Nutrition & ADHD How diet influences attention and executive function
“…children on this typical American diet are seven times more likely to have ADHD”
Nutrition can play a crucial role in mitigating attention problems and increasing executive function. Contrarily, a poor diet can often lead to a vicious cycle of poor decision making and poor planning.
The common American diet is high fat, high sodium, and high carbohydrate. American children and adults often skip breakfast and often eat at fast food restaurants. Americans also consume far more sugar than the rest of the world. According to current research, children on this typical American diet are seven times more likely to have ADHD. That same research has shown that adhering to a low-fat, low sodium, low sugar diet similar to the Mediterranean Diet filled with omega 3 fatty acids, low fat proteins, and fruits and vegetables, can improve cognitive function.
The brain, while weighing only about 2% of a person’s total body weight, consumes about 20% of the entire body’s total energy output. About 2/3 of this energy is used for neurotransmission – the ability of brain cells to communicate among each other. The other 1/3 is used to keep the brain cells (neurons) healthy. So skipping breakfast is not a good idea when we have to go to school and place a heavy workload on the brain.