“Feeding” the ADD Brain

Think about the foods you and your kids eat. Fruit Roll-Ups. Macaroni and cheese. Lucky Charms Cereal. Soft drinks. What do all of these and just about everything we eat have in common? Artificial dyes are in the majority of foods available. These colorings make food look more appetizing, at least psychologically.
Not long ago, World News Tonight on ABC featured a segment about food dyes and the possible connection to ADD. The Center for Science in the Public Interest asked the FDS to ban artificial coloring in all U.S. foods. According to them, they claimed that artificial coloring was contributing to the rise of ADD in kids. This is a controversial claim and one that probably needs further research.
But what if it’s true? There have been cases of parents who have tried everything to curb their children’s ADD symptoms to no avail. Yet when they changed the diet and restricted the foods that contain artificial coloring and other non-natural chemicals, symptoms began to subside. Magic or pure coincidence?
And what about other toxins that are affecting your kids? High levels of certain neurotoxins have a negative impact on the brain and are thought to cause violent or aggressive behavior. These chemicals are everywhere nowadays. Then there are the pesticides in the foods we eat. For more information on the most contaminated foods around, check out www.foodnews.org.
While the FDA maintains there is no link, if your child has ADD, you are certainly not going to cause harm by limiting foods with artificial coloring. What’s the easiest way to do this? The first step toward treatment is to avoid those things that cause ADD or make it worse. Then, learn to “feed” your brain the stuff that makes it healthy, strong, and fueled!
You could start with keeping a log of what you and your family is eating. Once you have some sort of baseline, you could keep track of the symptoms that appear soon after eating. For example, if your daughter has a habit of eating Fruit Loops every morning, and soon after becomes explosive, try taking the food away, but its replacement may be just as bad as the cereal. What you will find is that an ADD diet is nearly impossible – you’d have to get rid of just about any food around!
Medication artificially manipulates the brain while changing the diet “cures” the brain. There is much overwhelming evidence that what we eat along with natural supplements and/or herbal remedies can greatly reduce the symptoms of ADD.
People with ADD usually have a lack of the following nutrients in their diets:
 “B” vitamins
 Tyrosine
 Zinc
 Iron
 5-HTP
 Calcium
 Magnesium
While no one vitamin is going to satisfy all of your child’s symptoms, there are
certain products that do a better job of feeding the brain’s neurotransmitters. Along with a good multi-vitamin (preferably a liquid form that absorbs more efficiently), you might consider Neu-be-Calm – this has quite a positive effect on taming ADD symptoms. (www.Neu-be-calm.com)
The other dietary change you might want to consider is feed your child foods with a low glycemic index. The glycemic index basically refers to how quickly your body processes the sugar from the foods you eat. Your body cannot tell whether the food it is processing is high in sugar or low. What you want to do is to eat those foods low in the glycemic index so that your body will process the sugar very slowly. So what you are essentially doing is eliminating the junk food from your diet and replacing it with whole grains, low amounts of sugars, and using natural sweeteners.
 Whole grains, fruits and veggies
 Cultured dairy foods or non-dairy sources of calcium
 Wholesome protein sources such as free range meats, poultry, and legumes
 No hydrogenated oil or deep fired oils – instead use fish oil supplements, flax oil, etc.
 Water, water, water – believe it or not, most of our kids are dehydrated!
Discovering what foods might be causing your child’s ADD symptoms to exacerbate will take some time and careful observation. If you do discover a link, making the changes difficult and tricky, but it can be done with great results! You won’t believe what a difference a well-fueled diet can make in your child and your fa