time, lots of studies indicate the obvious connection between gut issues and brain performance and behavior in children. So, we can not simply ignore the fact that many kids with ADHD have a predisposition towards constipation and certain dysbiosis (McKeown C. et al., Pediatrics. 2013 Nov;132(5)). The initial understanding that food could trigger the symptoms of ADHD was first noted by Dr Ben Feingold in 1970s, who was testing allergies by eliminating artificial dyes and other food additives from food. Through applying his dietary approach, Dr Feingold helped many people with aggressive behavior, hypertension and psychosis. Since then we have understood so much more and keep learning about the positive effect of real food, fruits and vegetables, and food cooked correctly and traditionally on our health and behavior! At the same time, the negative toxic impact of any chemicals in our food on our microbiome, our physiological and neurological conditions has become very obvious. For example, one study by Dr David Schrab (J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004 Dec;25(6):423-34) has demonstrated the enormous negative effect of artificial food colorings and preservatives on hyperactive behavior in children and teens. Remarkably, this study has also shown that even kids with ADHD could be made more hyperactive by food additives.
It has also been shown that micronutrients can be very effective in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in adults. Research by Dr Julia Rucklidge (Br J Psychiatry, 2014; 204:306-15) is a clear demonstration of how a broad-based formulation of many vitamins and minerals can be more effective than medical drugs and behavioral therapies. Research and practice by Dr Kenneth Bock demonstrates that certain allergens, like gluten (protein from wheat, barley and ray) and casein (protein from dairy products), can definitely contribute to ADHD symptoms.
Therefore, it would be absolutely logical to begin by following a dietary and nutritional approach when we want to help children and adults become more focused, calm and perform better at school.
MANY CHRONIC ISSUES IN OUR CHILDREN, INCLUDING ADHD, DEPEND ON OUR MODERN LIFE STYLE!
How can we help our children easily get better, today? How can we save our children from being on medications with unknown long-term side effects?
Let’s be practical and specific! And I am talking about changes for the whole family rather than for one child! This is a family effort and these are life style changes that will be beneficial for the whole family!
BE A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR CHILDREN!
Here are a few simple things you can do at home TODAY and help your child from TODAY:
- Exclude the following from your diet:
- Fast and processed food
- Candy and any other kids’ sweets or foods that are full of sugar and artificial colors
- Soda drinks that contain sugar, colorants and neurotoxic additives
- Pay attention to the ingredient lists of the products you buy and avoid any dyes, artificial coloring or preservatives. Some dyes can be found in many products for children such as toothpaste, vitamins, sauces, fruit snacks, cake mixes and so on.
- Check whether your children have food allergies to any particular foods. Allergens can affect brain function and trigger hyperactivity. It could be useful to have an allergy test or to just eliminate certain foods from your diet for a few days to see if the child’s body reacts in a specific way to this elimination.
- Include lots of nutritionally dense foods in your diet, especially fruits and vegetables.
- Children need to have a brainy breakfast every day
- Have healthy snacks during the day
- Consume plenty of water
- Eat plenty of smart fats (nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, coconut oil, butter and gee)
- Enrich your diet with a fermented food and consider taking some probiotics.
- Increase amount of protein-rich and low glycemic index foods in your diet.
- Consider taking supplements such as Juice Plus and Fish oil.
- Increase the amount of time spent on physical activity every day.
- Stress management and relaxing is very important.
- You can make a bath with Epsom salt
- Use Lavender essential oil in the bedroom
- Sleep quality management:
- Make sure that all electronic gadgets are removed from the bedroom
- Avoid having a blue light in the bedroom
- Remember that the best quality sleep is between 10 pm and 2 am
- Keep a journal of how your child is doing every day in terms of food, drink and activity. Monitor his/her behavior at the same time and see if you see any correlations.
THE BEST HELP THAT OUR CHILDREN CAN RECEIVE SHOULD COME FROM NATURE, FROM SIMPLE CHANGES IN EATING AND LIFESTYLE!
As usual, I look forward to receiving your ever valuable questions, comments and feedback: email@example.com