As we get geared up to go back to school or get back in the throes of regularly scheduled work, let’s take a moment to ponder our ADHD brain and its particular back-to-school/work needs…
Heed the ADHD Diet-Brain Research…and the Rules
More and more research is confirming that the ADDer has unique dietary needs that, if ignored, magnify our ADHD symptoms. But properly feeding our unique brain goes beyond food to include the right amounts of exercise and rest. Crusher tips on all three in this series of three blogs, the first, on diet, herewith…
Crusher adheres to and preaches four cardinal rules for the ADDer diet…
1. Sugar Sucks
2. Carbs Kill
3. Protein is Power
4. Omegas Are Mega.
They’re pretty self-explanatory, but here are some quick details on each…
Sugar – especially processed sugar — jacks up your blood glucose briefly for a spurt of mental energy, but then dissipates just as fast, leaving you in the gutter jonesing for more sugar like a two-bit junkie. So no, you CAN’T have your cake and eat it, too. As I say in Video I, Way 1, “if you’re eating a glazed donut for breakfast, you’re kicking your own @ss down the street!”
And watch out for hidden sugars – in cereals, condiments, “healthy” juices. (Read the label, you might be shocked at what you find in a wholesome, all-natural looking product.)
In reality, you can’t live without carbohydrates. But most carbs on the crappy American grocery shelf are ADDer no-no’s because they TURN INTO sugar, and we already know how much, um, SUGAR SUCKS! Now, not all carbs are created equal: complex carbs are safer – whole grain breads/cereal, brown rice, yams, veggies, seeds and nuts. But steer clear of simple carbs — WHITE foods (breads, rice, pasta, potatoes), which are often processed and useless to the ADDer brain.
Steer clear of those pancakes and muffins! They’ll bite ya!
Protein is Power
Because it actually triggers alertness-inducing neurotransmitters that help us focus. Get quality proteins from fish, lean meat, beans, eggs, dairy and protein drinks or powders. And if you use protein drinks/powders, make sure they’re not loaded with sugar, cuz, right – you know…sugar yada yada.
Protein is power – get more lean meats, nuts/seeds!
Omegas are Mega!
Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and -6s found in cold-water fish can improve brain function/memory. So get more of these with quality fish or krill oil supplements pronto. To get both omegas AND protein, put walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and sardines on your grocery list. Do it now!
[Note: There’s been some recent research suggesting that too much omega fatty acids may correlate with increased incidence of prostate cancer in men, but as with anything, everything in moderation!]
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, though, feeding your brain right correlates more to long life than to any health risk – and conversely. For instance, a recent study linked ADHD, high-fat foods and obesity.
So, cut out the sugar, reduce simple carbs, up your protein intake and get some Krill Oil supplements (Omega-3s)! Do you have your own cardinal rule on diet? Share it in the comments!
[Addendum: And here are parts two and three of this Feed Your Brain trilogy…]