Establish Good Eating Habits
Many people with adult ADHD function most effectively on a high-protein diet that is low in simple sugars and carbohydrates.
The Role of Essential Fatty Acids
Foods high in essential fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3, have been shown to promote brain functioning. Because your body doesn't manufacture these acids, it's important to eat foods that provide them.
Foods high in essential fatty acids include fruits; whole grains; cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines; seeds like flax, sesame, and pumpkin; nuts like walnuts and brazil nuts; avocados; dark leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and mustard greens; and healthy cold-pressed oils like canola, olive oil, soybean oil, and wheat germ oil.
Eliminating Sugar Crashes
Foods high in simple sugars and carbohydrates run the gamut from candy, cake, and junk food to white flour, pasta, potatoes, corn, white rice, and other unrefined foods.
Consider pairing a sweet treat, potato, or bowl of rice with a portion of protein to stabilize your blood sugar levels. This can help you ward off hyperactivity and inattention that may be triggered by sugar highs, and moodiness, depression, irritability, and lethargy caused by sugar lows.
As an ADHD adult, you're probably already struggling with inattention, an inability to pay attention and focus, and scattered thinking. Overloading on simple sugars may exacerbate existing problems and send you into sugar overload. In addition, just as some ADHD adults are hypersensitive to loud noises, others are hypersensitive to the taste, smell, and texture of specific foods.
If you can't figure out what to eat or avoid, or if you are having trouble eating a balanced diet because of an aversion to certain foods, you may want to consult a nutritionist or registered dietitian who is familiar with adult ADHD. She can help you develop a meal plan and recipes that satisfy your hunger and cravings for your favorite foods and eliminate those foods that exacerbate symptoms.