Unhealthy Diet Increases ADHD Risk

Unhealthy diet increases ADHD risk.

Unhealthy Diet Increases ADHD Risk
Unhealthy Diet Increases ADHD Risk

A study published in the january 2017 in Pediatrics, shows the link between an unhealthy diet and the increased risk of ADHD. It turned out that not only an unhealthy diet can make ADHD more likely, but also that a healthy Mediterranean diet can protect against ADHD and improve an existing ADHD. For ADHD, therefore, a high-quality diet should be an important part of the therapy.

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A cause of ADHD: Poor diet

The attention deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome ADHD is now known to everyone - a sign of how widespread the neurological disorder is, not only in children, but also in adults. Because ADHD does not necessarily develop. The syndrome manifests itself particularly in concentration disorders , impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11 per cent of all children between 4 and 17 years of age had ADHD diagnoses. ADHD is thus one of the most common neurological disorders in childhood.

The specific causes of ADHD remain unclear. However, earlier scientific papers suggest that a poor diet plays an important role in the development of ADHD.

Less dyes: ADHD improves

In March 2013, researchers in the American Journal of Psychiatry wrote that some children were sensitive to artificial food dyes. Taking care that these children were not given any dyes, their ADHD symptoms improved.

And in July 2016, a study appeared that showed that children are more likely to suffer from ADHD who consume more soft drinks.

On the other hand, children with a healthy low-fat diet with sufficient essential fatty acids , healthy carbohydrates and sufficient minerals is  are at a much lower risk of developing ADHD.

Mediterranean diet reduces ADHD risk

Now, Spanish researchers around Dr. María Izquierdo Pulido from the University of Barcelona have published a study investigating whether a Mediterranean diet could protect against ADHD.

The Mediterranean diet is the name for a nutritional form of fruits, vegetables, fish , whole grain cereals , nuts and legumes. It is also poor in meat , eggs, milk products and sweets . This form of diet proved to be an excellent prevention method to protect themselves from cardiovascular diseases , Alzheimer's and several cancers.

In order to find out whether the Mediterranean diet can also be helpful in ADHD, Pulido and her team analyzed data from 60 children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 16 who were all diagnosed with ADHD. As a control group, 60 healthy children served the same age.

It was found that the children who were most likely to follow the rules of the Mediterranean diet were least likely to be affected by ADHD, while children who were almost non-medically fed had the highest ADHD risk.

Sweets and soda - and the risk of ADHD increases

The ADHD risk was particularly high for those children who ate many sweets, drank a lot of sugared and caffeinated sodas, and at the same time consumed only a few essential fatty acids.

The ADHD children also consumed more than twice as much caffeine as the healthy children, but they ate much less fruit and vegetables than children without ADHD.

While there is no real guarantee that a Mediterranean diet is safe from ADHD, it is clear that an unfavorable diet can contribute to ADHD, according to researchers from Barcelona.

For a healthy diet, incidentally also heard that the relevant foodstuffs as little as possible with pesticides came into contact, for certain pesticides (organophosphates) can increase the risk for ADHD by twice or three times - as a study in the summer of 2016 had shown.

Healthy diet for ADHD

The main guidelines of a healthy diet for ADHD and for the prevention of ADHD are as follows:

●A lot of fruits and vegetables

●Whole grain products, legumes and nuts

●If possible, organic food (food without pesticide exposure)

●Sufficient essential fatty acids, for example olive oil , fish, hemp oil , linseed oil, etc., or corresponding food supplements

●No soft drinks

●No caffeinated drinks

●No finished products , certainly not finished products with artificial dyes

●As few sweets as possible

●Look for enough magnesium and vitamin D (as previous studies showed - see links below)

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