Special Diets for Children with Autism
Various studies have proven that the food we eat can affect not only our bodies, but also our mood, behavior, and mental growth and development.For children with autism, there are certain diets that may help reduce symptoms and even improve overall functioning: GlutenFree and CaseinFree Diet Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of wheat and grains such as barley and rye. It can be found in many products and is known to cause digestive problems in some people. Casein, on the other hand, is a type of protein present in dairy products. Like gluten, it can cause digestive issues.
Diet Rich in Omega3 Fatty Acids Omega3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oils as well as in supplement form, has been touted to help with brain development and function. The journal BiologicalPsychiatry revealed that based on previous studies, adding omega3 fatty acids to a child’s diet can help minimize hyperactive and repetitive behavior, especially among those withASD. Other studies suggest that omega3 fatty acids can also help boost a child’s learning and social skills. However, there are also studies that argue against the inclusion of omega3 fatty acids intothe diet of children with ASD. As such, before you give this diet a try, it would be wise toconsult a doctor or a professional dietitian to help decide what is right for your child.
• Feingold Diet The Feingold Diet is a type of diet in which salicylate and artificial additives, such as synthetic colorings, flavorings, and preservatives, are removed from one’s diet. It is basedon the idea that some additives are harmful to our health. Salicylate, which is a naturalplant toxin found in certain kinds of foods like citrus fruits and medicine like aspirin, isbelieved to have a similar effect as artificial additives. Research on the effectiveness of the Feingold Diet is still underway.
• YeastFree Diet A yeastfree diet consists of removing fermented foods, such as vinegar, barley malt,chocolate, and soy sauce, from the daily food intake of children with autism. It is based onthe idea that yeast Candida albicans, which are present in our intestinal tract and mouth,can amplify the symptoms of autism. By refraining from eating food with high yeastcontent, children on the spectrum can better cope with or even reduce the symptoms of autism.
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