Published: 05/26/2011 - Updated: 07/23/2017
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
What does the hyperactivity have to do with diet? Hyperactivity is characterized by inattention, impulsiveness and an excessive power. These behaviors are closely related to the nervous system, so that diet plays an important role in addressing these behaviors.
The nervous system is fed mainly of essential fatty acids which regulate inflammation and nervous irritability. When there is no adequate or balanced diet, the nervous system can become irritated and over-stimulated, which affects the nervous and anxious behavior of children.
Foods you should include in diet every day:
Fish such as tuna, salmon, etc., vegetable oils and cold pressed olive oil, cod liver oil, sunflower oil, etc. These types of oils help greatly to reduce inflammation and regulate the nervous irritability.
It is also important to include foods high in salicylates such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, apples, tomatoes, berries, strawberries, all citrus fruits and whole grains such as corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, etc.
Please include fresh citrus juices rich in vitamin C as orange juice. Herbal teas after twenty minutes of eating are of great help to reduce irritability and nervousness in children. Offer them a cup sweetened with a little honey after meals or before bedtime.
The recommended herbs are: lemon balm, mint, anise, lavender, chamomile, passion flower, catnip or lime.
Foods to avoid:
Refined sugar in all its varieties (sodas, cakes, sweets, canned, sugary juices, processed, etc.) are one of the most irritating food for the nervous system. You need to avoid white sugar because it is a major cause of periods of nervous breakdowns, stress, impulsivity and anxiety in people; children in particular are affected by it, which also generates other harmful consequences such as poor calcium absorption, decay, digestive problems, food poisoning, etc.
It is true that the body needs sugar (glucose) for its functions, but no refined sugar! The natural sugar of fruit and healthy carbohydrates are needed, the honey is also a very nutritious sweetener. The problem with the replacement of sugar in children is that the palate gets used to the sugar (as this causes some addiction), so it is often difficult to remove. However, you can go little by little reducing use, so that your palate will not suffer. Do not give them sweets or desserts to comfort them, it’s better to offer fresh fruit, salad vegetables, bread and honey, etc. This may seem boring to some children (and even parents) but if we really want a healthy nervous system, especially when children are nervous and hyperactive, it is necessary to make these changes with a positive spirit.
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Diet for hyperactive children
A glass of orange juice or grapefruit juice with a squeezed lemon. We recommend give the juice 15 minutes before the child has breakfast for better assimilation.
A bowl of oatmeal with almond milk and bread with honey, yogurt with some whole grain. Avoid cereal boxes from supermarkets since they are very refined, so they have added vitamins because their grains have lost all during processing.
The jams should not be added with much sugar, but don’t use light, as light products also affect the health of the body.
At lunch, avoid fried or greasy foods. The best thing is to prepare salads, vegetarian pizza, hamburgers with cheese (avoid too much salt), etc. The lunch is an important food so it should be as nutritious as possible, avoid junk and refined food.
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At this time, it is important that the child does not eat sugary drinks, fruit or sweet foods, as this would cause fermentation in the stomach which can irritate the nervous system and interfere with good digestion. At this time, you should offer vegetable soup, cooked rice (prefer the whole), vegetables or legumes croquettes, etc. The important thing is that at this hour is to eat a salad or fresh vegetable juice. A good habit is to educate the child to eat with a glass of carrot juice, alfalfa, etc. Perhaps at first he/she doesn’t like the idea because is used to eat with sodas or fruit drinks, but you can activate a very positive habit for their future health.
Offer cereal bars, chopped fruit, fresh fruit juices, etc. Avoid sweets or fast food.
Dinner should not be too heavy, and many foods cannot be combined at this time, to help the kid sleep better and relax the nervous system. The best at this time are the vegetable milk with a biscuit or bread. Before going to sleep, you may offer an apple salad with homemade yogurt of choice. A tea before bed will bring sleep peacefully.
Besides caring for the diet of hyperactive children, you should help them to channel their energy in activities such as sports, drama, music and more. A hyperactive child needs to stimulate attention and concentration through guided activities and focused on a constructive sufficiency of energy. They should not be maintained in one place, they do not spend much time playing video games or television, so take them for long walks and contact with animals and nature.
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