There is growing scientific and medical evidence (refs below), a plant-based diet can promote multiple benefits for people experiencing ADHD, Autism or other neuro-divergence.
I am an experiencer of several neuro-diverse conditions – ADHD and Autism being two of them. As a child and into my early adult years I suffered from chronic gut issues – the rise and fall of which I know and understand now to impact my cognitive relationship with this world.
Nearly 50-years of research has clearly shown me there IS a correlation between the quality of nutritional intake and the capacity of the brain to operate in a balanced and functionally cognitive manner.
Further study of the subject of Integrative Nutrition answered many questions around this subject.
Because general society lives within a regime of poor to negative nutritional media, many of those experiencing neuro-diverse conditions such as ADHD, Autism and NDS, fall through the nutritional cracks. Till now though we are learning more and more, almost daily, about the benefits of ‘clean nutrients’ like fruit and vegetables and plant-based proteins such as pea, mushroom and chickpeas, forinstance.
Medical studies now reveal what can support the positive management of these conditions using more plant-based food, if both caregivers and individuals upped their nutritional ante?
Here are the Top 5 reasons why a plant-based dietary 'food-style' could help ADHD, Autism and other neuro-diverse experiencers manage themselves better each day.
1. Improved Gut Health: Research suggests that people with ADHD and Autism may have imbalances in their gut microbiome, which can affect their overall health. A plant-based diet, rich in fibre and phytonutrients, can help support a healthy gut microbiome.
2. Reduced Inflammation: Some studies have shown that people with ADHD and Autism may have higher levels of inflammation in their bodies. Plant-based diets are naturally anti-inflammatory, and may help reduce inflammation and its associated symptoms.
3. Better Cognitive Function: Several studies have found that a plant-based diet can improve cognitive function, including attention and memory. This may be especially beneficial for people with ADHD.
4. More Stable Blood Sugar Levels: Plant-based diets tend to be lower in refined carbohydrates and higher in fibre, which can help stabilise blood sugar levels. This may be helpful for people with ADHD, as unstable blood sugar levels can contribute to mood swings and difficulty concentrating.
5. Improved Overall Health: Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. By improving overall health, a plant-based diet may also improve symptoms of ADHD and Autism.
Of course, it's important to note everyone's dietary needs are different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you're considering a plant-based diet, it's a good idea to talk to a professional to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need.
One thing is for sure a high animal protein diet caused me distinct issues which impacted my ability to remain ‘Cognitively Positive’ each day.
Want to learn more, then email for more info. In the interim though I suggest not only the adoption of more plant-based nutrients into your diet but also certain supplements to support the ‘management process’.
One of the biggest issues I continue to face is the ability of my gut mechanism to actually break down proteins. Gut inflammation was chronic to begin with but gradually I learnt my inflamed gut muscles needed help to ‘macerate’ or break down food. I turned to green papaya powder.
‘Truth be told, my saving grace’ Learn more here.
Ok. Small steps. So here are some plant-based recipe ideas to get you started is you experience ADHA and Autism. Click through to a complete list of ingredients and how to make the dishes. ENJOY!!
Finally. Remember you are not alone in your journey through this life as a neuro-diverse experiencer. You are NOT suffering from a disease or illness. IT is just the way it's turned out. The key though is how you manage your temperament and behaviour with the primary goal being one of self love and nurturing.
BIG HUGS Scott Mathias :)
Improved gut health:
Liu, R. T. (2019). The microbiome as a novel paradigm in studying stress and mental health. American Psychologist, 74(2), 133–147. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000408
Conlon, M. A., & Bird, A. R. (2015). The impact of diet and lifestyle on gut microbiota and human health. Nutrients, 7(1), 17–44. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7010017
Arakawa, M., Mita, Y., & Kuramoto, Y. (2019). Biomarkers of inflammation in children with ADHD, ASD, and co-morbid ADHD and ASD. Psychiatry Research, 272, 523–528. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.135
Khanna, S., & Tosh, P. K. (2014). A clinician’s primer on the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 89(1), 107–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.09.002
Better cognitive function:
Trejo-Banos, D., Satizabal, C. L., Licher, S., Hooshmand, B., Mirza, S. S., Bis, J. C., & Ikram, M. A. (2020). Plant-based diets and cognitive function: A systematic review. Ageing Research Reviews, 62, 101091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2020.101091
Pribis, P., Bailey, R. N., Russell, A. A., & Kilsby, M. A. (2019). Nutritional status of vegetarian children and adults in North America. Nutrients, 11(3), 416. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030416
More stable blood sugar levels:
Kahleova, H., Levin, S., & Barnard, N. D. (2018). Vegetarian dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 61(1), 54–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2018.05.002
Barnard, N. D., Cohen, J., Jenkins, D. J., Turner-McGrievy, G., Gloede, L., Green, A., & Ferdowsian, H. (2009). A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: A randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), 1588S–1596S. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736H
Improved overall health:
Satija, A., Hu, F. B., & Bhupathiraju, S. N. (2019). Plant-based diets and cardiovascular health. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine, 29(6), 363–369. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcm.2018.08.022
Turner-McGrievy, G. M., Barnard, N. D., Cohen, J., Jenkins, D. J