Updated on: November 27th, 2019 ~
Having ADHD usually requires that you live a relatively clean lifestyle. Because if you want your brain to function at 100%, then you probably won’t be able to get away with eating as much junk food as normal people do. Life is unfair, I know.
So, this article reveals the 7 ingredients that can make your ADHD symptoms much worse off. In other words, you’ll learn about the foods and ingredients to avoid if you have ADHD.
But, make sure to read this article through to the very end, where I offer solutions to help you eliminate ADHD-aggravating ingredients from your life.
Let’s get started with the ingredients to avoid when you have ADHD…
Ingredient 1. Soy
One of the scariest things that you can do today is read some of the food nutrition facts labels in your kitchen pantry.
Because if you live in an average American household, there’s a good chance that most of the foods that you eat contain soy ingredients. Everything from salad dressings, to chocolate bars, to crackers contain soy ingredients. Soy is absolutely everywhere. And, soy is plain terrible for your overall health and ADHD symptoms.
This is because soy is high in phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived estrogen mimickers that are dangerous for your body. The phytoestrogens found in soy are dangerous because they can lead to estrogen dominance, and ultimately conditions like fatigue, depression, anxiety, brain fog, accelerated aging, and even breast cancer.
With the sheer amount of destruction that soy ingredients cause to your overall health, it should be clear that soy isn’t helping your ADHD in the least bit.
Ingredient 2. MSG
MSG is short for monosodium glutamate, which is a common and harmful flavor enhancer that doubles as one of the worst food additives available.
The problem with MSG is that it’s an excitotoxin. This means that MSG overexcites your cells to a point where your cells become damaged, or completely die off. Unfortunately, this can result in brain damage, or the worsening of learning disabilities. MSG has also been known to contribute to fatigue, depression, headaches, obesity and various other ailments.
Because MSG can trigger or exacerbate issues with the brain, MSG is an ingredient that people with ADHD need to be pretty cautious of. Plus, because of MSG’s prevalence in Chinese food, flavored chips, and many fast food options, you have to be vigilant about staying away from this surprisingly common ingredient.
Ingredient 3. Artificial sweeteners
According to Dr. Mercola, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are some of the most dangerous ingredients on the market today.
Some physicians and researchers believe that artificial sweeteners like aspartame can trigger or worsen health issues such as depression, anxiety attacks, brain tumors, alzheimer’s and even mental retardation.
With this in mind, it isn’t too difficult to understand why artificial sweeteners can worsen ADHD symptoms as well.
Luckily, artificial sweeteners are probably the easiest ingredients to avoid on this list.
Just make it a habit to eat whole foods that haven’t been adulterated (check those nutrition facts labels). And use raw organic honey and stevia whenever possible, especially when you’re making your morning coffee.
Ingredient 4. Heavy metals
I’ve always assumed that I would be safe from consuming heavy metals, since I generally eat a healthy Mediterranean-style ADHD diet.
But, after listening to a podcast episode featuring Tony Robbins, I heard about his severe case of mercury poisoning, and that changed my opinion on heavy metals forever. Tony Robbins apparently ate too much swordfish and tuna at one point in his life, which gave him extreme mercury poisoning, and almost killed him.
As a lover of seafood, this had me worried.
After researching heavy metal poisoning, I discovered that heavy metals in food are a serious problem that everyone with ADHD needs to be aware of.
For example, it’s been shown that…
> When consumed excessively, the inorganic arsenic that’s often found in rice may lead to neuropsychological problems, lower adolescent IQ, impairment of children’s intellectual function, and various other health problems
> When consumed excessively, the mercury found in certain types of seafood can lead to neurological problems and other serious health issues (especially in pregnant women and young children)
> If consumed at all, the lead found in contaminated water sources and foods that contain animal bones can be extremely harmful to the brain
There is some evidence that links heavy metal toxicity to ADHD, but the research isn’t conclusive. Either way, it’s a good idea for everyone, and especially people with ADHD, to stay away from heavy metals as much as possible.
