We hear lots about information about various fats, Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated, Trans fatty acid and Saturated fats. However, as your ADHD Coach the fact that I am most interested in is Essential Fatty Acids. Aptly named ‘essential’ as they are vital for your health. Yet, despite being so important our bodies cannot produce this fat, so we need to make a conscious effort to consume it.
The main categories of essential fats are Omega 3 and Omega 6.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are all members of the group of fatty acids known as Omega 3.
DHA is found in cold water fish.
EPA, also found in fish, however the fish don’t produce it, instead they get it from eating algae.
ALA is found mainly in seed oils like flaxseed. We then convert in our bodies to DHA and EPA.
Why is Omega 3 so important when you have ADHD?
Studies show that DHA and EPA are very helpful as they improve attention, learning, memory and behavioral problems connected with ADHD as well as helping with co-morbidities such as anxiety, aggression and depression.
If you are eating a typical western diet you don’t need to worry about getting enough Omega 6. You will be getting lots in the form rapeseed soybean and sunflower seed oil. The ratio between the Omega 6 and Omega 3 you consume is vital in order to experience the benefits for your adult ADHD. 100 years ago the ratio between the 2 fats in the average person’s diet were 1:1, now our average ratio is around 20:1, weighed towards Omega 6.
How do you get Omega 3 into your diet?
Include cold water fish in your diet, e.g. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, rainbow trout
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale
Even if you are eating a diet rich in Omega, it’s still important to take an Omega 3 supplement that includes both DHA and EPA, I recommend Dr. Barry Sear’s brand http://www.zonediet.com/omega-3-fish-oil.