Indian researchers recently published a study in the Journal of Psychology, where they showed a connection between diet and ADHD symptoms.
The researchers recruited 50 participants between the ages of 4 and 12, all of which had been previously diagnosed with ADHD. The participants were divided into two groups: one group receiving dietary interventions and a control group.
What the researchers discovered was that the intervention group, which had foods in 5 categories completely removed from their diet, significantly improved their ADHD scores when compared to the control group.
So what were these 5 categories?
- Chocolates: Brown coloured, sweet foods prepared from roasted and ground cacao seeds.
- Maida products: Food made from refined flour, which has a high proportion of starches and low protein content.
- Bakery confectionery: Rich in sugar and carbohydrates, these include sweets, candies, nuts, chewing gum, pastries, cakes, chips, fried snacks, and sweet breads.
- Soft drinks: Any drink that typically contains carbonated water, a sweetener, and flavouring.
- Junk food: Food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little fibre, protein, vitamins, or minerals and has little “nutritional value”.
“[Eliminating] chocolates, maida, bakery confectionaries, soft drinks and fast junk food in the diet can reduce the ADHD symptoms in school going children of age group 4–12,” the researchers concluded.
This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.