How Food Affects ADHD

Over the past 30 years, numerous studies have investigated the ADHD-food link. Scientists have looked in depth at certain foods and their effect on increasing symptoms for children with ADHD. Although no definitive results have been produced at this stage, the link between food and ADHD seems clear. Many researchers suggest that elimination of some foods can reduce symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD Behavior

Children with ADHD often struggle with their attention span. They often fidget in their seats due to their hyperactivity and will go from task to task without completion. This is because they are unable to concentrate on one task for a long period of time.

Other behavioral issues with ADHD children include frequent outbursts, temper tantrums, bullying, and general acts of defiance. Children may make constant demands to their parents and other caregivers.  The right foods may temper this behavior, but some foods will make it worse.

Food Additives and ADHD

Several studies have evaluated the role of food additives, such as dyes and preservatives, in shaping children’s behavior. Consumption of foods or beverages containing certain compounds results in an increase in ADHD behavior for some children. This may include an increase in hyperactivity as well as distractedness.

Foods and drinks that contain these additives are usually processed foods such as macaroni-and-cheese mixes and soft drinks. Parents of ADHD children should consider eliminating these from their children’s diet to decrease ADHD behavior.

You can read more about this issue on our Food Additives and ADHD page.

ADHD and Food Allergies

Recent studies have explored the link between food allergies and ADHD. One study suggests that allergies to common foods such as those containing gluten, dairy products, or eggs, may correlate to an increase in ADHD-like behavior.

In fact, some researchers indicate that the typical behavior found in children that are not treated for ADHD may just be an allergic reaction to the foods that they eat. Parents should contact doctors and schedule allergy tests for their ADHD children to rule this possibility out.

Read our ADHD and food allergies page to learn more.

ADHD Foods to Avoid

Several studies demonstrate that the best foods for children with ADHD are the ones that are free of preservatives, dyes, and other additives. These are often the cause of the ADHD-food link.

Also, foods that contain artificial sweeteners such as Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame have been known to increase symptoms of ADHD such as distractedness, forgetfulness, and deviant behavior. Parents should avoid foods that are high in sugar because of their interference with important minerals such as zinc, which help regulate brain activity for those with ADHD.

More on ADD/ADHD food to avoid.

Best Foods for ADHD Children

The best foods for ADHD children are foods that are known to reduce or eliminate ADHD behavior in children. These foods should be rid of food additives such as food dyes, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Also, eliminating foods that are high in sugar will prevent the blocking of important minerals and nutrients for ADHD children.

Physicians and scientists feel that organic foods are often the best choice for children with ADHD because of their lack of food additives. Also, foods that are high in essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3s, contain sea vegetables and zinc and are known to reduce ADHD symptoms.

Read our article on healthy foods for adhd children for more about this.

Children with ADHD have difficulty with tasks relating to daily life. However, when parents introduce a healthy, well-balanced diet to their children, the link between food and ADHD often disappears.

Also, many families have seen the symptoms of ADHD greatly reduced with the use of vitamin/mineral/herbal ADHD treatments specifically formulated to reduce anxiety and hyperactivity while improving concentration. focus formula is one product that has helped many individuals struggling with ADHD symptoms.

More than food and ADHD on the home page.