When you have ADHD, it’s usually required that you live a relatively clean and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, in order for your brain to operate at 100%, you can’t get away with eating as much junk food as non-ADHD sufferers do.
In this article, we’ll reveal the 7 foods and ingredients you should avoid if you have ADHD.
If you live in an average American household, it’s highly likely that most of the foods in your kitchen pantry contain soy. Everything from chocolate bars, to salad dressing, to crackers and biscuits contain soy ingredients.
Why is soy bad for your ADHD symptoms and overall health? Soy is rich in phytoestrogens, plant-derived estrogen mimickers that can cause conditions like depression, anxiety, accelerated aging, fatigue, brain fog and even breast cancer.
Short for monosodium glutamate, MSG is an unfortunately common and harmful flavor enhancer that’s actually one of the worst food additives out there. Why? MSG is an excitoxin, which basically means it overexcites your cells until they become either damaged or they completely die off. This can lead to learning disabilities and brain damage. According to studies, MSG has also been found to be a contributing factor to headaches, fatigue, depression and obesity.
As MSG is damaging to one’s brain cells, it is advised that people with ADHD stay away from fast food, flavored chips and too much Chinese food.
4) Artificial Sweeteners
It’s been the general consensus of doctors around the world that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are one of the most dangerous (especially for ADHD sufferers) ingredients available on the market today as it can trigger or worsen physical and mental health issues like anxiety, panic attacks, depression, Alzheimer’s and even brain tumors.
Instead of artificial sweeteners, you can use organic stevia or honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.
3) Heavy Metals
The presence of heavy metals in food is a serious problem that anyone that suffers from ADHD needs to be aware of. According to various studies, the arsenic that’s commonly present in rice can lead to the impairment of children’s intellectual function, lower adolescent IQ and other neuropsychological problems. Additionally, mercury that’s found in certain seafoods can cause neurological problems especially in young children and pregnant women. Finally, the lead that can be found in contaminated water sources and foods has been proven to be extremely harmful to the brain.
Although there is no conclusive evidence that links heavy metal toxicity to ADHD, avoidance of foods that may contain heavy metals is the most prudent approach.
Although drinking with friends can be fun, people with ADHD should be careful in consuming alcohol as it can worsen the symptoms. As anyone who’s ever drank alcohol knows, drinking excessively the night before can make you feel unmotivated, lethargic and depressed the next day. And this can be bad news for people with ADHD as they are already having a hard enough time staying motivated.
Pro tip: Some ADHD sufferers find that they only respond negatively to certain types of alcohol. For instance, beer is packed with gluten, which has been reported to cause ADHD-like behavior on people who are sensitive to wheat. Vodka, on the other hand, is made from non-gluten sources like grapes and potatoes and may not cause any issues at all.
1) Artificial Dyes
Although there’s no concrete evidence that artificial dyes can cause ADHD, it’s a widely accepted notion that artificial dyes can worsen ADHD symptoms. One study from the UK has found that artificial dyes like RED 40 increases hyperactivity and hypersensitivity in children and adults.
If you’re one of those people who suffer from ADHD, eradicating these 6 ingredients from your diet will most likely result in better mental clarity, a healthier body and an all-around happier life.