Diet and Behavior in ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or ADD as it used to be called, affects 5% of children worldwide. A recent study published in the journal Lancet evaluated the effects of a restrictive elimination diet on ADHD symptoms in children aged 4–8. The diet consisted of rice, meat, vegetables, pears and water for five weeks. Symptoms improved in 78% of the children. If that’s not a gut connection, I don’t know what is!

Certain foods and food additives have been suspected to play a role in the development of ADHD for quite some time now, but it’s a controversial topic. I love that this study was published in such a prominent journal. Though more studies need to be done to determine just what foods should be avoided, and how long a restricted diet can be followed safely, researchers are on the right track. The gut-brain connection is an interesting one, and this study shows us why.

Can it really be that foods we eat affect our behavior? YES!!! Our intestinal tracts are one of our main connections to the outside world. What we put into our bellies will affect the rest of our bodies, especially our brains. 

Remember though, if you suspect food sensitivities may be affecting your child, be sure to work with a holistic-minded doctor. It is essential that children receive enough nutrients from their diets. Even the diet used in this study is only recommended for five weeks. Work with a doctor to find the best options for your child.