It’s unbelievable how much power the food has !
Food actually has the ability to cause diseases or prevent them .
Whatever we might be – adults or children – if we aren’t getting the essential nutrients we need from healthy foods , our bodies will react negatively . And , because everyone’s genetics and biochemical make-up is so unique , what’s considered healthy for you it just might not be as healthy for someone else ( Translating this into practice , the food that seems to be healthy for you as an adult , might not show to be the same for your child as well ! )
For instance , nightshades and citrus fruits are usually considered healthy . They are whole foods from the Earth that are packed with nutrients , right ?
But , here’s the thing : If your child has a citrus food allergy or is sensitive to nightshade vegetables ( like potatoes , tomatoes or peppers ) , it’s definitely not a good idea to eat them .
The inflammation that happens as a result will eventually lead to health issues – including the typical ADHD-like behaviors .
Every day , many of us – including our kids- just deal with those common ailments from food allergies .
We have things like dry skin , canker sores , nausea , headaches , diarrhea , constipation , eczema , ear infections , seasonal allergies and asthma , and we think it’s just a normal part of life . But , none of these issues are normal at all . In fact , they are simply our first clues that something is not right on the inside .
Most often , if our issue isn’t caused by an inflammation imbalance from food allergies , it can be as a result of yeast overgrowth , unhealthy gut flora , high toxicity levels , nutrient deficiencies , or any combination of these .
Most of the conventional doctors have been trained to label symptoms and treat them with some sort of medication . But this does nothing to address to the root cause . And most often it doesn’t do a whole lot of good for the symptoms either . Plus , most of the time , the side effects are just ridiculous .
These days , our kids are prescribed drugs when the specific nutrients are all they need !
It just so happens with the ADHD – in which the behaviors mimic perfectly the symptoms of some major vitamin , mineral , antioxidant , and essential fatty acid deficiencies .
Could your child be suffering from something so simply ?
Here are the major nutrient deficiencies commonly found in kids labeled with ADHD .
Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common in people with ADHD .
The symptoms mimic the symptoms of ADHD . Things like excessive fidgeting , tantrums , social difficulties , restlessness , insomnia , irritability , aggressiveness , poor attention span , coordination problems and learning difficulties ( even in a person with a normal IQ )
One Polish study found that 95% of the children they were testing for ADHD were deficient in magnesium . Those with lower levels of the mineral , showed more severe symptoms of hyperactivity . After supplementing with 200 mg of magnesium for six months , hyperactivity was reduced significantly . The behavior of those who didn’t receive magnesium worsened .
You may want to consider feeding your child more magnesium rich foods , like : pumpkin / sunflower seeds , cashews , or almonds . You could also try giving the kid a children’s magnesium supplement . In many studies , vitamin B6 was needed along with magnesium to see improvement in the ADHD symptoms .
2 B – COMPLEX VITAMINS
A kid’s mental and emotional state are critically dependent on vitamin B in the diet .
Type B vitamins , especially B6 and B12 , are vital to the development of the nervous system and the production of neurotransmitters in the brain . They are also responsible for blood sugar regulation . And we all know the negative effects sugar seems to have in the kids .
Symptoms of Vitamin B deficiency include : forgetfulness , short attention spans , irritability , confusion and rage .
Again , all very similar to ADHD symptoms !
All other B-Complex vitamins have important jobs to do too ( including improving the absorption of other nutrients into the body )
Eat things like : fish , beans , spinach , asparagus , broccoli and bell peppers . There are kids that really like snacking the sweet mini peppers .
Sometimes we are so quick to offer chicken nuggets or hot dogs because they are socially accepted as “kid-friendly” foods , but we should remember also all other dangerous ingredients they contain and instead , give the kids a chance to taste what’s good for health ! The promise is they will really like those things you never would have expected .
( Have you ever tasted hummus ?! I simply love it ! Some kids also make this healthy choice and would like to eat a full container if they are left to …. Thankfully , hummus contains three important B vitamins ! )
You could also consider adding a B-complex supplement to your kid’s diet .
- ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Almost all of us are deficient in Omega-3’s and don’t have a proper Omega-3/Omega 6 ratio. This imbalance leads to all sort of health issues – ADHD included .
Plus , the conversion of essential fats into DHA , AA and EPA can be inhibited by certain foods like wheat and dairy . The conversion is also blocked by other vitamin and mineral deficiencies like B , C , Zinc and Magnesium .
Research from Purdue University discovered that kids with ADHD are not getting an adequate amount of nutrients required for essential fatty acid conversion and as a result have low levels of EPA , DHA and AA . The Omega-3 and Omega-6 or GLA supplementation helped reduce ADHD symptoms . Other research studies have also confirmed this fact .
