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What is the best diet for ADHD?

Numerous researchers have discovered that there is a strong link between nutrition and ADHD. Children with ADHD are found to be deficient in key nutrients and amino acids, and giving them the right diet has been proven to very effective - and safe. In fact, in the long-term, nutritional changes are more beneficial than taking ADHD medications. However, just as there is no such thing as the "best" natural remedy for ADHD, there is also no single diet that can universally address ADHD itself. If that were the case, then cases of ADHD would be virtually nonexistent today! But as it stands, every individual is biochemically unique and will respond to different diets in different ways. The question then is not "what is the best ADHD diet" but rather "what is the best diet for my child who is suffering from ADHD"?

That being said, health care practitioners and nutrition experts have developed several diets which have helped a good number of children overcome their ADHD symptoms. All of these are safe to try out and will bring health benefits to your child, even if they do not completely eliminate all the symptoms.

The gluten-free, casein-free diet

The gluten-free, casein-free diet is one of the most well-researched and highly-recommended diets for ADHD patients. Proteins from wheat and milk - gluten and casein, respectively - have unusual structures that are difficult to digest, especially among children with ADHD. If left undigested, gluten and casein form a chain of amino acids called peptides which have the same toxicity and effect as morphine. The gluten-free, casein-free diet involves removing all wheat and dairy products from the child's diet for at least three weeks to a month. These foods include - but are not limited to - all dairy products from animal origin, cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, and all products containing milk. Products like canned tuna, industrially made tomato sauce, candy, and sauces may be hidden sources of casein, so watch out for them.

A caveat before you try out the gluten-free, casein-free diet: because undigested gluten and casein work like morphine, removing them from your child's system might produce withdrawal symptoms. Depending on your child's body chemistry, they might last from a few days to as long as a couple weeks. Symptoms to watch out for include gastrointestinal problems and worsening behavior. While these might be difficult to deal with at first, take it as a sure sign that you are on the right track.

The Feingold diet

The Feingold Diet was developed by Dr. Ben Feingold in the 1960's when he saw a relationship between what people eat and how they behave. Although this diet was initially designed to treat allergies, more and more children with ADHD started going on the Feingold Diet when improvements in attention and behavior were noticed as a "side effect". Essentially, this diet involves removing all foods containing additives like artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, artificial sweeteners, and artificial preservatives. The Feingold Diet is less expensive and easier to do than the gluten-free, casein-free diet, and anyone can always benefit from removing synthetic additives in their diets. For more information on the Feingold Diet and its benefits to children with ADHD, visit www.feingold.org.

High protein, low sugar diet

The brain's primary source of energy is glucose, the simplest form of sugar. An essential supply of glucose is necessary for the brain to work at its best. In general, children consume a lot of high-glycemic index carbohydrates, or simple sugars, through foods like candy, cereal, pasta, white bread, or chocolate. While these foods do provide the brain with the glucose it needs, the supply only lasts for 30 minutes; once it runs out, the blood level diminishes and the child experiences problems concentrating, fatigue, and irritability. So yes, there is some truth to the idea that sugar does aggravate ADHD!

In order to give the brain a steady supply of glucose, your child will need to eat foods with low-glycemic index carbohydrates, such as green leafy vegetables, and high-protein foods. Proteins are a rich source of amino acids, which is are the building blocks for the brain neurotransmittors.

If you'd like more information on these diets, you can explore our website and grab the free eBook, or get access to the UnRitalin Solution. Remember that these diets might not eliminate all symptoms of ADHD, but your child may have a good chance of receiving benefits from it.