What to eat (and avoid) when you have ADHD

Recently, Australian researchers published a study in the Journal of Attention Disorders examining the relationship between dietary patterns and ADHD.

After examining 1172 adolescents with an ADHD diagnosis, researchers identified two major dietary patterns in the sample: western and healthy.

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Parents of ADHD children more likely to give them junk food

Korean researchers recently published a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior exploring any connections between snack consumption and ADHD.

The researchers enrolled over 220 children between the ages of 7 and 10. They had the parents complete a survey that asked questions regarding frequency of snacking, snack types, reasons for snacks, and snack preparation. Teachers screened the children for ADHD by using the Korean ADHD Rating Scale

While they found that both ADHD and non-ADHD children snacked,

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Cutting out junk food may improve mental health in these 4 areas

Here at Truehope, we’ve been saying for over 20 years that nutrition and mental health are tightly linked, and improving nutrition can improve mental health.

Related to that is the idea that poor nutrition can lead to poor mental health.

Several peer-reviewed studies have shown that consuming high amounts of junk food can negatively affect our mental health. Here are 3 studies showing how junk food affects mental health in 4 areas: depression, stress, ADHD and general mental health.

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Cutting out junk food may improve ADHD

Last year, Indian researchers published a study in the Asian Journal of Home Science showing a connection between nutrition and the severity of ADHD symptoms.

The researchers studied 50 children who had ADHD symptoms and who were between the ages of 4 and 12. They were the split into two groups: a control group and a nutritional intervention group. During 6 sessions, researchers assessed their nutritional consumption and their ADHD symptom severity.

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ADHD stimulant use associated with lower bone mass in children

At the end of 2016, American researchers published a study in JAMA Pediatrics investigating the connection between ADHD stimulant use and bone mass in children.

Researchers analyzed 6 years of data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database, a series of cross-sectional, nationally representative health and nutrition surveys of the US population. Specifically, they looked at nearly 6,500 young people between 8 and 20 years of age.

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Mediterranean diet may influence ADHD

Spanish researchers recently published an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ academic journal Pediatrics that shows a possible connection between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and prevalence of ADHD in children and adolescents.

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You’re ok. You’ve always been ok. You’ll always be ok.

This is a guest post by Dr. Rebecca Care, a board certified pediatric gastroenterologist with the Digestive Care Center in Evansville, Indiana.

For about the one hundredth time since this journey began, I say to my red headed freckled son, “You’re OK, you’ve always been OK, you’ll always be OK.” That has been my constant refrain to reassure and encourage him since I realized his psychiatric medications were making things worse for him, and more importantly that he can survive and even thrive in this thing called ‘life’ without medicine.

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Adults can have ADHD, too

Although we might consider ADHD to be a childhood disorder, it’s far from rare for an adult to have it. In fact, WebMD claims that “about 4% to 5% of U.S. adults have it“ and that “while many kids with ADHD outgrow it, about 60% still have it as adults.”

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Top 3 characteristics of ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects almost 10% of American children between 13 and 18 years old, as well as 4% of U.S. adults over 18. ADHD has 3 primary characteristics: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Inattention

  • Are effortlessly distracted, fail to catch details, are forgetful, and regularly switch activities
  • Find it difficult to focus
  • Are quickly bored with projects, unless it is something they enjoy
  • Find organizing and completing tasks, or learning something new, to be challenging
  • Struggle completing or submitting homework or other assignments
  • Often lose things which are essential in completing tasks
  • Have difficulty listening in conversations
  • Daydream
  • Are often confused
  • Sometimes move slowly
  • Struggle to quickly and accurately process information
  • Have a hard time following instructions

Hyperactivity

  • Are often restless,

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ADHD isn’t just being distracted

While many of us find ourselves easily distracted—especially in the modern world of instant information and constant notifications—distraction is only one symptom of ADHD and being distracted doesn’t mean you have ADHD.

What is ADHD?

Typically, symptoms of ADHD include difficulty paying attention, excessive activity, and uncontrollable behaviour. The symptoms present between the ages of 6 and 12, last for over 6 months, and disrupt life in at least two settings (school, home, work, recreation, etc).

Although we might consider ADHD to be a childhood disorder,

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