If you do a search online, you will find that some people recommend a paleo diet for ADHD symptoms.
In case you don’t know – I didn’t – a paleo diet consists of meats, fruits, and vegetables with no dairy, grains, sugar, or processed foods. You also consume healthy fats, like olive and coconut oils. Because there are no grains in the paleo diet, it’s also gluten free.
If you’ve read An ADD Woman for any length of time, or if you search the archives, you will see that I happen to believe that the food you put into your body affects your brain. (If you put 3 martinis in your body would your brain be affected? Case closed.)
I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years – both experts and just plain moms – and there is disagreement over whether or not changing your diet can help your ADHD symptoms.
As far as I know, there is no definitive study that proves the facts one way or another.
However, if you already have allergies of any kind, you might want to consider changing your diet in order to see if certain foods are causing a problem.
The paleo diet eliminates many of the common allergens, with the exception of nuts and eggs. However, the problem with this is that if you eliminate most of the common allergens, you don’t know which are causing the problem and which are not.
An elimination diet, carried out over a period of weeks, will give you better information.
Start week 1 by going gluten free. You may need to go from 7 – 10 days to get a good idea of whether or not it is a problem for you.
When you decide to go back to your regular diet, give your body a day or two to readjust before eliminating another allergen.
Here are the most common food allergens:
- Tree nuts
- Milk (dairy)
I would think that wheat, dairy, soy, and eggs would be the top ones to test for, but again, that’s my opinion, not based on scientific research.
I wrote an e-book years ago called Med Free with ADD; here are some of the things that I recommended:
- No processed foods
- Lots of fruits and vegetables, the more colorful, the better
- Lean protein at every meal
- Water throughout the day
- Limits on dairy and wheat, based on how they make you feel
- Healthy grains like quinoa
There were also other tips, such as getting enough sleep, exercise, and a list of vitamins and supplements that might help.
Some people notice a radical difference after changing their diet, and others do not.
It’s something that you might want to think about.