Researchers found that children with ASD are five times more likely to have mealtime challenges such as tantrums, extreme food selectivity and ritualistic eating behaviors.
Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.
Unfortunately, just like an expensive car, your brain can be damaged if you ingest anything other than premium fuel. If substances from “low-premium” fuel (such as what you get from processed or refined foods) get to the brain, it has little ability to get rid of them. Diets high in refined sugars, for example, are harmful to the brain. In addition to worsening your body’s regulation of insulin, they also promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.
It makes sense. If your brain is deprived of good-quality nutrition, or if free radicals or damaging inflammatory cells are circulating within the brain’s enclosed space, further contributing to brain tissue injury, consequences are to be expected.
As parents we need to take control of our child’s nutrition and help guide them to eat more whole, real foods….”back to nature”. It can be a major struggle for many families, myself included. It is time consuming and feels overwhelming at times. I found things like removing inflammatory, packaged foods from our home helps. Making meals & snacks in batch. And of the most enjoyable has been growing our own foods….inside! We use an aeroponic vertical gardening system and grow everything from bell peppers, to herbs, to all kinds of lettuce. We pick it fresh for our foods and when the kids are involved they are more apt to want to eat it!
For more information on what is brain healthy food and what is inflammatory visit our Nutrition page.