Just a few simple changes on your plate could have a major impact on your ADHD symptoms – we’ll be unveiling how it works and what to eat.
Affecting 1 in 20 Aussies, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is pretty common, despite some major misunderstandings around it. Contrary to popular belief, this condition doesn’t only affect children – more than 3 quarters of kids diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms as adults.
It’s categorised by the following symptoms:
- Inattentive: This includes have difficulty focusing on things and sticking to a task, along with avoiding tasks that require prolonged attention. Forgetfulness and difficulty managing time are also common symptoms.
- Hyperactive: This one is more common in kids and usually involves restlessness, fidgeting and disrupting others.
- Impulsive: This can include interrupting and talking over others, along with taking others’ things without permission
Considering ADHD is such a widespread condition in Australia – and around the world – we decided to unpack a few of the major nutrients that can improve symptoms of the condition.
Essential fatty acids play a massive role in cognitive function, and omega 3 is one of the most important. Deficient amounts of this fatty acid may cause all manner of diseases, from autoimmune conditions to Alzheimer’s, there is more than one reason to load up on this nutrient – but those with ADHD may notice a particular improvement in the areas of executive disfunction and brain fog. A study found that adding daily omega 3s to participants’ diet led to a 50% reduction in their symptoms. So, if that’s sounding good to you, take a look at the foods you can get a boost from:
- Flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds.
- Salmon and mackerel.
Zinc plays an essential role in the regulation of our neurotransmitters – including dopamine, the dysregulation of which has been connected to ADHD by researchers. Including zinc-rich foods in your diet may improve the way you respond to dopamine. Take a look at a few of these foods:
- Cashews and peanuts.
- Soy and adzuki beans.
- Shiitake mushrooms.
- Pumpkin, flax and hemp seeds.
Iron is another non-negotiable when it comes to eating for your ADHD – of course it’s essential for everyone, but researchers have found distinctive benefits iron has for those with ADHD. This is because it is needed for the production of dopamine, with one study showing 84% of kids with ADHD had low iron stores. Be sure to load up on iron-packed foods:
- Dark leafy green veggies.
- Legumes like chickpeas, lentils and mung beans.
- Iron-fortified foods, these include cereal, milk and bread.
- Meat and seafood.
If you’ve noticed your ADHD symptoms are worse when you’ve been eating a lot of sugar, you’re not imagining it. This addictive, sweet stuff can wreak havoc on brain function and gut health and studies have even found that it can trigger hyperactive symptoms in children with ADHD. It found that the kids became more restless and agitated when they consumed bigger doses of sugar.
That’s not the only reason to steer clear of added sugar, especially considering the studiesfinding a link between obesity and sugar consumption, with researchers finding it leads to the development of visceral fat. With rates of obesity having tripled since 1975, and your average Aussie consuming 15 teaspoons of the stuff a day – that’s nearly double the recommended limit – it’s clear we have a bit of a problem with this addictive substance. Reducing your intake will not only improve cognition, but your whole body, too.
If you need some help kicking your sugar habit to the curb, we’re here to help. Join us for our 8-Week Program. With exclusive meal plans and nutritious recipes, there’s never been a better time to ditch sugar and turn your life around. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of expert-crafted meal plans and shopping lists.
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