A decade ago when we first interviewed 9 experts for ADD & Loving It?!, there was a general consensus that diet had nothing to do with ADHD.
Since then a growing body of evidence is showing that while nutrition is not a panacea, or a cure, it can make a substantial difference for some people. Three years ago some of the ADHD specialists we interviewed were coming around to the idea that diet matters, citing some interesting new research.
Years ago I would have dismissed Dr. Emanual Frank’s book on a Nutrient-Based Psychiatry: a Nutritional Prescription for ADHD, out of hand as new age nonsense or a marketing tool for someone selling supplements at jacked up prices.
So What’s Changed?
What’s changed? Me. In the past three years I’ve gone from a traditional meat and potatoes diet to eating a mostly vegan. (When I’m travelling it’s hard to find plant-based meals that are filling and nutritious. Airports are the worst.)
I can tell you a change of diet has made a difference for me, my wife, and a number of people we know. (Some have ADHD, some do not.) My allergies are almost gone, I have more energy and feel better.
You Are What You Eat?
It’s a bit simplistic to say, “You are what you eat.” More accurately, “You are what your body does with what you eat.” Our understanding of the interaction of food and our bodies and the brains is growing by leaps and bounds. Governments are revising their ‘Food Pyramids’, and nutrition guidelines. The interaction with hormones, pesticides, and genetically modified… Okay, I am not going to go on a rant.
If you’re struggling with ADHD check out this book. It draws on extensive research, it’s peer reviewed, and yet easy to read. The first part of the book is for you and I, while the second part of the book is geared more toward health care professionals.
Knowing how little training doctor’s receive on diet, nutrition, and natural herbs and supplements (as little one day or two days) I can understand the resistance to the idea that food can have an impact on ADHD symptoms.
Every Christmas and Thanksgiving I was aware that it was the tryptophan in the turkey that was making me feel so tired. I was well aware of what caffeine did to improve my focus. I was well aware of the crash I felt after drinking a pop or having a sweet dessert.
Dr. Frank’s book offers all the science you could ask for, and clearly explains what and why the right nutrition can do to help those of us who have, or live with folks who have, ADHD.
It’s groundbreaking stuff.