On the list of the most favorite sources of Omega 3 that provide a healthy ratio of all the essential fatty acids , could be included among others : flaxseeds , walnuts , salmon , olive oil , and broccoli
Functional medicine practitioner Dr. Mark Hayman tells us that “Low zinc levels are associated with lowered immunity , poor heavy metal detoxification , and ADHD” .
Maybe your child eats plenty of foods rich in zinc ( like spinach , seafood , nuts and beans ) , but sometimes nutrients get wiped out by other things . Especially the processed foods , white breads , refined sugar , and even many medications like antibiotics , are found to be the culprit .
Dr. Neil Ward discovered an interesting fact about the disruptive effect the antibiotics have on kids with ADHD . Dr. Ward found that antibiotics not only wipe out beneficial bacteria in the gut , they also impair the absorption of nutrients . Most kids Dr. Ward studied , who were labeled with ADHD , had several antibiotics in their early years . After much research , he proved that kids who had taken at least three doses of antibiotics before the age of three , had much lower levels of zinc , calcium , chromium and selenium .
A zinc imbalance can interfere with proper neurotransmitter function in the brain . Especially the pathways in the brain that affect the behavior . Dr. Mercola on the other side , suggests that “Adding zinc to the diets of teenagers has even been shown to cause improvements in memory and attention span”
Whatever stage you are in schooling – from Pre Kinder or College student – feel motivated then to “Zinc It Up” with such foods as : cashews , coconut , pumpkin seeds , sunflower seeds – or green vegetables as : spinach , chard , or broccoli ! You’ll certainly TOP UP !
Unless you’re a chemistry buff and know everything about the central nervous system , this stuff can get a bit confusing . But , in general , the neurotransmitters in the brain depend largely on amino acids from proteins . All 20 essential amino acids have an important job to do .
The amino acid deficiencies are common in kids with ADHD ( especially DMAE ( dimethylenoamine ) , 5-HTP ( 5-hydorxytryptophan ) , L-thiamine , tyrosine , GABA , L-glutamine , serine , tryptophan , glycine , taurine , and L-thearine , an amino acid found in tea ) . These amino acids have been specifically linked to our mood and behaviors . Without them , or without enough or them , we will experience irritability , depression , nervousness , anxiety , inability to focus , impulsiveness , hyperactivity , etc. Yet again , these are all very similar to the symptoms of the kids labeled with ADHD ) .
It is important to understand that every part of our body’s chemical composition works together as a team . For example , vitamin B6 converts tryptophan into serotonin . But what happens when you aren’t getting enough vitamin B6 ? You obviously won’t be able to convert tryptophan into serotonin . Look out , not enough serotonin could mean you will turn into Oscar the Grouch !
Each and every vitamin , mineral , antioxidant , amino acid and fatty acid from our food , all need and depend on each another to do a list of jobs in order to keep our bodies working well .
Aim to eat a fully balanced diet , and you can be sure you already provided the body the full range of amino acids needed !
- VITAMIN D
The Vitamin D Council estimates that 9 out of 10 people are deficient in vitamin D . It’s a very important nutrient that we rarely can get from food . Just like the plants , it’s the sunlight we need !
Vitamin D helps boost the antioxidants responsible for good health of the brain . It also produces dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain , compounds which many of the ADHD medications aim to provide . Vitamin D helps produce enzymes that are in charge of making brain chemicals necessary for our ability to focus , especially for long periods of time ..
Although Vitamin D deficiency might not be the one reason for the child having ADHD symptoms , it may definitely be a factor , and it is very common in children who have been labeled with this disorder . But , as it usually occurs , when one deficiency is present – there are certainly more of them around the corner .
GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT !
Most of the times , the nutrients from food are way underrated . They should be instead the main reason why we eat food ( but unfortunately , most of the times we eat because we are hungry , not because we want to prevent diseases …. )
We have to start thinking of our food as a tool for our health and well-being – instead of the entertainment at the party . We need greens , fruits , vegetables , beans , nuts , seeds , fish , herbs , spices , healthy fats and a limited amount of organic grass-fed meat and poultry . If everyone would be loyal to a diet like this , there would be far fewer cases of common health issues – ADHD included .
Usually it’s cool to treat your taste buds once in a while , but most of the time , taste is just a bonus ! The functional medicine is the key ! The functional medicine doctors know the power that lies in food and nutrition and , if you are lucky to have one in your area , the best thing to do is to grab the opportunity right away . They will be able to determine if the child has any nutritional imbalances or food allergies . A blood test with be able to check as well for sensitivities to large range of foods . By focusing on a healthy anti-inflammatory diet and a healthy gut flora , while removing the toxins , identifying the food sensitivities , and bringing into the diet the right nutrients , these doctors can certainly help curing a nasty kind of “disease” such as ADHD !