Since it’s that time of year when we spend a lot of time thinking about food, let’s talk about food and ADHD. The best ADHD diet will support your brain and make it easier for you to focus and get things done.
The worst ADHD diet encourages brain chaos. If you don’t eat right you’ll be more distracted, restless, and impulsive. The wrong diet can make you look like you have adult attention deficit even if you don’t.
Do you take attention deficit medication? The worst ADHD diet might make you need a higher dose of Adderall or Ritalin or Vyvanse.
I often help my clients build a more ADHD-friendly diet, so they stop eating whatever they can get their hands on when they finally remember they’re hungry.
Why just last week I helped a busy corporate manager named Rick lay out a plan so he can:
- Remember to eat
- Eat the right things for his ADHD brain, especially at lunch and when he’s on the road.
- Whip together a brain boosting, tasty breakfast in a flash.
Rick has discovered that eating a good ADHD diet isn’t hard to do once he knows how. He’s also dodging that mid-afternoon brain fog that drained his energy and productivity.
The Best ADHD Diet
- Includes lots of protein. Healthy protein. Lean meats – fish, chicken, turkey, and pork. Some beef is okay but watch that fat content. Eggs, legumes, cheese, yogurt, and nuts. Chia and flax seeds are a great source of protein and Omega-3s. Protein helps the brain make those neurotransmitters we need to focus and follow-through.
- Fills you up on healthy food so you avoid junk and get nutrients. Think fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Pre-washed and cut veggies make life easier. I think bags of lettuce are one of the best inventions of our time! Crackers, breads and pastas made from whole wheat flour. Make sure the label says whole wheat for the first ingredient. Brown rice and quinoa are good, too. Quinoa cooks fast and is great cold in salads. Plus, it’s loaded with protein. Two birds with one stone, etc.
- Has brain supporting Omega 3 Fatty Acids. This isn’t hard to do. Cold-water white fish such as tuna, salmon and also sardines. Also, in flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, olive and canola oil. Chia seeds are amazing. You don’t need much to get your full fatty acid dose for the day. Read this ADHD Success article if you want to know my simple trick for using chia seeds.
- Doesn’t cause brain fog. Have you noticed how high-processed, sugary foods make your brain foggy? No? Then pay attention. Also, to foods with dyes, fake sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, trans-fats and chemicals in the ingredients. Most clients report that their brains don’t work as well for a couple of days when they’ve had more than a glass or two. Especially cheap beer and wine. I’m not saying don’t enjoy a nice drink – just don’t overdo it. Especially when you need your brain to work!
Eating to support your brain doesn’t have to be hard or restrictive. If you aren’t eating right you can be sabotaging your success. Eating the best ADHD diet is important to managing ADHD.