Ingredient 5. Alcohol
I know what you’re thinking. Drinking alcohol with friends is super fun. So, don’t get me wrong here.
It’s definitely OK to drink alcohol if your body responds well to it, and you like having a great night out every once in a while.
But, I know for a fact that many people with ADHD have a difficult time with alcohol. The reality is that people with ADHD often need every advantage they can get in life. And sometimes, drinking alcohol in excess makes you feel like you’re “borrowing happiness from tomorrow” (i.e. living your life on “credit”).
Drinking alcohol excessively can easily make you feel lethargic, unmotivated or even depressed at times. Those with ADHD often have a hard enough time staying motivated. So, it can help to take a break from alcohol in order to see how your body responds.
Because, you never know…
You just might feel better than ever before after limiting your alcohol consumption, or abstaining from alcohol completely.
At the end of the day, everyone responds differently to alcohol. So, it’s up to you to experiment, and see how you feel on and off the booze.
Pro tip: Some people find that they only respond poorly to certain types of alcohol. For example, beer is loaded with gluten, which can cause ADHD-like behavior in people who are sensitive to wheat. Meanwhile, vodka that’s made from non-gluten sources (like potatoes or grapes) may not cause any problems at all.
Ingredient 6. Refined sugar
Did you know that the sugar industry has a long history of paying scientists to vilify fat?
This should immediately cause some concern, and make you question what the sugar industry has been trying to hide from you.
The truth is that in the 1960s, the sugar industry actually paid scientists to promote saturated fat as the culprit behind heart disease. It’s also been proven that five decades worth of research regarding nutrition and heart disease was shaped by the sugar industry.
So, the main point here is that even today’s dietary guidelines have been influenced by the sugar industry. Meanwhile, refined sugar is actually terrible for your overall health and well-being. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, ever since the sugar industry has been unraveled, it’s been shown that sugar contributes to cancer, weight gain, diabetes and various other ailments.
But, people with ADHD should be especially weary of refined sugar because of sugar’s negative effect on brain health. Corn syrup, fructose and honey is found in 74% of packaged foods in supermarkets. And, this has a brutal effect on the American population’s cognitive function and psychological well-being.
Studies have also shown that eating too much sugar hijacks the brain’s reward pathway, hurts learning and memory skills, and can contribute to anxiety, depression, cognitive decline and dementia.
With sugar’s overall destructive effects on the human brain, it should be clear that people with ADHD need to take advantage of natural sweetener options as often as possible.
Ingredient 7. Artificial dyes
You may have heard before that artificial dyes can cause ADHD. But, we simply don’t know if that’s true or not. There isn’t any concrete evidence to suggest that artificial dyes can cause ADHD.
However, it is widely accepted that artificial dyes can significantly worsen ADHD symptoms.
For example, one study from the United Kingdom showed us that artificial dyes increased hyperactive behavior in children. This is why artificial dyes like Red 40 have been banned in Europe.
Meanwhile, artificial dyes are still legal and extremely common in the United States.
This is a strange phenomenon, given that Red 40 has shown to be a dangerous risk to the human body.
According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the potential risks of Red 40 include hyperactivity in adolescence, cancer (shown in animal studies) and hypersensitivity.
As a result of these hazards, foods in Europe that contain artificial dyes are required to display the following warning:
“May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children‘”.
Unfortunately, the United States hasn’t stepped up to ban harmful artificial dyes yet. Until that point, you have to be vigilant about the food coloring additives that you and your family consume.
How to eliminate ingredients that make ADHD symptoms worse
The first step towards eliminating ingredients that make your ADHD symptoms worse is quite simple:
You should try your best to avoid the 7 ingredients listed in this article like the plague (minus alcohol).
If you can eradicate these 7 ingredients from your life to the best of your ability, you’ll most likely experience a much greater sense of mental clarity, more happiness, and an all-around healthier lifestyle.
But, it’s also worth noting that there are a few important additional steps that you can take to eliminate unwanted ingredients from your household, and live the best life possible with ADHD.
