Attention Deficit Disorder: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Monday, 21 Mar 2011 03:24 PM

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Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting three to five percent of children in America. Though there is no specific cure for the ailment, diet has a role in the management of A.D.D., in addition to medications.

The best diet for attention deficit disorder is a high-protein diet that includes cheese, beans, eggs, meat, and nuts. Shellfish, swordfish, and tilefish, though rich sources of protein, should not be included because of their high mercury content.
 
A diet to manage A.D.D. should also include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Each meal should contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals. Avoid fatty and fried food products.

People with A.D.D. should avoid candy, sugar, white rice, white flour, and honey. They should instead incorporate complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread into their diets. Such carbohydrates help in the slow and steady release of sugar and prevent cravings. Fruit juices, chocolates, cookies, caffeinated drinks, soft drinks, and energy drinks are stimulants and should not be consumed.

Eating at regular intervals without skipping meals helps stabilize blood sugar levels. This can help prevent mood swings in children with A.D.D. Limiting sugar intake in the diet improves symptoms considerably.
 
The Feingold diet is a special diet designed around the disorder and excludes food additives such as synthetic colors, flavors, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Evidence shows that children following the Feingold diet for attention deficit disorder show visible improvement.

Apples, grapes, pears, oranges, and kiwis should be a part of the attention deficit disorder diet. These fruits are low in calories and rich in nutrients.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in Brazil nuts, olive oil, canola oil, and flax seed oil. Fatty acids play a key role in brain function.

Many children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders are sensitive to gluten, so this should be excluded from the diet.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential fatty acid derived from marine algae. It plays an important role in brain function and may be incorporated into the diet.
 

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