The popular saying “You are what you eat” does make a lot of sense when it comes to people with ADHD. Even though Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is primarily the behavioral attribute that affects almost 8 million people, there are foods that tend to aggravate this condition, making the person more inefficient or worry-some.
After decades of research in the field, scientists and doctors have now been able to pinpoint foods that should be avoided by people with ADHD. In order to live a happy life, you should first watch what you consume. Being mindful of the foods that we consume is the first step to leading a healthy life.
Here are the foods that people with ADHD need to say no to:
Sugar – Sugar is probably a public enemy for a number of reasons. It is not so different for people with ADHD. For ages, we have seen people get a sugar rush after a dose of sugar-rich foods. The dessert at the end of a wholesome meal is something that many see as a perfect ending. However, the hyperactivity that sugar gives the consumer is related to ADHD.
People with ADHD are more prone to be allergic or sensitive to sugary substances. Avoiding foods that contain high refined sugar is best for a healthy life and mind. It is important to note that many foods include sugar. These foods include bread, cakes, pastries, breakfast cereals, wheat, white rice, chocolate, butter, peanut butter, soda, energy drinks and bars, fruit drinks, flavored yogurt, protein powder, creamers, etc.
Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant that works on the central nervous system. Regular use, even in mild doses, can cause dependency. Moreover, withdrawal can make caffeine drinkers irritable. Foods with excessive caffeine and sugar, when consumed, can cause hyperactivity and distractibility. Caffeine can also worsen ADHD symptoms and should be totally avoided if on ADHD medications. Foods with caffeine include coffee, tea, breakfast cereals, chocolate, ice cream, and aerated drinks.
Seafood – Even though Omega fatty acids from fish and other seafood can help improve brain function, mercury can be harmful in the long run. Mercury cannot be digested by our body, so it has a tendency to accumulate in the brain over time. The fish to avoid are king mackerel, swordfish, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, ahi tuna, orange roughy, shark, and marlin. It is safe to consult your ADHD doctor to get a comprehensive list of seafood that can be consumed.
Artificial additives and preservatives – Food is always best consumed fresh and ripe. However, to preserve foods for a longer period, artificial preservatives are added and it has become a common procedure in the food industry. Additives such as food colorings and artificial flavors affect the hormones. These substances interfere and disrupt the chemical balance in our bodies, causing long term effects. When it comes to people with ADHD, such foods are a definite no. Foods with additives or preservatives to avoid are jam and preserved fruits and vegetables. Moreover, condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, spaghetti sauce should also be avoided.