Nutrient to Focus On: Water, H2O

As the weather heats up here in Maine, staying hydrated becomes even more important.  The weather in Maine is usually great. We have warm days and cool nights, which allows us to go without central air conditioning. This summer, the heat has been sticking around longer than usual. We have had far too many days in the high 80s and even into the 90s.  These warm summer days make staying hydrated even more important than usual.  Water is important for everyone, but H20 plays an important role in individuals with ADHD. Here are five major functions of water/H2O: The Functions of Water: Regulates body temperature Involved in blood circulation Plays a role in numerous biochemical reactions throughout the body Circulates key nutrients throughout the body Removes waste from...

When to Buy Organic

After my last post on organic vegetable gardening, I had some questions from readers about when to buy organic.  Choosing whether or not to buy organic fruits and vegetables can be overwhelming. Purchasing organic produce is often more expensive, but there are certain fruits and vegetables that are not worth the extra cost.  The question is, how do you know which foods to buy organic? You're in luck! Today I am going to give you a list of fruits and vegetables that are known to be significantly higher in pesticides that are worth the organic price tag and a list of foods are not worth buying organic. 16 Foods to Buy Organic: Strawberries Apples Nectarines Peaches Celery Grapes Cherries Spinach Tomatoes Bell Peppers Cherry Tomatoes Cucumbers Leafy...

10 Protein Packed Breakfast Ideas

This week we have discussed the importance of eating a balanced breakfast. As you may remember, protein has the potential to improve ADHD symptoms because it is needed to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Breakfast is important for individuals with and without ADHD.  Individuals with ADHD benefit from a a high protein breakfast that will prevent an unwanted mid-morning crash due to blood sugar levels. 10 Protein Packed Breakfast Ideas Overnight Oats: This is a new trend that I absolutely love. Take ½ cup of oats and add ½ cup of milk, ¼ cup of plain non-fat or low fat greek yogurt (for a dairy free option, try silk soy), and 1 tsp of chia seeds. This will be your base for the overnight oats. ...

All New Meatless Monday Recipe: Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers

Before we turn our attention to breakfast, I wanted to share this delicious Meatless Monday recipe with you. This recipe is the ideal recipe for individuals looking to improve their ADHD symptoms through diet. This vegetarian recipe contains protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fatty acids (thanks to the chia seeds).  Not only is this recipe a healthy meatless Monday choice, but it contains almost all the nutrients that can help improve your ADHD symptoms. [mpprecipe-recipe:3] I hope you enjoy this vegetarian dish. My husband and I liked this dish so much we are having it again for dinner tonight! Please let me know what you think in the comments and let everyone know what your favorite meatless Monday dish is.  I would love to hear from...

8 Ways Maximize Your Magnesium Intake

This week, we have focused on the micro nutrient; Magnesium. As you may remember, magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body. Magnesium is essential for over 300 enzymatic reactions, and individuals with ADHD are more likely to have lower levels of magnesium.  The symptoms of inadequate magnesium levels are similar to the symptoms of ADHD.  How much magnesium do you need to meet your daily needs? The answer is 400 mg, according to the USDA recommendations.  Now that you know the importance of getting enough magnesium in your diet, especially if you have  ADHD, here are some sources of magnesium to help you maximize your magnesium intake. 8 Ways to Maximize Your Magnesium Intake: Seeds: Pumpkin Seeds have 151 mg of magnesium in a...

10 Sources of Powerful Probiotics

Yesterday, you learned about the power of probiotics and the benefits of these healthy microbes for individuals with ADHD. The brain-gut axis is a very powerful connection that is extremely important for those of us with ADHD to keep in mind.  Now that you know you need to include probiotics in your diet, what foods should you look for?  I have put together a list of the sources of probiotics so that you can maximize your healthy microbe intake and hopefully correct any imbalance in your gut micro-biome. Here are 10 Probiotic Rich Foods: Yogurt: One of the best sources of probiotics you can eat. Be sure to choose yogurt that says live and active cultures on the label to ensure you are getting the probiotics...

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Zinc

This week we have looked at the benefits of zinc and the important role it can play in improving ADHD symptoms.  Here are 5 things you probably don’t know about zinc:

  1. Men and Women have different daily zinc needs. Men need 11 mg/day and Women need 8 mg/day. Infants and young children need 2-5 mg/day. Older girls/adolescents need 8 mg/day and older boys/adolescents need 11 mg/day.
  2. The Upper Limit of zinc is 40 mg/day. Excess zinc can lead to a copper or an iron deficiency because zinc inhibits the absorption of iron and zinc. Phytates(compounds found in grains also known as phytic acid) and copper can decrease the absorption of zinc.
  3. One of the most common signs of zinc deficiency in children is inattentiveness, which is one of the most common symptoms of ADHD.
  4. Zinc causes increased taste acuity, it enhances insulin action and it stabilizes DNA and RNA
  5. Zinc deficiency results in reduced immune function, poor wound healing, poor growth and hypogeusia

This Braised Chicken Thigh recipe is a simple way to boost your zinc intake for the day.

