Did you know that everything about autism heavily relies on nutrition?
With 1 in 54 American children now diagnosed with autism (as per the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control), more parents are searching for practical, research-based ways to support their children’s development. Most of the questions that parents keep asking for improved outcomes are about the relationship between food and symptoms of autism. Practitioners, researchers, and scientists are working together to find the best food sources for autistic children to improve their symptoms.
Inadequate nutrition for your child might cause remarkable increases in the signs and behaviors of autism. Nonetheless, autistic behaviors can be significantly reduced or even improved in a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) if they are fed the correct nutrients.
Today, we’ll talk about the healthiest foods for kids with autism.
The following superfoods can improve the general health and symptoms of autism in your child.
This one is an excellent source of omega-3 acids. Unlike conventionally raised beef, grass-fed beef has more beneficial vitamins (Vitamin E and Vitamin A) as well as more fats. In addition, it has fewer harmful nutrients, like cholesterol.
With its high B12 content, grass-fed beef is specifically beneficial for autistic children because it can improve the functioning of their neurological system.
When it comes to reducing inflammation and enhancing brain function, fish and eggs give a plethora of benefits. Both these items are high in omega-3 fatty acids. A study revealed a connection between dyslexia, ADHD, autism, depression, dyspraxia, anxiety, and inadequate omega-3 fatty acid intake. According to another study, increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids significantly improves hyperactivity and ASD symptomatology.
Try feeding your autistic child eggs at least three times a week to get these benefits. Use them as a sandwich filling or a salad topping. Furthermore, if your child doesn’t like fish, you can start with fish burgers, fish cakes, or even fish tacos. Add trout, salmon, and sardines to their diet and observe the difference. Since tuna is high in mercury, it is better to avoid giving it to autistic children.
Most children with autism have zinc deficiencies due to their restricted diets. Hence, parents should aim to feed a diet consisting of both minerals and vitamins. Adding zinc will also offer a plethora of benefits. You can ensure that your child is consuming enough quantities of zinc by adding yogurt, cashews, almonds, peas, shellfish, and chickpeas into their diet.
An autistic child’s diet should also include walnuts. This source of nature has many omega-3 acids that boost one’s cognitive skills as well as social/communication abilities. Also, walnuts promote calming effects to reduce anxiety.
Consuming more fruits and vegetables helps in reducing autism symptoms in kids, perhaps because they contain lots of antioxidants and other vital compounds.
As far as vegetables are concerned, cucumbers, cauliflower, eggplant, radish, mushroom, broccoli, and tomato are helpful. There are certain antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, present in cucumber that provide excellent physical and mental wellness. Additionally, cucumber has some compounds that alleviate anxiety and stress.
Another leafy green, kale, has several advantages for autistic children. It is high in fiber, which helps with digestion and avoids constipation. But that’s not all. There are other beneficial effects of kale. It comprises folate to improve cognitive function, calcium to strengthen bones, and B vitamins for red blood cell production.
Likewise, giving enough fruit sources to your autistic children will also help to improve their symptoms and overall health.
These include fruits such as avocado, apple, blueberry, strawberry, plum, and grape, among others. Some dieticians recommend that apples should be part of their regular diet. Apples contain compounds that are good for brain health, enhancing socialization and communication. Vitamin C present in apples also builds the body’s immunity and guards children against diseases. Secondly, avocados are beneficial since they shield the nerve cells from oxidative stress.
Eating disorders frequently affect children with autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Their inclination for low-nutrient and high-energy foods can affect how their metabolism functions, which can result in an increase of reactive radicals and a decline in their cognitive and physical health.
Parenting with autism is tough because it is challenging to provide the healthiest diet to your children. Nonetheless, it is essential to be aware of dietary deficiencies and how they may relate to your child’s physical and mental health.
Ask your doctor to perform a food allergy test. For some children with autism, but not all of them, a diet free of wheat and dairy products is also beneficial. However, only a dietitian or nutritionist can guarantee the inclusion of appropriate foods to prevent nutritional deficits.