The Diet-Behavior Link
I’m nearly convinced that there might just be something to this omega 3’s thing when it comes to improving the symptoms of ADHD.
Natalie is doing remarkably well, ADHD-wise, this summer. I’m not sure what’s responsible for the improvement. She turned nine last month. Is she simply maturing? I quit working outside the home a few months ago. Is the stability of having Mom at home making a difference? And I’m watching her diet — cutting back on foods with artificial colors; adding omega 3’s to her diet through food sources and supplements. I may never know for sure, but I’m nearly convinced that the omega 3’s are making a difference in Natalie’s ADHD symptoms.
I wrote previously about how Natalie played calmly and quietly with two younger girls at one of Aaron’s Little League games this summer, and that this was so out of character for Natalie, that Don and I were asking each other, “Who is that child?” Natalie sits and plays with Legos for longer periods than ever before. She’s sat through two movies already this summer — a first for her. She tolerates car rides like never before. Her behavior is still challenging at times, but overall, she’s doing much better.
One afternoon she was noticeably irritable. I asked myself, “What’s going on? What’s different?” Then I remembered. I’d neglected to give Natalie her gummy fish — her omega 3 supplements — for four or five days. Could that really be the problem? When the same situation repeated itself a few weeks later, I decided it just might.
In my post, I admitted being confused and overwhelmed by all the information on the Web about amounts and types of omega 3’s in foods and supplements. Sean Hannigan wrote a comment to that post, saying that while it’s hard to compete with gummy fish when it comes to children, “… I can attest that the best source of Omega 3’s with the safest delivery system would be Mila by Lifemax. There are so many success stories with this natural, raw, whole food that has 3000 mg of Omega 3’s per serving.”
It turns out that Mila is a proprietary selection of chia seed. Yes, chia, as in, “Ch-ch-ch- Chia!” Chia Pets. Sean, a distributor for Lifemax, was kind enough to send me a sample of Mila to try. He and his wife Danielle would be pleased to tell you more about Mila, and answer your questions about Mila and ADHD. If interested, you can read more or contact them at sublime.lifemax.net. (You can also buy chia seeds at natural food stores. I found a different, less expensive brand at our local coop, Wheatsfield Cooperative Grocery.)
I haven’t succeeded in incorporating Mila into Natalie’s diet in the way that Sean recommends: one scoop (included) per day. Nat drank one ice cream shake laced with Mila, then refused one the next day. She wouldn’t even taste the fruit smoothie I made with Mila in it. I’ll continue to try to work it into recipes whenever possible — add it to the wheat flour when I make banana bread, for example, so she’ll ingest some. But since I can’t manage to get her to eat a full serving each day, I’ll also strive to incorporate other food sources of omega 3’s into her diet.
Natalie eats a lot of pasta, so I keep stocked up on Barilla Plus pastas, which are a good source of omega 3’s. I bought walnut oil for a new brussel sprouts recipe, so now I substitute it when I’d normally cook with olive oil, about half the time. Both olive oil and walnut oil contain omega 3’s. I buy granola bars that contain omega 3’s. Natalie will occasionally eat a little bit of fish. Since I don’t know whether to push ALA, DHA, EPA or what-ever-A, I’ll aim for some of each.
Then, just to be on the safe side, I’ll keep giving her gummy fishes. It can’t hurt. It might even help. Yes, I’m nearly convinced that there might just be something to this omega 3’s thing when it comes to improving the symptoms of ADHD.