What if we could eat our way out of ADHD?

Jun 11
What if we could eat our way out of ADHD?

One of the most exciting things I learned about while at Alltech's 30th Annual International Symposium had nothing to do with animals, and everything to do with my most important job in life -- my boys. I have thought for quite some time that they do not have the level of focus they should and wondered if there was anything I could do to help them.  As it turns out, there just may be! 

What if our switch to a more urban society (less hunting and gathering) has caused much of the ADHD epidemic?  Thirty-six to 52 billion dollars are spent each year on research and treatment of ADHD, yet research reported at Symposium has shown that giving kids who exhibit signs of ADHD an omega-3 DHA supplement for 16 weeks greatly decreased their inattentiveness and helped them to get an additional 57 minutes of sleep each night. 

Throughout history, humans have eaten fish.  It was abundant, easy to catch and easy to cook.  We could get fresh fish year around even if the water was iced over. Now, with 50 percent of the population worldwide living in urban areas, it is no longer necessary to catch your own food.  Any food you want is available 365 days a year at the corner grocery store.

Oily fish, such as mackerel, tuna and salmon, are naturally high in omega-3 DHA, not because the fish produces it, but because the fish eat algae that is high in omega-3 DHA.  What if our change in diet, thanks to ever increasing urbanization, has transformed the health of our children? 

Naturally-enriched milk is also a good source of omega-3 DHA when it is consumed in its whole form. Drinking enriched or fotified skim milk has some of the fat removed.  That shouldn’t be news to anyone, but did you ever think about the fatty acids that are removed with that fat?  Like omega-3 DHA?  We have been lectured to for decades to limit fat, but as Dr. Patrick Wall, professor at UCD Dubin said at Alltech’s 30th Annual International Symposium, “Not all fat is bad.”  Fat is essential for hormones, catalysts and many other functions in the human body. 

Not only has omega-3 DHA been linked to helping with ADHD, it has a whole list of positive benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Increases in cognitive function
  • Anticancer
  • Antimicrobial
  • Neurobehavior
  • Decreases blood pressure

Now is the time for all farmers and ranchers to ask themselves: Are we in the business of agriculture or are we in the human health business?  Could farmers and ranchers start to produce foods that are enriched with the nutrients we are all missing in our diets?  After all, we are what the animal ate and we are what the animal did not eat.  

Guest post by: Nicole Small 

Originally published on Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom

About Nicole Small 

Nicole Small is a mom to two boys, ages 7 and 10,  and lives on a farm in Kansas where she and her husband make their everyday living on a farm. She started the blog, Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom, where she shares her journey through life with others, raising cattle, crops and kids. She also loves answering your questions about how food is raised. 

Follow her here

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