What Are Some Foods a Person With ADHD Should Avoid?


Quick Answer

Limiting simple carbohydrates, including sugar, corn syrup, honey, white flour and white rice, from the diet helps some individuals manage the symptoms of ADHD, such as restlessness and difficulty focusing, according to WebMD. Some experts advise avoiding artificial food coloring and food additives, such as nitrites and monosodium glutamate.

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Some studies link the preservative sodium benzoate to hyperactivity in some studies, and experts especially discourage artificial red and yellow food colorings for children with ADHD, reports WebMD. While small amounts of caffeine improve symptoms in some children, most experts believe that the side effects negate any potential benefits. Some experts suggest diets that eliminate common allergens, such as milk, eggs and wheat, adds Mayo Clinic.

High-protein foods, such as beans, meat and nuts, are good choices for breakfast and after-school snacks for children with ADHD because they may extend the efficacy of medications and improve concentration, explains WebMD. Eating generous amounts of vegetables and fruits, especially in the evening, may improve sleep. Experts advise emphasizing foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, olive oil and canola oil, or taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Nutrition experts are divided on the benefits of taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement. Some believe that a balanced diet provides all the vitamins and micronutrients that adults and children with ADHD require.

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