Combating ADHD With Food And Fitness

A diagnosis of ADHD can cause a child to struggle academically, as well as socially and can carry on into adulthood.

While there is no clear cause or cure for ADHD, diet and fitness have been researched as a source of treatment and management.

Elimination diets and fish oil supplementation have been found most promising. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may improve antisocial behavior and reduce hyperactivity. A diet called the “few foods diet” is an approach to identify and eliminate foods that worsen ADHD symptoms.

On this diet, the top 8 allergenic foods are cut out and then reintroduced. Avoiding artificial colorings, food additives and preservatives also may be beneficial in reducing hyperactivity. Studies show following a diet lower in sugar and closer to a mediterranean style also helps combat symptoms. Sugar sweetened beverage consumption is adversely associated with ADHD.

Besides diet, exercise and especially cardio, has been shown to provide beneficial effects on cognitive, behavior and socio-emotional functions.

Related: Do ADHD Boys Become Obese Men?


About the author

Julie Rothenberg MS, RD, LDN

Julie is a registered dietitian, nutrition expert with a passion for honoring the body with good nutrition and mindful eating. Julie obtained a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in dietetics at Loyola University Chicago.

The proud owner of a nutrition consulting company, JuliENERGYnutrition LLC, where she practices concierge nutrition. She takes an extremely individualized approach and creates personalized nutrition goals and plans for her clients based on specific needs. She works with various physicians and therapists and sees clients for a wide range of nutrition issues including wellness, weight loss, disease specific nutrition counseling and disordered eating.

She stays up to date with new food discoveries and evidence-based research, as well as keeps up with the latest nutrition trends. She has a passion for improving relationships with food and currently uses the "Intuitive Eating" approach. In fact, she is a certified intuitive eating counselor. She has developed a passion for not only improving relationships with food and the body but also for understanding the effects that good nutrition can have on one’s health. Her ultimate goal is to use nutrition to help the community live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.