Q: If someone has adult ADHD should they eat a special diet? – E. C.
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A: ADHD expert Richard Sogn, MD, points out that whatever is good for the brain is likely to be good for ADHD.
- Eat a high-protein diet, including beans, cheese, eggs, meat and nuts. Add protein foods in the morning and for afternoon snacks to improve concentration and possibly increase the effectiveness time ADHD medications.
- Eat fewer simple carbohydrates, such as candy, corn syrup, honey, sugar, products made from white flour, white rice and potatoes without the skins.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and some fruits (including oranges, tangerines, pears, grapefruit, apples and kiwi). Eating complex carbs at night may also aid sleep.
- Eat more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in tuna, salmon, other cold-water white fish, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and olive and canola oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are also available in supplement form.
Some experts recommend that people with ADHD avoid these substances:
- Artificial colors, especially red and yellow
- Food additives such as aspartame (found in artificial sweeteners), MSG (monosodium glutamate), and nitrites; some studies have linked hyperactivity to the intake of the preservative sodium benzoate.