New research is appearing now that’s showing the link between the consumption of food additives by children — especially food colorings — and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Well-informed parents have long realized that the consumption of food additives causes hyperactivity in their children, but most conventional doctors have dismissed the idea as pure bunk. Of course, far too many doctors dismiss the idea that food choice has any relationship to health in the first place, so the view from conventional medicine doesn’t carry much weight.
The real story here, however, is not that food additives and artificial colorings cause ADHD, but that there are several other dietary substances that heavily influence a child’s mental state and day-to-day behavior.
Let’s face it: the human brain is a flesh and blood organ, and it is strongly influenced by blood chemistry, which is, in turn, dictated almost entirely by diet. What you eat, in other words, determines what your blood composition looks like, and what your blood composition looks like determines the way your brain functions. Of course there are other factors, such as physical exercise and environmental influences, but the largest factor of all is dietary.
So when you eat processed foods containing additives and artificial colors, you are introducing toxic chemicals into your bloodstream. Those chemicals find their way into the brain and alter brain function, and in the case of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, it alters their behavior to make them restless or to have a shortened attention span. It can also cause children and adults alike to display other problems derived from their mental state. (We’ll discuss the impact of nutritional deficiency on adult society next time.)
But it isn’t just food additives causing detrimental effects — it’s also refined carbohydrates. People who eat large quantities of white bread (or food containing refined white flour) also suffer from mental disorders. These can include depression, aggression and violent behavior, and learning disabilities. Consuming refined carbohydrates also causes people to have brain fog — that is, they can’t concentrate for very long, and they don’t feel like they have clarity of mind.
Drinking soft drinks also causes the same effect, because it is essentially the same macronutrient that’s poisoning your body: refined sugars. As it turns out, these refined sugars also cause behavioral disorders by depleting the body of nutrients that are critical for neurological health. These nutrients include the B vitamins and several notable minerals, including magnesium and zinc. When the human body is deficient in these vitamins and minerals, it will, of course, exhibit both mental and physical disorders. The problem in all of this is that rather than recognizing the true cause of these mental and physical disorders in our children and in our adult population, conventional medicine labels it a disease. Therefore, the treatment becomes a drug rather than changing your diet, and that’s where things get crazy, because now we’re dosing up tens of millions of our children on Ritalin when the true answer to their behavioral problems or lack of focus is to immediately remove soft drinks, cookies, and sugary breakfast cereals from their diets. If you feed your children foods that enhance their health — that is, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and superfoods — then they won’t exhibit these behavioral problems.
In fact, the solution to all this is surprisingly simple: we need to change the diets of our children. We need to take vending machines out of our public school systems. We need to reformulate school lunch programs so that they are feeding our children foods that promote learning and mental health. We also need to educate parents about how to feed their children right, so that they aren’t so easily influenced by foods that their children want to eat.
And finally, we need to ban all advertising and marketing of unhealthy products to children. It should be illegal, in a civilized society, for companies that manufacture products that cause obesity and ADHD to promote those products to children, because it only creates a cycle of disease and chronic illness that brings society down, and the long-term effect of all of this is, of course, skyrocketing health care costs.
Once again, the answer to all of this is simply to change the foods and drinks that we feed our nation’s children. The answer is certainly not to be dosing our children with powerful narcotics such as Ritalin, because right now in this country we are raising a generation of brain-numbed children through our public school system and through the reckless, widespread pharmaceutical prescribing habits of many doctors and psychiatrists.