It has been documented since the early 1970’s that poor diet and food allergies could be related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or that there could be improvements in an ADHD individual by putting them on a specific ADHD Diet. Often Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder individuals have physical symptoms as well that could be due to food allergies such as asthma, chronic ear infections, migraines, eczema, chronic infections, etc. Dr. Benjamin Feingold made the original claims that certain foods and food additives could trigger Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and when he tested this diet with his patients he found success. He claimed that 30-50% of his ADHD patients benefited from his ADHD Diet (free of artificial colorings and salicylates). As the ADHD Diet Information and the word of Dr. Feingold’s success became widely known, skepticism and controversy emerged.
The first study that supported Dr. Feingold’s ADHD Diet Information in 1976 found that at least 4 out of 15 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder improved on a diet free of artificial colors and flavors. Many breakfast cereals, candies, chips, breakfast bars, ice creams, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned ravioli’s, sodas, and pretty much everything your child loves to eat contains artificial colors and flavors. Our Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of processed foods, red meat, refined carbohydrates, food additives, soft drinks, and fried foods. With that said, it is a good idea for the whole family to follow an ADHD Diet.
ADHD Diet Information:
Since an individual with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could be having adverse reactions to a specific type of food, we suggest cutting these foods from their diet for two weeks. These foods include:
Any Food with Food Colorings.
Dairy Products (especially cow’s milk).
Yellow Foods (especially corn or squash, bananas are okay).
Sugar & Chocolate (Cut intake by 90%).
Aspartame or NutraSweet.
Fried Foods (Cut intake by 90%).
After the two weeks, you can begin adding these foods back into your diet. Add one food type every couple of days. If the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder individual has a reaction to that food in the form of: red splotches, red ears, or an explosive temper outburst, then eliminate that food from their diet indefinitely. A reaction should show within 4 days. If there is no reaction, then you may add that food back into their normal diet. Keep a journal of the behavior before and after the ADHD Diet, then you can see when problems arise and what foods were eaten at that time. If a food is eaten by mistake from the banned list, do not worry; just get back on the diet.
ADHD Diet Information Tips:
Incorporate some old family recipes, using all natural ingredients, into your family dinners.
Serve a high protein breakfast (60% protein/40% carbohydrates).
Keep an even balance of protein to carbohydrates for lunch and dinner (50%/50%).
Eat plenty of raw organic vegetables and fruit.
Cook extra meat while cooking dinner and use it as sandwich meat or make a salad with it.
Make up protein shakes ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Protein shakes are great for breakfast or in between snacks.
Studies have shown that many ADHD children are deficient in Zinc. Good sources of Zinc are organ meats, seafood (especially shellfish), whole grains, and legumes (beans and peas).