Behavioral Foods Impact Child's Mental State

Allergens in the diet can lead to ADHD, Depression, Bipolar episodes, Dyslexia

Behavioral Food Impact Child's Mental State. Healthy Living Magazine.

Behavioral Food Impact Child's Mental State. Healthy Living Magazine.

A true story that may reflect one’s own frustration with kids is a client who brought her 6-year-old son to me for a health consultation.

She wanted me to pinpoint any potential allergens that might have been triggering his unfocused, outof- control and often threatening behavior. Within minutes in the office, the child would not sit down and became defiant to his mother. The boy’s diet looked suspicious—he was living on cold cereal with milk, pizza and his favorite dinner was macaroni and cheese. I shared with her the need to experiment getting him off wheat, dairy, sugar and processed cheeses for they may indeed be allergens, harming his blood sugar. The bigger issue was the nutritional necessity of a growing child. Her son required sufficient quality protein, vegetables and seasonal fruits to thrive and those were missing. Sadly she left chanting, “But he won’t eat anything else!” It became obvious that the problem was not so much with the young boy’s allergies and diet but ultimately with the mother. She was unwilling to go through the transition required to feed her son the unprocessed foods that would stop the roller coaster of his bad behavior.

Read: ADHD And Obesity Risk

3 Foods Cause ADHD

Food allergies and blood sugar irregularities are linked to a full spectrum of mental and behavior issues. Pertinent to this topic is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Orthomolecular psychiatrist Michael Lesser, MD, states in The Brain Chemistry Diet that 9 out of 10 of his patients reversed symptoms of mental imbalance behavior (from depression to schizophrenia) significantly by regulating blood sugar. What is needed to avoid the tricky blood sugar crash, sparking the unruly behavior, is support from the diet, digestion and detoxification.

Even though eggs, tree nuts and other foods may be an allergy source, for some people the three most problematic allergen triggers include:
1) Gluten (a complex protein carbohydrate molecule in wheat and most whole grains);
2) Milk sugars (complex carbohydrate in cows’ milk, ice cream and soft cheeses); and
3) Cane sugar (also a carbohydrate).

Each is in the category of “anti-nutrients,” causing gastrointestinal inflammation, poor digestion and malnutrition, which adversely affect a child’s ability to focus and control behavior. Common symptoms encompass dyslexia, ADHD and mild bipolar episodes.

Read: Teen Substance Abuse Rates Higher With ADHD

Behavioral-Modifying Foods

Monitoring the family diet more closely, a parent can positively enhance the child’s behavior without use of pharmaceutical drugs. A child’s growth and development potential speeds up over the years demanding superior nutrition that actually builds the body and fuels the metabolism physically and mentally from the fetus to toddler, teen and even at 80 years of age. Remember, people are never all grown up.

• The goal for optimizing health is a variety of unprocessed foods accenting quality protein: fish, lean meats, eggs, lentils, bean sprouts, greens, avacados, raw nuts, seeds, nut butters, veggies and fruits.
• Go for fresh fruit in season, reducing straight fruit juices and hydrate with filtered water.
• Skip the sugar bowl and buy a honey bear for sweetening. Experiment with natural stevia, a vegetable sweetener with zero glycemic index or xylitol from the birch tree and with a glycemic index of only 7.
• Accent plenty of fresh vegetables.
• Carbohydrates are valuable food sources: beans, vegetables, red potatoes and yams are best in avoiding allergies. Experiment omitting wheat and the whole grains including oats with brown rice unless using the low gluten variety.

Read: ADHD, Behavioral Drugs Raise Kids Diabetes Risk

Smoothies for Breakfast

Many parents find a quick blended smoothie works to simplify the program. It can be whipped up the night before with water, almond milk, a scoop of yogurt or protein powder and seasonal fruit, allowing this Einstein brew to taste delicious. Complement with a small handful of raw nuts or seeds, hardboiled egg or a piece of gluten-free toast and peanut butter and kids have a power breakfast.

Aloe For Poor Eaters

Studying herbs while working in clinical immunology led me to the ancient bitter plant. In planet earth’s herbal medicine chest exist thousands of medicinal plants and herbs but only a few are classed as herbal bitters and indicated for indigestion and absorption at any age. I use aloe vera with children because when processed with care it supports total body wellness. When put in a blender with other super foods, the aloe carries them into the body more effectively, optimizing absorption. It is best to take it alone before a meal because it stimulates hydrochloric acid (HCL) that begins the process of absorbing minerals and protein. The Linus Pauling Institute, at Oregon State University in Corvallis, tested whole leaf aloe to show its value of digestive pH balancing the gastrointestinal tract. Results showed a reduction in fungal overgrowth in the intestinal tract. This reduction is critical for good absorption of nutrients.

Research and clinical observation has confirmed that healthy HCL is an important digestive step often missing in young children, poor eaters and in older adults. Drinking aloe juice or taking a tablet of aloe vera before each meal can support digestion similar to a full spectrum digestive enzyme.

Research shows:
• The high sulfur induces bile flow for fat digestion.
• Aloe stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin and pancreatic enzymes.
• University of Scranton in Pennsylvania participants showed a 200% increase in vitamin C and vitamin B12 absorption and 300% better absorption of vitamin E into the plasma of the human subjects when consumed with a whole leaf aloe vera.
• This ancient herb induces the liver to make phase II enzymes required for effective detoxification and maintaining youthful skin.

The extra bonus from using the most therapeutic whole leaf aloe is its gentle, safe support for daily regularity without being a harsh laxative. The catch with aloe vera is it cannot be over-processed or overheated and retain its efficacy. Look for those statements from the manufacturer to assure the quality and potency. I find that it must contain the entire plant juice known as whole leaf and the sap, having a golden yellow color.

Read: Aloe's Ancient Elixir

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