Best diets for children with Autism and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
Clinical research shows that children diagnosed or suspected diagnosis with autism and ADHD will benefit with nutritional changes including the removal of common problem foods in their diet. The gut and brain connection in autism and ADHD is still under research however; experts in the field agree that many children with these conditions have food sensitivities and most likely they also suffer from gastrointestinal problems, including chronic congestion and frequently ear infections .
Most problematic foods are protein found in dairy products, gluten, rye and soy are the foods that trigger the most problems. Some children with food sensitivities symptoms could mimic signs of ADHD. When kids eliminate trigger foods their symptoms decrease substantially. Best diet for children with Autism and ADHD are diet that supports the gut. Probiotics is a good supplement to start. Probiotics is an intake of healthy bacteria that increases immunity and helps bowel disorders and other gastrointestinal problems associated with autism and ADHD. Zinc vital for proper cognitive functions Zinc is typically deficient in autistic children. Magnesium crucial to protect the body from heavy metals overload, magnesium is often lower in children with behavioral problems. Essential fatty acids the omega-2 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) boost brain development and function and is often low in children with autism and ADHD .
Vitamin C reduces harmful oxidants in the body and helps even out levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter commonly out of balance in children with autism and ADHD. Vitamin E boosts immunity and prevents oxidation of EFAs, which benefit neurological function.
Daily-recommended dose: vitamin C, 250-2,000 mg; vitamin E, 100-400 IU
Malabsorption and special dairy-free diets can cause calcium deficiency.
Daily-recommended dose: 400-1,000 mg
ESSETIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAS)
The omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) boost brain development and function, and are often low in children with autism and ADHD. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an important omega-6 fat found in evening primrose and borage oils, may also benefit kids with these disorders.
Daily-recommended dose: 1,000 mg DHA; 1,000 mg EPA; 80-240 mg GLA
Crucial to protecting the body from heavy-metal overload, magnesium is often low in children with behavioral, cognitive, and mood disorders. Deficiency can cause depression, poor appetite, and muscle spasms.
Daily-recommended dose: 100-500 mg
Intake of healthy bacteria increases immunity and helps heal bowel disorders and other gastrointestinal problems associated with autism and ADHD.
Daily recommended dose; 10-30 billion organisms, in capsule or powder form
Vital for proper cognitive function, zinc is typically deficient in autistic children. Supplementation boosts immunity and improves taste perception.
Daily recommended dose: 20-60 mg
Source: Kenneth Bock, MD, author of Healing the New Childhood Epidemies
OTHER DIET RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AUTISM AND ADHD
Avoid additives, preservatives, and artificial colors. Nitrites and nitrates (preservatives found in bacon, hot dogs, and lunch meats), sorbic acid (found in cheese, frosting, and dried fruits), dyes (especially yellow dye #5), MSG (found most commonly in some Chinese restaurant food, chicken broth or flavoring, and bouillon), and aspartame (an artificial sweetener) can exacerbate symptoms for some children with ADHD and autism. A 2007 Lancet study found that artificial colors and preservatives increase hyperactivity in young children.
Eliminate trans fats. Beyond their negative cardiovascular and neurological health effects, the hydrogenated fats found in processed and fried foods intensify toxic accumulation and cell function problems for children with autism and ADHD.
Go organic. Limit a child's toxic load -- which is especially important for kids, such as those with autism or ADHD, who have a decreased ability to handle toxins -- by choosing foods free of pesticides and other chemical residues.
Autismkey.Com is a parent-support website created by Gary Greaves that includes a national database so parents can locate others in their area living with autism.
1.Mast C. The Nutrition Link. Delicious Living [serial online]. May 2008;24(5):30-35. Available from: OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson), Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 5, 2017.
2. Treat Autism. Special Diets for Autism, PDD and ADHD. Website. Last reviewed 2013. http://treatautism.ca/biomedical-treatment/digestion-and-inflammation/special-diets/ Accessed October 5, 2017.