Balsamic Chicken Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

Hopefully you have figured out a few different ways to maximize your tomato harvest from my last post. One of the ways I suggested you utilize your tomatoes is by making a pasta salad with tomatoes.  Personally, I am not a big fan of pasta salad with a mayonnaise base.  This pasta salad recipe uses a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing and tastes delicious with fresh tomatoes. I discovered this recipe from my mother-in-law.  This is one of my husbands favorite recipes that his mom used to make him.  She gave him the recipe a few years ago for him to someday cook.  Sadly, he never learned to cook so I ended up making her recipe. For this recipe, I usually use cherry tomatoes.  You...

Focus on Folate: Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Peas, & Herbs

This week we have been focusing on folate as the nutrient of the week. In the last post you learned how much folate you need and where you can find it. As I have mentioned before, I am a big believer in meeting your nutrient needs through diet. This recipe helps you focus on folate and meet your daily needs and uses fresh seasonal vegetables! This is a great seasonal pasta recipe. My husband loves Fettuccini Alfredo, but I don't like to make it because it is high calorie, and high in fat.  This is a great substitute for a white cream sauce and uses seasonal vegetables! We already have fresh asparagus in Maine and soon we will have fresh peas from the garden. This is a...

Focus on Folate

Happy Monday everyone! I apologize for my brief hiatus. I started a per diem dietitian job at a hospital and have been training, so I haven't had much time to write.  This is the post from a week and a half ago. I just wanted to refresh your memory on the importance of folate before I share with you the best sources of vitamin B9 and some new recipes. Over the past two weeks, we have discussed some important updates on some of the key nutrients that help improve ADHD symptoms, including, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.  This week we will turn our attention to a new nutrient and the role it plays in ADHD.  Folate is a water soluble B vitamin that plays an important role...

A Smart Recipe for ADHD

Today I want to share with you one last item I learned about at the seminar I attended by Dr. Michael Lara called "A Pharmacy in Your Kitchen".  One topic he spent a significant time discussing was cognition, which plays a major role in ADHD symptoms.  The main focus of the cognition discussion was Alzheimers, but a lot of this information can be applied to ADHD.  Improved cognition is something everyone can benefit from. As you may recall from my previous posts from this seminar, Dr. Lara's presentation focused on medical foods and specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.  Another nutrient he focused on was medium chain triglycerides, also known as MCTs.  Medium chain triglycerides are saturated fatty acids that contain 6-12 carbon atoms. MCTs...

An Update on Probiotics!

If you have been reading this blog for a couple weeks, you may recall that we focused on probiotics as a key nutrient to include in your diet to help ADHD symptoms. Probiotics are the good bacteria that our microbiomes need.  Individuals with ADHD are more susceptible to overgrowth for various reasons, which is why including probiotics in your diet is key.  Probiotics were one of the topics discussed at the seminar I attended last week.  The following video was shown at the seminar because Dr. Mara felt it was the best explanation of the human microbiome that he had come across.  Here is the human microbiome explained through an animated video. [embed][/embed] Obviously, there is still a lot to learn and understand about the human microbiome...

An Omega-3 Fatty Acid Update!

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar presented by the Institute for Brain Potential (IBP).  The topic was, “The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen: An Overview of Medical and Medicinal Foods” by Dr. David Lara.   I attended this seminar because one of the objectives was ways to improve attention and cognition.  I was slightly disappointed in the amount of time spent on attention, but I learned new information about topics that I thought I understood.  One of those topics was the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids.  As we have discussed, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce ADHD symptoms.  Here is some of the new information I learned about omega-3 fatty acids that I think is beneficial to individuals with ADHD and individuals who...

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.

Vegetarian Friendly Ways to Add Iron to Each Meal

Happy April Fool’s Day! This week, we have been focused on iron and the role it plays in improving ADHD symptoms.  A diet rich in iron leads to increased dopamine production which improves cognitive function.  You now know ways to optimize iron absorption, but how much iron do you need each day  The USDA iron recommendation is 18 milligrams for women and 8 milligrams for men. If you are a vegetarian, it is recommended that you try to consume twice the amount of dietary iron because non-heme (vegetarian) sources of iron are absorbed less efficiently than heme (meat) iron. Here are some meat-free strategies to help you get to 18 mg of Iron that you need each day.

4 Ways to Absorb More Iron

As you may know, this week's Nutrient to Focus on is Iron.  Did you know that iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world? Many individuals struggle to maintain their iron levels, especially those of us with ADHD.  If you are trying to increase the iron in your diet, you need to know these 4 strategies to maximize your iron absorption. Here are 4 Ways to Maximize Your Iron Absorption: Watch out for Calcium: this mineral can block iron absorption in the small intestine.  If you are taking an iron supplement, avoid eating dairy within 30 minutes of taking the iron supplement. For dietary iron, avoid adding dairy to a meal to maximize iron absorption. Vitamin C: This vitamin has the opposite affect of Calcium...

8 Surprising Sources of Protein

This week we have focused on protein and the potential benefits it can have on your ADHD symptoms. You might be wondering how much protein you need and today I am going to help you calculate your individual protein needs. An average adult needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.  So if you weigh 140 pounds, you divide 140 by 2.2 to convert your weight into kilograms. 140/2.2= 64 kg                64 kg x 0.8g/kg protein= 51 grams of protein Certain factors and health conditions will cause your body to have increased protein needs, and it is important to talk to a dietitian to determine if you need additional protein in your diet.  Now that you have a...