Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nutrition for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

By now most people are aware of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), either because they have this disorder or know someone who does.

But just in case you are wondering, "What is ADD? What is AD/HD?" ... here's some information:

The American Psychiatric Association defines ADD as being present "when children display inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and sometimes hyperactivity for their mental and chronological age. ADD may be diagnosed as with or without hyperactivity."

What Causes ADD?
There is quite a bit of debate about what actually causes ADD, yet what we do know is that part of the problem is starvation of the brain. And since the brain is so closely connected to behavior and attention, we can't stress enough the importance of feeding our brains!

For instance, did you know that the brain is the "hungriest" organ in your body, requiring up to 10 times as much fuel and oxygen as any other organ? Children's brains need even more fuel, circulation, and oxygen, plus their brains are less protected against harmful toxins in the environment. No wonder there is such a high incidence of ADD and AD/HD in children.

Nutrition for ADD: How to Feed the Brain
Nutrition for ADD has a lot to do with getting enough fatty acids, such as DHA. High quality fatty acids are found mainly in marine life, and rarely in land-based foods. This means that our brains can often benefit from supplementing our diets with micro-algae, seafood, and other marine-based foods.

In fact, micro-algae, being at the base of the marine life food chain, are one of the richest sources of fatty acid for the brain. Specific types of algae are better than others. According to well-known researcher Gabriel Cousens, compared to spirulina, AFA blue-green algae "acts more effectively on the central nervous system, making it clinically useful for improving patients' 'mental and emotional health.'"

ADD has very much to do with mental and emotional health, thus any nutrition for ADD that improves a person's health in those areas is bound to be a good fit. These days many physicians are including AFA blue-green algae in their recommended ADD diet. Check this out:

"At least six research studies have demonstrated the benefits of AFA on improving children's cognition, mood, behavior, and academic performance ..." ("Edible Microalgae, Bruno).

Does that say something about the importance of AFA algae in terms of nutrition for ADD? Definitely, especially since surveys (Larry Christensen) have shown that ADD and AD/HD are disorders that are most likely to respond to dietary intervention.

ADD Diet vs. SAD Diet
The ADD diet is all about feeding the brain, focusing on providing enough essential fatty acids. AFA blue-green algae (especially the type with the cell wall removed) is a perfect source for those fatty acids.

On the other hand, many children are being fed the SAD Diet ... the Standard American Diet. The SAD diet (think fast-food gut bombs and dinners from a box) literally starves the brain and also adds toxins to the diet.

So ... ADD diet or SAD diet? The choice is clear, no?

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