ADD and Subtract from Your Diet

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When I say ADD – a play on ADHD and the word add – and subtract, I’m talking about food.

Better nutrition means better brain health which leads to fewer ADHD symptoms or at least more manageable ones.

Here are 5 foods to add to your diet:


Wild caught salmon which has beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids good for brain health.

Leafy green vegetables for their vitamin B complex nutrients.

Blueberries for their antioxidant properties and their ability to help memory.

Protein because it helps stabilize your energy, making hyperactivity less of a problem.

Water because your body and brain need it to function well.

And here are 5 that you should avoid:

Sugar because it disrupts your body’s blood sugar levels and decreases vitamins and minerals in your body.

Processed foods may contain high levels of sodium, preservatives, sugars, chemicals, additives, and coloring. Any of these may make your ADHD symptoms harder to deal with, not to mention that they are just no good for you.

Any kind of hydrogenated oil is bad for your brain and body. Not only do they contribute to weight gain, they also interfere with proper brain function.

Soda has high sugar content or artificial sweeteners if you’re drinking diet. It also contains caffeine which some experts feel contributes to hyperactivity.

While I agree that all of the sugars and other things contained in soda are bad for you, I have to differ on the caffeine part. I consume caffeine daily and just did a recent review on caffeine water as a treatment for ADHD.

My suggestion is to cut back on soda as much as you can and try to add in more water.

This is a surprise, right? We’re not talking all vegetables here, just certain frozen ones. Some contain artificial coloring and others have been grown with the use of organophosphates, a kind of pesticide. These are not only bad for you, they can be bad for your pets, too, if they eat them. Here is an article with more information.

I know they are more expensive, but consider organic instead. Or in the summer, check out your local farmers markets and ask.

My last piece of advice?

Take it easy and slow. No one expects you to be perfect and only eat perfect food. Maybe you need your caffeine; I know I do. Just do what you can to make yourself healthier.

And you know what? If you just gave up fast food that would be a great start.

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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2 Responses

  1. my biggest symptom with ADHD is that it is hard for me to communicate verbally. It is difficult to verbally express myself. I do not understand why this is a challenge for me. It is almost as if I cannot connect one thought with another when trying to communicate with others. The same way I only get a percentage of the verbal instructions given to me. This makes my everyday life extremely challenging.

  2. Hannah – Verbal communication is hard for those of us with ADHD. We tend to be visual or kinesthetic learners, not auditory ones. We have poor working memory and are easily distracted so we either miss or forget much of what we hear. If we have visual cues or can incorporate movement somehow, we are much more successful.

    When you are talking to others or when they are talking, your mind is racing ahead. You may tend to interrupt because you had a thought about something they said and you want to express it before you forget. And when you are the one doing the talking, your racing mind can get the best of you too. It’s not uncommon for us to say things that don’t seem to connect to the conversation either.

    For instance, if we are talking about a new store that just opened up, your mind might do something like this: a new store makes you think about shopping, shopping reminds you of your Aunt Sally who loved to shop and who also happened to be a great cook. Her recipe for Applesauce Cake was amazing and you still use her recipe. So it would make perfect sense in your mind to remark that you have a great recipe for Applesauce Cake, although everyone else will wonder where that came from.

    You might find this article that I wrote for helpful.