Nutrient to Focus On: Iron

Last week, we continued to investigate the relationship between ADHD and diet by exploring the benefits that protein has on an ADHD brain. This week, we will begin looking at the micronutrients that play a role in ADHD symptoms and behavior.  This week's Nutrient to Focus on is: IRON! Iron is a mineral that our bodies need to survive. It helps provide oxygen to our organs and is involved in dopamine transport in the brain. Last week we discovered that low levels of dopamine is common in those with ADHD. Research suggests that children with ADHD are more likely to have low iron levels. Here are the symptoms of to look for if you are concerned about low iron levels: Increased irritability and inattentiveness Depression Poor Memory Finicky appetite Symptoms of restless leg syndrome As you can see, there...

5 Ways to Easily Add Protein

This week the Nutrient to Focus On is Protein! Yesterday you learned or were reminded of the importance of protein in your diet.  You should try to include protein at every meal, but this can be a challenge at times.  To help you include protein at each meal, here are five ways to easily add protein.

  1. Exceptional Eggs: One egg has 6 grams of protein. If you are short on time, try the recipe below or make sure you have hardboiled eggs ready to grab for a quick source of protein.
  2. Get Nutty! Nuts are a great source of protein. A one ounce serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein. Just be careful not to eat too many because the calories will add up fast if you go overboard.
  3. Go Greek! 1 cup of Greek yogurt has 23 grams of protein.  Try substituting greek yogurt for sour cream and mayonnaise in recipes. Not only will you add protein, you will reduce the fat content as well.
  4. Just add beans: Keep a few different types of canned beans in your pantry. Beans can be added to numerous dishes like soup, salad or stew.
  5. Reconsider Milk: Milk products have become less popular recently due to the variety of milk alternatives available.  Just keep in mind that 8 ounces of low fat or non fat milk contains 8-10 grams of protein compared to 8 ounces of unsweetened  almond milk which contains only 1 gram of protein. Unless you are lactose intolerant, you should consider including milk in you and your child’s diet.

On the Go-Mini Frittatas

mini frittata

This recipe was inspired from Nom Nom Paleo

This is a great recipe to keep on hand. Utilize your weekends and make a batch or two of these.  These are a great on the go option because you can freeze them.  Then when you are ready to enjoy one, just pop it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds and you will have yourself a warm breakfast on the run.

Nutrient to Focus On: Protein

Nutrition is the process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism and repair.  Specific nutrients provide our bodies with the fuel that we need to survive.  These nutrients are categorized into two sub groups: macronutrients and micronutrients.  Protein is a macronutrient that our bodies cannot function without, which is why this week’s nutrient to focus on is protein.  Whether or not you have ADHD, protein is an essential nutrient that you must include in your diet.  For those of us with ADHD, there may be extra benefits to getting the amount of protein you need. Research suggests that ADHD is caused by low or abnormal levels of dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that carries nerve impulses across the brain.  Dopamine levels are associated with motor and cognitive function, both of which are related to  ADHD. You might be wondering, “What does dopamine have to do with protein? ” When you eat a source of protein, your body breaks the protein into amino acids and transport them across the body.   Amino acids are used to maintain your body’s muscles, blood, bones, and organs.  L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that can be used to form dopamine, which can lead to better motor and cognitive function and can potentially improve ADHD symptoms.  The bottom line: High quality protein sources can provide L-Tyrosine can lead to increased dopamine levels in the brain and potentially reduced ADHD symptoms.

Here are the six main sources of protein that you need to know:

  1. Eggs
  2. Nuts and Seeds
  3. Poultry
  4. Beans and Peas
  5. Meat
  6. Seafood

You now know the main sources of protein and how they can benefit those with ADHD.  Since it is a Monday, I want to share a “Meatless Monday” recipe with you all.  One of my go-to Meatless Monday recipes is tomato soup with chickpeas and pesto.  What goes better with tomato soup than grilled cheese? My husband and I usually split a grilled cheese sandwich to have with our tomato soup to cut down on the extra calories.  The chickpeas in this soup are a great source of protein and fiber.  What are some of your favorite Meatless Monday recipes?

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tomato Soup

Quick and easy tomato soup with chickpeas and pesto

Recipe Source: Runner’s World