If you have ADHD, nutrition plays a key part in functioning at your best. There is a direct link between the food we consume and the effectiveness of how the brain operates. A healthy diet with the right sort of nutritious food can help to minimize the negative effects of ADHD. In contrast, an unhealthy diet including fast food and food packed with sugars and additives can exacerbate ADHD symptoms.
There is a lot of information about what foods you should and shouldn’t eat if you have ADHD and it can get overwhelming. I like to keep ADHD nutrition as simple as possible because then change becomes easy and effortless. This week a client asked me if he were to change one thing in his diet, what would give him the biggest reward in terms of a noticed difference in his ADHD. Without a doubt I was able to answer: protein.
Eating protein from a variety of food sources each day helps ensure that your body gets all the essential amino acids it needs. Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters, which are crucial for optimal brain functioning.
When you provide your brain with the nutrition it needs, it is able to maintain the correct chemical balance and carry out the functions you rely on it for.
Good quality protein isn’t as readily available “to go” like carbohydrates are. For example, it is much easier to grab a donut or muffin as you are dashing out the door than to scramble yourself some eggs. This is why adults with ADHD usually eat less than the recommended amount of protein each day. However, when you start to include it, particularly at breakfast, you will notice that your whole day is transformed.
Examples of good quality protein are
- Chicken and Turkey (white meat)
- Lean red meat
- Protein powder
- Dairy products
This week, experiment with including more protein in the diet and notice the benefits. You will be able to pay attention better, problem solve, concentrate more, improve your memory and maintain stable moods.