Parents who have children with ADHD are always wondering what they can do to lessen the symptoms. Your child’s diet plays a key role in managing their symptoms. Studies have found that a protein rich diet can help manage ADHD symptoms.
How Does Protein Consumption Relate to ADHD?
A study published this year has shown that patients with ADHD tend to suffer from protein deficiencies. Researchers from the University of Orebro in Switzerland said that most patients had only about half as much tryptophan, a necessary protein for producing a number of chemicals that serve a vital role in neurological processes.
The lead author of this study said that deficiencies of this protein could be a contributing factor in ADHD. These findings suggest that parents can help reduce the impact of ADHD by encouraging their children to eat larger amounts of protein.
The research has been corroborated by other studies which have found that eating protein can help make symptoms more manageable. Studies have shown that ADHD appears to stem from poorly functioning neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are synthesized from the amino acids our body consumes. Experts believe that eating a diet rich in protein will ensure that our bodies receive the amino acids they need to construct properly functioning neurotransmitters.
Increasing Protein in a Child with ADHD
Medical experts recommend parents encourage their children to eat protein rich snacks both in the morning and after school. These snacks can have two key benefits. First of all, they help children concentrate more easily. Secondly, they have been found to increase the effectiveness of Concerta, Ritalin and other medications used to treat ADHD.
Experts recommend parents encourage their children to consume a variety of foods to get the protein they need to help lessen their symptoms. Some foods that can help ensure your child receives enough protein include:
- Milk, cheese and other dairy
- Lean meats
Experts from Web MD suggest that parents encourage their children to eat these foods for breakfast and for after school snacks. This will ensure they stay focused during school and as they sit down to do their homework.
The foods in the list above are considered complete proteins. They will be broken down into amino acids which can be directly synthesized into the neurotransmitters your child needs. Your child may also be able to develop complete proteins by eating a combination of other foods, such as: barley, starches, peanuts and seeds. These foods may not be guaranteed to give your child the protein they need, but they may have other benefits for treating ADHD such as moderating glucose levels.
Consider a Protein Rich Diet
Speak with your child’s doctor or nutritionist to see what types of foods they recommend. They may suggest that your child will benefit from eating more proteins in conjunction with any medication they are taking.
Kalen is a health writer who currently works for best whey protein.