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.

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.

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 follow her on Facebook & Twitter.



9 ADD Friendly Foods to Improve Memory

November 19th, 2013

The following guest post is from Pete of

If you’re one of the millions of people in the world who has ever found your television remote in the freezer or searched frantically for your car keys before locating them in your pocket, then you may be able to benefit from the following foods.  All of these have been scientifically proven to improve your memory and keep you sharp. The following nine foods will boost your memory and keep your brain working at its peak for years to come.

  • Oil-Based Salad Dressing   

Many people automatically associate the word ‘oil’ with unhealthy eating habits primarily because we’ve always been told that oils and fats are bad for us. However, there are plenty of reasons why oil-based salad dressing can improve your memory. Most of the oils that are used in salad dressings are incredibly high in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant known to protect the cells in the brain from damage and keep mental faculties sharp for long periods of time. Something fascinating to consider is that scientific studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that these benefits do not exist when Vitamin E is taken as a supplement. It must be consumed in food.

  • Fish 

Most of the fish that you can find in your local market contains what are known as omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. These contain a substance known as DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, which is crucial for allowing the neurons in the brain to function normally. Essentially, fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel can help to make sure that your brain works at full function. Of course, you should be sure that you eat fish like this in moderation because it also contains a substance known as mercury which can be toxic if consumed in great quantities. Never fear, though: the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish outweigh the trace amount of mercury found in standard 2oz serving sizes.

  • Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens are one of the best sources of Vitamin E, the antioxidant that is also found in healthy oils. Some of the best choices include kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and other similar foods. A half cup of cooked spinach contains 25% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E on its own! These vegetables also contain folate, a substance that is also known to protect the brain although the reasons how or why remain unclear. It is thought that the folate breaks down a substance that triggers the death of nerve cells in the brain.

  • Avocados

Everyone underestimates the power of the yummy, creamy avocado. Not only does it contain Vitamin E, it is also a great source of Vitamin C. When these are consumed in conjunction with one another, they are more easily processed by the body and have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – one of the leading causes of memory loss in adults. Avocado can be eaten right from the peel or added to sandwiches and other dishes as well. It’s a truly versatile food that is just as good for you as it is delicious.

  • Peanuts and Peanut Butter

While you’ve likely been told that peanuts and peanut butter contain a lot of oil and fat, these are of the healthy variety as long as this nut and its products are consumed in moderation. They are packed with Vitamin E and healthy fats which improve both brain and heart function. Peanuts and peanut products have long been researched and scientific evidence shows that consuming peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds in moderation can go a long way toward protecting existing brain cells and helping in the creation of new ones.

  • Berries 

Berries are truly miracle foods in that they offer up tons of valuable substances that your brain can use to improve function and thereby memory. Blueberries, strawberries and the lesser-known acai berry can help to protect the brain’s ability to correctly file away and store information. Not only does this help to improve your memory right away, but it can protect your brain over the long term and help to reduce the effects aging has on your brain. Essentially, the antioxidants in the berries help to remove the proteins floating around in your bloodstream that can lodge in your brain and cause memory loss.

  • Whole Grains

Finally, you should always remember all of the benefits that whole grains provide. Scientific studies have shown that people who consume large amounts of whole grains on a regular basis (such as those who consume Mediterranean diets) are able to prevent mild cognitive impairment that may later develop into Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is important to make sure that other healthy foods are consumed along with whole grains in order for them to do their jobs as intended. For instance, a lunch of whole wheat bread and a side of berries is a great, healthy choice.

Absent-mindedness, lack of concentration and the inability to remember simple details can certainly become frustrating, but eating the right foods can help stop this cognitive impairment in its tracks. Remember that you should always boost your healthy diet by staying hydrated, too! Dehydration is one of the leading causes of temporary memory loss and it is easily remedied by consuming at least 64oz of water each and every day.

For more tips on ADD and Nutrition, you can read my article on Treating ADD With Brain Boosting Nutrients.


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