I believe in avoiding medication when possible which is why I am archiving this here. The recommendation of this diet leads me to believe ADHD could be tied to inflammation. Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.
The Few Foods Elimination Diet for ADHD
The main elimination diet used in ADHD research is the Few Foods Diet.
It follows the same principles as other elimination diets, but is generally less restrictive.
Here’s how the Few Foods Diet works:
- Elimination: For 1-5 weeks, follow a diet consisting only of foods that are not likely to trigger adverse reactions. If symptoms improve, enter the second phase.
- Reintroduction: Every 3-7 days, reintroduce foods that may cause symptoms. If adverse effects occur, the food is considered to be “sensitizing.”
- Treatment: Develop a personal diet plan that avoids sensitizing foods as much as possible, to help minimize your child’s symptoms.
Bottom Line: The Few Foods Diet is a three-phase approach to identifying and eliminating foods that may worsen ADHD symptoms.
Health Benefits of the Few Foods Diet
Twelve studies have examined the effects of the Few Foods Diet on symptoms of ADHD.
Five of these were uncontrolled trials, while seven were randomized, controlled trials.
Many of the children also reported fewer headaches, stomach aches, fits, muscle pains and nasal symptoms. Parents reported fewer problems with sleeping and fewer nighttime awakenings in their children (16, 17, 18, 19).
In one of the studies, these effects were even noticeable on a brain scan when the children ate a sensitizing food (21).
Bottom Line: The Few Foods Diet has been shown to decrease ADHD symptoms for some children—often more than half. Less headaches, fits and sleeping problems have also been reported.
What to Eat on the Few Foods Diet
For 1–4 weeks, only eat the foods listed below. If you don’t notice improvements to symptoms after 1–2 weeks, you may want to discontinue the diet.
However, the length of this period differs.
Some people see symptoms improve greatly in the first three days, while others don’t experience improvements until the second week.
Which Foods Should You Eat?
- Fat: Sunflower and rapeseed oil.
- Green vegetables: Brussels sprouts, spinach, artichokes, cabbage, bamboo shoots,broccoli, bok choy, asparagus and cucumbers.
- Other vegetables: Mushrooms, cauliflower, onions, leeks, garlic, radishes, squash, pumpkin, zucchini, beets and root vegetables.
- Spices: Rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, iodized salt, turmeric, curry powder, basil, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and coriander.
- Drinks: Enriched rice milk, carbonated water, tea (except for vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, fruit or licorice tea), pear juice, homemade juices and smoothies.
- Other foods: Tapioca, rice bran, rice flour, potato flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, baking powder, arrowroot and ginger.
Which Foods Should You Avoid?
- Tree nuts.
Which Food Additives Should You Avoid?
Bottom Line: Stick to the foods on this list as much as possible. However, more moderate restriction may also help improve symptoms.