Do you have a child with ADHD?
Do you want 2022 to be different than 2021?
Do you want more peace, less hyperactivity, less defiance, and more joy?
Then give these 3 tips a try!
(Do you prefer to watch a video with the tips, instead of reading them below? Then click here to watch me explain in less than 60 seconds 3 things that you can do to make 2022 your best year yet with your child with ADHD.)
3 Ways to Make 2022 Your ADHD Child’s Best Year Yet:
- Get rid of the top inflammatory foods, namely gluten, dairy, and soy.
- Cut back on sugar and toss food that contains artificial food dyes and flavors
- Replace these inflammatory foods with nutrient-dense, whole fruits and vegetables and grass-fed protein sources.
Why are these steps so critical?
Because diet is the foundation of everything we do. If our diet isn’t good, we can never function at our best.
A lot of people don’t realize there is a huge connection between our gut health and our brain health.
95 percent of our serotonin, and 50 percent of our dopamine is made in our guts.
These neurotransmitters are our feel-good hormones that help us both manage emotions and maintain mood balance.
That means, if we are not feeding and looking after our guts, then our bodies won’t be able to make enough of these vital neurotransmitters.
I often think of it like this: when you are building a house, a solid foundation isn’t optional. It’s a necessity.
If you don’t have a solid foundation, that house isn’t going to be very strong. It’s the same way with us.
Diet is our foundation. If our diet is poor, we can never function at our best.
That’s true for us adults, but it’s also true for our children.
Because of this, when I work with families, the first issue I address is diet.
Now, you might be wondering why these foods, in particular, gluten, dairy, and soy, are so bad for children with ADHD.
Why Gluten, Dairy, and Soy are TERRIBLE for Children with ADHD:
Gluten is the first food I recommend ALL children with ADHD cut out of their diets.
In fact, gluten is so inflammatory that I suggest everyone (even those without ADHD or a known gluten intolerance) stop eating it.
Plain and simple, gluten is harmful for everyone.
That’s because gluten triggers increased intestinal permeability in EVERYONE, even those who don’t show an allergic response to it.
Intestinal permeability refers to the breakdown of the intestinal walls. When functioning properly, the walls of the intestines form a barrier, allowing water and nutrients to pass through but blocking other things from entering the bloodstream.
When a person has increased intestinal permeability, that can lead to something called leaky gut. Leaky gut allows toxins and other harmful substances to enter the bloodstream that aren’t supposed to be there, leading to an inflammatory response in the body.
This inflammation can make ADHD symptoms significantly worse.
Inflammation isn’t the only issue with gluten, though. Gluten also has the potential to create opiate-like effects in some individuals.
In individuals who have gut inflammation, which is very common in kids with ADHD, the enzymes in their guts are not fully breaking down gluten. What happens as a result are compounds called gluteomorphins.
The protein structure of gluteomorphins is similar to that of morphine. Gluteomorphins are absorbed into the bloodstream, cross the blood brain barrier, and then bind to opiate receptors in the brain and gastrointestinal tract.
Think about people who are addicted to morphine. They might be unable to sit still. They could have huge meltdowns over small things. They might be unable to handle transitions. In many ways, they have ADHD-like symptoms.
When caregivers of children with ADHD remove gluten – and thus remove the opiate gluteomorphin – these opiate-like instances begin to be fewer and further in between.
One thing to keep in mind when removing gluten is that some people go through a Glutamorphin withdrawal response. Think of this like a detox period.
During this period, their ADHD symptoms might actually get worse for a time before they get better. That’s because their bodies are flushing out the gluten.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it can take three to even six months for gluten to stop reacting in the body.
Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately! Sometimes, it can take a few months before the body fully reduces the inflammation caused by gluten.
The second food I recommend families remove is dairy.
I suggest families cut out dairy for the same reasons as they cut out gluten.
Dairy products, like gluten, are inflammatory and create opioid-like responses in the brain. The opioid-like protein in dairy is called casomorphin.
Soy is the third food children with ADHD should cut from their diets.
There are two primary reasons for this.
First of all, approximately 95% of soy products come from genetically modified crops (GMOs). GMOs are linked to many health problems. They damage the digestive system and kill off the good bacteria in your gut.
Because most of the soy in foods today comes from GMO plants, it’s best to cut soy out of the diet altogether.
The over-production of soy is also a problem.
Soy is among the largest United States farm commodities. It’s heavily processed, has a high yield, and often contains glyphosate (pesticide) residue. Because of its mass production, it is also snuck into a variety of foods at an alarming rate.
The second reason I suggest families of children with ADHD remove soy is because soy is an endocrine disruptor.
When eaten in excess, it can have adverse effects on the balance of hormones in your body. It also contains isoflavones, which act like estrogen in the body. Since many breast cancers need estrogen to grow, eating an excess of soy could increase the risk of breast cancer.
I know removing these foods can seem really overwhelming but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You don’t have to cut everything all at once.
Begin by changing breakfast. Then snacks. Then lunch. Then dinner. Or whatever order works best for you.
Or, you could begin by changing one meal a week and then slowly adjust them all until they are all changed.
The important thing is to go slow so it’s not too overwhelming.
Need helping doing these things?
And as always, I am not a medical doctor and the above post is based on my experience. No information on this site should be relied upon to make a medical diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition.