What is ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]?

This disorder generally provides the sufferer [child, teen or adult] who has it with a lack of:

* the ability to pay attention
* trouble focusing on any specific task
* difficulty in remaining still

Other symptoms linked with ADHD are impulsiveness, negativity, moodiness, anxiousness, depression and insomnia [having trouble sleeping].

Sadly there is no real cure for this condition, it can be controlled however with medication and behavioral therapy. Though the researches done on ADHD diets have been limited, many of our health experts believe that by playing around with the patients diet, and by introducing and excluding certain foods, the symptoms of ADHD can be relieved to a certain degree.

Important Nutrition for ADHD

* high protein - the patient has to increase his protein intake [in the morning and as after school/work snacks] as this aids the improvement of their concentration and possibly also gives the medication a longer action time. This includes eggs, cheese, beans, nuts and meat.

* avoid simple carbohydrates - candy, sugar, potato chips, etc. as much as possible. Difficult with children as they tend to live for these types of foods.

* increase the omega 3 fatty acid intake - whether by increasing the fish intake, like tuna or salmon, or by taking it in a supplement form, this is a very important fat in any diet.

* complex carbohydrates - found in vegetables and some fruits [oranges, pears, apples, kiwi etc], these need to be increased as it is believed that these complex carbo's may help with sleep.

Elimination diet for ADHD

This says exactly what it means. You start by trying to eliminate a food you think could be causing the problems. You will soon see if the symptoms ease off, which then means you should continue to avoid that particular food. This could be quite time consuming, as there are many ingredients and foods out there than can cause problems, but in the long run could help the patient with his or her symptoms.

Supplementation diet for ADHD

On the assumption that the body is lacking in some vital vitamins, minerals or nutrients, a lot of patients take supplements that cover all the bodies needs, by doing this they can see if their ADHD symptoms ease off [Ideally any diet for ADHD should feed the brain, as the brain can basically lessen the symptoms of ADHD]

Food additives

There are a couple of these additives that could cause a adverse reaction in ADHD patients and should be avoided wherever possible:

* food coloring - strange but true, the colors red and yellow seem to increase the ADHD symptoms
* additives - the addition of MSG's [mono-sodium glutamate], aspartame and nitrates to enhance and/or sweeten the flavor of the food also seems to increase the symptoms of the disease

Preservatives may also cause a adverse reaction, but remember the effects are varied and dependent on the patients age and the actual additive. Other foods that could cause a reaction include sugar and caffeine, most experts advice that these foods should be removed from the diet.

Tips when trying to change to the ADHD diet

1) make the changes slowly and change only one food at a time as this will let you see if the change has helped or not
2) keep what you are changing in a food dairy, note any changes that occur - positive or negative - and include a time line
3) keep your doctor in the loop - let him know if any changes have occurred

Non-dietary tips to help with ADHD

* always remember to take the medication prescribed by your doctor for this condition
* deep breathing will help with stress, anxiety and anger - there are several techniques out there that you could use
* regular exercise - try to do at least 30 minutes or so of some form of exercise or sport daily
* meditation and relaxation training can assist with the increase of focus and concentration, this will help with the reduction of distract-ability
* sleep - try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night

Remember - the more you know about ADHD and the different foods that may cause problems the better you will be able to assess which treatments or changes work best for the patient. Always involve your doctor when instituting any changes.

Author's Bio: 

Candice is a full time author and loves to write about her interests. These include a variety of diets, be it for weight loss or for the benefit of ones health she puts pen to paper. She also loves shopping, bowling, beading, dabbles in the forex market and enjoys internet marketing. You can visit her at 22 Inch Rims to find the 22 Inch rims you have always wanted.