Diet and Nutrition

Mediterranean Diet and ADHD Prevention

Written by Dr. Laurent Hiffler and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Image: Mediterranean Diet and ADHD Prevention

This article is a review of a study that showed how Mediterranean type of diet can influence ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

A research team published a very interesting study demonstrating for the first time, a strong link between a type of diet and the risk of ADHD. Children who did not have a regular Mediterranean type of diet had a higher risk of developing ADHD than those who had a regular adherence to this type of diet.

Lower consumption of fruits, vegetables, pasta, and rice as well as higher tendency to skip breakfast was significantly associated with ADHD diagnosis. Similarly, a diet with high amounts of sugar, candies, sweet drinks (sodas), fast food, processed food, and a low consumption of 'fat' fish was also significantly associated with this diagnosis.

The important lesson from this study is that it is not a particular food that is responsible for ADHD. So, as an example, just avoiding food coloring or additives, or sweet drinks will most probably have a very little impact. On the contrary, adherence to a particular diet (even if not strictly) while avoiding another type is crucial here.

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is long known to be one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is not only tasty and flavorful but also a practical diet which is fairly easy to adopt. So, disease prevention is just a big plus. If you are wondering, the diet is supposed to help lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and thereby reduce the risk of heart disease.

That is not all. This regime also helps you lose weight gradually, which is the healthy way to lose. The recipes naturally include olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, and walnuts which are all rich sources of antioxidants. This helps you fight cancer, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's, dementia and stress among others.

Key Elements of the Mediterranean Diet

It is much more than just a diet. It is a way of life that is ideally enjoyed by savoring fresh produce in a slow-paced life in the company of family and friends. Some easy steps you can take to gradually adopt the diet.

  • Use plant-based fats like olive oil or canola oil for cooking, instead of butter.
  • You can snack on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds or add them to other recipes. You can even have a juice made of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose whole grain versions of bread, rice, and pasta.
  • Replace salt with herbs and spices.
  • Substitute red meat with fish and other seafood at least twice a week.
  • Make legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) part of your main course.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Consuming red wine in moderation once or twice a week. Grape juice is a good alternative if you do not consume alcohol.
  • When possible, have your meal with friends and family, preferably outdoors in a nearby park.
  • Take a stroll with your family after dinner.
  • Completely stay away from processed and fast foods.

For more information consult a nutritionist online -->

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018



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