Having a healthy, balanced diet is important to having a happy and healthy life. A healthy diet can provide an effective complementary approach to alleviating some symptoms of ADHD. However, taking an honest look at your nutrition habits and figuring out what works best for you or your child can be a confusing process. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating properly can help lower the risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease. In addition, exercise and physical activity are recommended as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Dietary approaches for ADHD eliminate — or take out — one or more foods in the person’s diet (for example, sugar, candy and food with red dye). The assumption is that being sensitive to certain foods may cause or worsen symptoms of ADHD. Careful research, however, has not supported this approach as a form of treatment. Nutritional supplements and large doses of vitamins can add things that some believe are missing in a diet. Some people think dietary supplements improve symptoms of ADHD. Scientists have found no proof of this idea.
“Nobody, when they’re starving, will be craving broccoli for dinner,” he says. “They’re craving high fat, high caloric foods. To eat healthfully is to never feel hungry, to drink proper amounts of water is to never feel thirsty. This is news to a lot of people with ADHD.”
Other quick tips:
- Make sure to eat throughout the day. Don’t skip lunch and keep simple, healthy snacks on hand for breaks during the workday.
- Keep your favourite fruits on hand. You can even purchase them already cut up at the store and store them in single-serving containers.
- Cook from scratch when you can. Buy prewashed fruits and vegetables or hit up the grocery store salad bar for prepared ingredients to make home cooking easier.
- Schedule meal times, with reminders, in your calendar or day planner to make sure you take the time to eat.