Poor nutrition is a significant concern for attentional problems and ADHD – here are some of the dietary factors that have been linked to ADHD risk in scientific studies:
- High sugar intake is also associated with hyperactive behavior and ADHD.6,7
- Inadequate micronutrient intake. Supplementation to correct micronutrient deficiencies has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms.2,8
- A low-nutrient diet high in processed foods and soft drinks at age 4 ½ has been associated with hyperactivity in children at age 7.9 Similarly, a “Western” dietary pattern has also been associated with ADHD in 14-year-olds.10
- Food additives and dyes: many colored foods are marketed to children, and hyperactivity in children following ingestion of food dyes is well documented in placebo-controlled studies.6,11 Furthermore, a 2004 meta-analysis of 16 studies in children who were already hyperactive showed that their hyperactive behavior increased after ingesting food colorings.12 Read more.
- There is preliminary evidence that certain pesticides (called organophosphates) commonly found on some fruits are associated with ADHD.13 Read more.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) are the building blocks a child needs to build a healthy brain.Insufficient omega-3 levels are common in children with ADHD, and there is evidence that omega-3 supplementation, especially in combination with the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA; found in borage oil and evening primrose oil) improves behavior and ADHD symptoms. 14,15
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