The Significance of Protein in an ADHD Diet


February 6th, 2014

Protein is an important part of the human diet. This nutrient contains the long-chain amino acids that the body needs to repair itself. Every day, our bodies can go through normal wear and tear, but it can easily be repaired using protein we get from our diet. Some people, like body builders, drink a whey protein shake everyday (or more) so they can continuously repair their muscles and increase their size. However, science has also recently discovered that protein could be good in lessening the symptoms of certain conditions. In particular, children and adults who suffer from ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could greatly benefit from consuming extra protein, which is why it is one of the components of an ADHD Diet. Let’s first take a look what is an ADHD diet and how protein plays a part in it.

What is the ADHD Diet?

ADHD is a type of disorder where a person’s brain cannot focus on a single task. The three common symptoms of ADHD are: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are medications that help lower these symptoms, but doctors have recently discovered that adhering to a certain diet can also help. The ADHD diet, which requires less caffeine, sugar, and complex carbohydrates, plus high protein is said to help curb these symptoms and help the person function better.

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How is Protein Significant in an ADHD Diet?

One of the components of the ADHD diet is consuming high amounts of protein. That means the child or adult should take beans, eggs, nuts, and meats. A whey protein shake could also help, if the person simply does not have time to prepare or access to proteins. Proteins can help the person with ADHD in different ways.

First, the neurons in the brain need protein in order for them to function properly. Neurons are special cells in the brain that transmit nerve impulses, which tell the body what to do. These neurons are partly made of protein, so by providing the brain with more protein, the brain can repair any damaged neurons and ensure they work properly.

Next, consuming protein can aid with medication. As mentioned earlier, there are medicines that can help with the symptoms of ADHD, like Adder all and Ritalin (the two most common ADHD medicines). However, studies have shown that eating more protein can help the body absorb the medication more efficiently and take effect faster.

Finally, taking protein also produces and amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine, in turn, produces dopamine and nor epinephrine, which can help balance energy levels and improve alertness.

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How Can You Take More Protein

So, if you or someone you love has ADHD, how can you make sure you eat a lot of protein in your diet? Well, you don’t have to stick to eating meat all the time. While red meat is a good source of protein, there are other better sources. For example, nuts and green leafy vegetables actually contain a lot of protein. Also, you could try drinking a whey protein shake. By drinking a whey protein shake every day, you can increase your protein intake efficiently. With modern science, ADHD has become more manageable, but people who have this condition should also be mindful of their diet to help curb the symptoms so they can live a more normal life.

 

Gloria MillerGloria B. Miller graduated in 2001 from the University of Michigan with a degree in business administration. After working for her family business for 4 years, she decided to take a world tour for 1 year, where she discovered her love of travel and writing. She decided to go back to school and get her journalism degree from the University of Florida. After working in Washington for 2 years, she moved back to her home town of Troy to pursue a freelance writing career. You can read her blogs at www.energyfirst.com follow her on Facebook & Twitter.


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