Here are the important additional steps to follow…
Filter your drinking water
The APEC Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System (Amazon) is currently the best option available for getting pure, clean drinking water in your own home.
This water filtration system is amazing for removing arsenic, lead, chlorine, fluoride and other impurities from your water. It takes most people less than 10 minutes to fill a gallon of water using this system.
Best of all, this water filter works with most standard kitchen faucets, and can be set up in under 5 minutes. There’s no drilling or installation required (like you would find in under-the-counter water filtration systems). It’s perfect for families who live in apartments or condos – and aren’t allowed to use entire home water filtration systems.
By using this water filtration system, you’ll ultimately improve your family’s health, and save thousands of dollars by eliminating plastic water bottles from your household.
Anthony’s Organic Chlorella Powder (Amazon) is a high-quality form of chlorella.
And, chlorella is a special type of freshwater algae that helps you remove heavy metals from your system, and deeply detoxify your body in general.
Chlorella is one of the ingredients that I strongly suggest using. Because, if you don’t have the time to make a healthy smoothie, or eat your vegetables, then taking chlorella is probably going to be your next best option.
Just mix one teaspoon of chlorella in a glass of water or apple juice, chug it down, and enjoy chlorella’s massive nutritional benefits.
As an added bonus, you can also drink chlorella after a night of boozing to help prevent hangovers.
Filter your shower water
The AquaBliss 12-Stage Shower Filter (Amazon) is an excellent shower filter that works seamlessly with your existing shower head.
This shower filter uses a multi-stage health filter to eliminate unwanted and potentially toxic ingredients like chlorine, sulfur odor, arsenic, lead, mercury and various other impurities from your shower water.
In case you aren’t aware, your skin is your body’s largest organ. And, your skin absorbs your shower water. So, if your shower water has dangerous chemicals and impurities in it (it most likely does), then your body will absorb those toxins too.
Chlorinated water has actually been known to kill gut flora, and bring about anxiety, depression, and various other problems in people. It doesn’t matter whether the source of your chlorinated water is tap water, pool water, or your own shower water. The bottom line is that chlorinated water poses real health risks, and needs to be addressed.
Luckily, using a high-quality shower filter for your existing shower head is an easy solution to a significant problem. This shower filter works with any shower head that has a 1/2″ threaded connection. Plus, this shower filter is extremely easy to install, and doesn’t require any tools.
It’s a great investment for your skin, hair, and most importantly – your health.
Jarrow Formulas Ashwagandha (Amazon) is a great source of ashwagandha, which is an adaptogen that has been used in India for thousands of years to balance hormones, lower stress, reduce anxiety, increase stamina, and strengthen the immune system.
Ashwagandha is my favorite adaptogen. When you use ashwaganda, you’ll help your body reduce cortisol, and temporarily freeze out some of your ADHD symptoms like moodiness, anxiety and brain fog.
Using ashwagandha can also help you fight against the estrogen mimicking ingredients found in various plastics and soy products. Ashwagandha helps you naturally balance your hormones, so you can use the herbal compound to reduce the impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
It seems like we live in a toxic world that’s full of dangerous ingredients and chemicals at every turn.
Unfortunately, I have a difficult time dealing with this myself, since I’m constantly looking for ways to protect my brain and body from unnecessary harm (as well as my family’s).
But, I truly believe that avoiding the 7 ingredients listed in this article will improve your ADHD symptoms and overall lifestyle tremendously.
Plus, if you take your lifestyle one step further – and filter your drinking water, take chlorella, filter your shower water, and use adaptogens – then you’ll really be on top of your game.
Oh, and there’s just one last thing I have to ask…
Are there any other ingredients that you’ve eliminated from your diet, which resulted in an improvement in your ADHD symptoms?
If so, I’d love to hear about them. We’re all in this fight together, after all.
Make sure to let me know in the comments section below about the dangerous ADHD-aggravating ingredients that you’ve eliminated from your diet.