Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may benefit from eating fruits and vegetables. A new study from Ohio found that such a diet may help them lower inattention issues, which is one of the most troubling symptoms of the condition.
Irene Hatsu, Associate Professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, found that children who ate more fruits and vegetables exhibited less severe symptoms of ADHD.
The new study backs the common belief that ADHD stems from low levels of some neurotransmitters in the brain. A consistent supply of vitamins and minerals that play a role in the synthesis of these neurotransmitters is likely to help the brain.
She added that most clinicians put ADHD-diagnosed children on medicine. When the symptoms get worse, they increase the dose of the medicine. "Our studies suggest it is worthwhile to check the children's access to food and the quality of the diet".
The lead author said everyone tends to get irritated when they are hungry and children with ADHD are not an exception in that matter. If they are not getting enough food, it can make their symptoms worse. She added that the parents being stressed about children not eating well can create tension at home. This can also affect the child's ADHD-related symptoms.
Hatsu said a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help the body make these important neurochemicals and support the overall function of the brain. Her team interviewed parents of 134 children with ADHD about their diet and portion sizes over three months.
The paper is published online in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. Most people are diagnosed in childhood itself as they have trouble paying attention and controlling impulses. However, some people do not show clear symptoms as children, and they go undiagnosed and untreated. As adults, these people struggle with impulsiveness and restlessness.