Healthy Diet Can Improve Condition of Children with ADHD

By Lisa Franchi on January 18, 2012

When drugs and other treatments fail, healthy diet can bring positive effects to children with ADHD. This is the recent findings on a US study which was recently published in the Journal of Paediatrics.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a very common behavioural disorder that is estimated to affect one in every 20 children in the UK. This acronym stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. While ADHD is not new to many, its causes are still unknown until today. Scientists are still trying to establish a more scientific definition for ADHD. As a matter of fact, GPs don’t even make use of any physical examination to find out if a child has ADHD. This condition is usually diagnosed based on the behaviour of the patient which is usually characterised by lack of concentration and over-activity of the child.  At present, the treatments used to help children with ADHD are the use of prescription drugs and psychotherapy.

Dietary Intervention for Children with ADHD

But if medications and all other treatments fail, simply changing the daily diet of children with ADHD into something healthier can cause significant improvement on their condition. According to experts, supplemental diet is inexpensive, relatively simple, and is more acceptable to the child and patents. However, they warn the public that supplemental diet should not be considered as a primary treatment, rather a secondary approach in treating ADHD. This is because there have been studies in the past that show conflicting evidence on these recent findings.

For instance, one of the well-known methods in treating people with ADHD is the use of supplements such as iron and taking out the additives and food colours in their diet. But today, more scientists are saying that there has to be more thorough studies to support this claim. During 1970s to 80s, people believed that the red and orange colours in foods like in apples, grapes, hotdogs, and so on can aggravate the condition of children with ADHD. But just recently, these are no longer accepted.

How Healthy Should the Children’s Diet Be?

Feeding a child with highly nutritious meals can really be a tough challenge for most parents especially now that most foods in the grocery stores are either processed or have been stuck for so long that no nutrients are left. But sometimes, parents really have to work double time to help their children get over with this debilitating condition. The study suggests that simply giving more attention on the daily diet of their children will help. Feeding kids with vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, legumes, and all other organic foods can create long lasting improvements on children suffering from ADHD. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also said to help in treating ADHD.

Nonetheless, there are more studies which must be done to create a dietary program that will be perfect for children with ADHD. The study is just the beginning. But then, it has brought opened up a huge opportunity for health experts and parents alike who are looking for the best solution to treat ADHD.

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