May 15, 2018 at 3:28 am #84252
Good morning 🙂
I was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia a couple of months ago and I read that diet can help.
Does anyone know what macronutrient split works best? I get that all 3 play a role in brain function and protein is most important (which works well with my workout goals), but should I prioritize carbs or fat?
Thank you very much.
May 15, 2018 at 7:45 am #84258
I am yet to be diagnosed, but have long suspected I have ADHD and I am in the process of trying to get a diagnosis. I find that my symptoms get much better when my diet is in check and sticking to a structured gym routine. As for your question, with regard to macros, I am not sure what Macros are best for the relief of ADHD symptoms because it probably isn’t a one size fits all kind of question. The macros I am currently following are 40 percent protein, 35 percent fat and 25 percent carbohydrates. I guess it also depends on if you have a weight loss/gain goal as well. This combination works best for me, but it might be a case of testing different variations to see what works for you.
May 16, 2018 at 10:30 am #84359
Thank you very much for the advice 🙂 I really appreciate it.
May 16, 2018 at 1:41 pm #84401
While I’ll never claim “expert” status when it comes to “macros” and other related topics when it comes to diets and how they affect one’s daily dealings with ADHD, one thing that has come to my attention recently is CBD and it’s long overlooked and harmless abilities to help people with ADHD enjoy more moments of relaxation and concentration without having any negative effects on the efficacies of their regularly prescribed medicines. I take Adderall and Depakote and I’m 66 years old and have recently survived a major stroke. The stroke will take some time and other more specifically targeted meds designed to prevent blood clots. But rest assured, CBD oils have no negative effects. For many years I have long been opposed to marijuana use, and much of my opposition goes back to my experience of smelling the stuff in my college dorm down in Miami during the early Seventies. Gawd it stunk and still does. But there are found in all parts of the country. Where did Coca Cola get its start? CBD comes from hemp. Sounds radical, but there it is. Hemp oil when you really get down to the basics without introducing long latin words. You can find CBD being introduced into a wide variety of products. Yes, it has to be taken in moderation and not be treated as a substitute for other working medications. But if this oil, CBD can work on epileptics, pets with serious skin rashes causing painful itching spells, and doctors and researchers are working hard at examining CBD’s possibilities in bringing great relief to people suffering from strokes, Parkinson’s, earlier dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases. Any reason why it couldn’t be applied to helping people better manage their ADHD so it doesn’t mismanage their lives as much? Let’s give it a try. Although a moderate Democrat, and definitely a non-Fox watcher, I applaud the commentary of Dr. Manny Alvarez who celebrated the recent “420 Day” on behalf of legalizing pot for using its medical properties to help the millions of people suffering from the many conditions and diseases I mentioned above. If former Speaker John Boehner, MA Governor Bill Weld, two rock solid Republicans can back it, what’s stopping Atty. General Jeff Sessions from taking off his blinders to help those who could desperately put the positive qualities CBD oil in particular, have to offer, and allow me to add the one key word we all need, Hope.
May 23, 2018 at 7:49 am #84720
Andrea-Finding Health & WellnessParticipant
I agree with Brad’s answer. To add to that:
Fat should be a priority. The brain is made up of over 80% fat. There are a number of other dietary changes you can make. You only asked about macronutrients, but here is a list I keep on hand for people who ask:
- Consume lots of good fat. If you only take one of these recommendations, make it this one. I cannot emphasize high-quality fats enough. Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are important for everyone and were probably the biggest life changer for me. This is why food lifestyles such as the ketogenic diet are good for neurological issues. Keto has been helping people with seizures for decades. Its popularity began to soar because it works, and then food faddists starting following it. (Though doctor-prescribed keto tends to differ from everyday keto.)
- Probiotics. A healthy gut is necessary for a healthy brain. The gut microbiome is sometimes referred to as the “second brain.” 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced by the gut nerve cells, and every class of neurotransmitters found in the brain is also found in the gut. Microbiota and nerve cells in the gut products more than 40 neurotransmitters. Also, most of your immune system resides in your gut. It also helps create a lot of the neurotransmitters that help relay messages between neurons. The production of melatonin depends on zinc. It also helps with immune function. Lots of us with brain health issues have problems with inflammation in the brain and inflammation is an immune response. In studies of children, those with the lowest blood levels of zinc had the highest levels of inattention, distractability, hyperactivity, impulsivity and other symptoms.
- Vitamin B6. It helps form dopamine. In one study of children with ADHD that was done in 1979, vitamin B6 was as effective as Ritalin at controlling symptoms. (Source: A study published in Biological Psychiatry and referenced in James Greenblatt’s recent book Finally Focused). In other studies on adults cited in that book, vitamin B6 improved attention and decreased other symptoms.
- Carnitine may help regulate dopamine and ADHD.
- Vitamin D is a neurotransmitter precursor that helps produce serotonin.
- Depending on symptoms and type of ADHD, different neurotransmitter precursors might help. Studies show that the ADHD brain blocks tryptophan and that low levels of GABA cause impulsivity. So, GABA might help people who are impulsive and hyperactive. L-tryptophan helps with sleep problems and anxiety.
- Watch the sugar and caffeine. Low sugar or no sugar. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you can tolerate caffeine. Some people with ADD are helped with caffeine and have better focus and clarity, and can drink it before they go to bed without sleep disruption. Some people find that caffeine causes anxiety. Some go through periods of each. Caffeine is a drug. If it helps you, go for it.
Hope this helps
May 24, 2018 at 5:38 am #84797
Andrea-Finding Health & Wellness – Great post and very detailed. I have just started to take cod liver oil, omega 3 tablets and glucosamine sulphate. I originally started to take it for joint problems from lifting weights, but if it helps ADHD then that’s great. With regards to the ketogenic diet I have also tried this in the past for weight loss – it was brilliant and although there is an initial slump in energy when your body is getting used to using fats for fuel, instead of carbohydrates, after this initial phase I had more energy than before and I was probably the fittest I have ever been.
Morgaen01 – If you are going to track your macros then use MyFitnessPal; It’s very simple to use and you can set goals and track progress.
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