Many parents of children with ADHD are often curious about alternative treatments for attention deficit disorders. Medications often include potentially dangerous side effects. In addition, some of these medications can be habit-forming, leading to other addictions later in life. Doctors are now often much more hesitant about prescribing medications for children and teens with ADHD, leaving parents with very little options for managing their child’s behavioral symptoms. There are supplements that can help, and therapy frequently offers some benefit for children with these types of conditions. However, certain dietary changes can make a big difference in people with ADHD of all ages.
There are several nutrition programs for both adults and children with attention deficit disorders. These programs are commonly referred to as ADHD diets. The most popular of all ADHD diets is the Feingold diet. The Feingold diet was the first diet developed specifically for people with attention deficit disorders, and it is based on scientific research that pinpoints certain types of foods that are known to cause an increase in ADHD symptoms. The Feingold diet is based on the idea that those with these types of conditions may have certain food allergies or sensitivities to processed foods, additives, and preservatives.
The research behind the Feingold diet explains why more and more people continue to be diagnosed with these types of conditions. The logic suggests that attention deficit disorder is actually caused by food additives that are based on petrochemicals. The reason that conditions like attention deficit disorder were unheard of or less common in decades past was because petrochemicals were not widely used as food additives for many years.
In the 1930s and 1940s, about the only artificial colorings and flavorings that a child might be exposed to were occasional hard candies or lollipops on infrequent trips to town to purchase supplies. In fact, most children did not even experience this. Today, artificial coloring and flavoring can be found in nearly everything on grocery store shelves. ADHD diets strive to eliminate food additives and preservatives from the patient’s diet. In turn, natural foods and fresh fruits and vegetables are emphasized, along with whole grains that are not enriched or processed.
It is true that it is nearly impossible to completely avoid artificial food ingredients in today’s society. However, studies have shown that a dramatic reduction in the consumption of these types of ingredients can have a profound impact on the daily functioning of children with ADHD.