18 February 2012

Simple 4 Week Plan to Eliminate Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms

Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalhphotos.net

ADHD may be linked to genetics, but an unhealthy diet will exaggerate symptoms, even in individuals not predisposed. Simply eliminating foods that cause symptoms can be helpful but adding key nutrients back into your diet will have an even greater impact. Individuals with ADHD may be sensitive to sugar, processed foods and artificial food dyes. Have you ever noticed how ability to focus worsens two hours after consuming an energy drink with a bright color or a candy bar? Blood sugar rises rapidly then crashes, stimulating adrenaline, jitteriness and can then result in inattentiveness and drowsiness. Imbalanced nutrients, artificial coloring and excessive carbohydrates dominate the American diet. Access to cheap, processed, unhealthy food has helped escalate the incidence of ADHD and multiple chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and perhaps even cancer.

How a child or adult to have normal behavior if he or she is eating refined grains, sugars, processed foods loaded with chemicals and genetically engineered ingredients, and juices and sodas instead of pure water?  It is virtually impossible to have a healthy functioning brain when the proper building blocks to develop or maintain a healthy brain are not being given...

It may take a commitment to change your eating habits or the habits of your child. It requires a different mindset. Start to recognize the “non-food” items you’re putting into your body. Then take note of when you are fueling your body with healthy foods. Many people find that replenishing nutrients helps to reduce cravings for unhealthy foods. So start the change process by focusing on adding more natural foods– rather than restricting your diet.  It will be easier to get motivated to make the change.

Below is a suggested approach to begin the tune-up. It’s meant to be done in stages. Establishing a new routine takes practice and requires repetition. Be patient, focus on one week at a time and give yourself credit for each successful week.

  1. Switch to non-aluminum natural deoderant
  2. NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow's milk. This is the single most important restriction.
    Substitute Almond milk, Rice milk
  3. Drink a full glass of water with lunch and dinner.
  4. Make sure you get adequate protein for breakfast (Organic eggs are a great source)
  5. Make a whey or rice-pea protein shake for snack
  6. Start key nutrients - a B complex with methyl-folate and methylcobalamin

  1. Switch to natural non-fluoridated toothpaste
  2. Add magnesium, zinc, fish oil and vitamin D
  3. Avoid all foods with high fructose corn syrup or sugar added
  4. Limit refined grains and foods made with processed flour of any kind
  5. Spend more time in nature. Researchers have found that exposing ADHD children to nature is an affordable, healthy way of controlling symptoms.

  1. Use only glass containers in microwave, no plastic
  2. Clear your house of dangerous chemicals - use basic vinegar & lemon juice for natural cleaning and non-toxic laundry detergent
  3. Try to get organic fruits and veggies into your diet regularly - 6-9 servings every day (no juice!)
    When you are really hungry eat a raw vegetable first. Take your time and enjoy the crunch!
  4. Avoid additives, such as food dyes & colorings and especially the preservative sodium benzoate -- found in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings.  It was shown to cause some children to become hyperactive and destructible.

  1. Reduce consumption of beverages in aluminum and plastic containers
  2. Eliminate soda and fruit juice from the diet
  3. Avoid trans fats.  But freely use olive oil (low heat or dressing) and grape seed oil/coconut oils (higher heat cooking/baking)
  4. Drink more water, particularly filtered water - at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces.
  5. Try to eat fish at least once weekly and be sure to choose lower mercury options


  1. Dr. C,
    Thanks for the good recommendations!
    Can you recommend a B-complex that doesn't have a corn-based vitamin C included in it? Metagenics used a vitamin C made out of corn, and corn is problematic for me.
    Chris Shay

  2. Thorne Research Basic B complex is fantastic (no corn or soy or gluten!)

    You can order at https://www.thorne.com/account/signin.jsp
    and use my physician code HCP1004064 if you like
    Take care,
    Dr C