Nutrition tips for ADD, ADHD and HSP

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  1. Skip as many carbohydrates as possible (low-carb or even keto). Áll carbohydrates are eventually converted into glucose (blood sugar). You will eventually get enough sugar by eating vegetables, for example. Eat as close to nature as possible and lots of fatty foods. And protein-rich food. Meanwhile, it has been proven that saturated fatty acids do not cause cardiovascular disease at all, as long as the ratio is balanced with unsaturated fatty acids. So eat plenty of meat, fish, nuts, eggs, kernels, seeds, cheese, full-fat cottage cheese, etc. Even unsweetened whipped cream. What a superstar ? The advantage is also that it makes you lose weight. Fat does not make fat, excess sugar makes fat. I do it icmittent fasting and I drink bulletproof coffee when I wake up. I feel like Superman all day long; energetic, steady energy, I can suddenly focus, memory works a bit better, I can suddenly energise myself, have a better overview and often have a calm mind and therefore more self-confidence. Something I have always only been able to dream of. ???? There is an immense amount on YouTube. Search for Dr Eric Berg and keto, Tom Bilyeu (talk show focused on personal development) also talks about it a lot and search for Dr Sten Ekberg. A world will open up for you.

  2. after years of searching finally found. diet and my asperger. so are related. what am i going to slowly change my diet now that i know how to proceed.
    omega I already have in the form of supplement that helps with concentration, rest and sleep. i am now on probiotics and supplements through an orthomolecular therapist. still have to wait for allergy test due to corona delay but probiotics etc is already helping with damaged intestinal wall. already feel much better because of that. now to switch to gluten free and or lactose free food if i ever get my allergy test result in. if corona ever goes away....
    my mum and i have searched for years for the link between my problem with eating and now we have finally found the link. the term arfid, omega and the therapaut i wish we had found it all earlier. then we would have had an easier time in the past. it wouldn't have prevented the shit at school but at least if i had felt better i could have performed better in class and with gym.
    thank you for this piece on the internet i am going to show this to my mum tomorrow right away. after all these years, she has been right after all and we can now work on it better.
    age: 27
    cause autism: heavy delivery, no breastfeeding, rota virus and antibiotics against it, the wrong food?
    problems due to ash: different from others (animal love, wasn't invited to parties etc), bullied all through school mentally and physically a bit (eventually being allowed to learn at home was one of the few in the netherlands who was allowed to do so, which was my salvation), socially have to learn to read people (wired youtube body language helps me with that), arfid avoidant restrictive food intake disorder or in other words my intake of food stops if I don't like it I can't eat it. cause here of rotavirus medicine after that i didn't eat anymore. endless patience from parents mainly mother learning to eat. allergy to dye can't stand alchohol 1 bacon or 1 sip of alchohol giggle fit and zzzzzzzzz. hypersensitive to senses. solution sunglasses and own music canceled overstimulation. in my own environment i am normal and feel most comfortable. not at parties with high expectations and people who do not tolerate me respect and accept me. friends i do not have except if you count my family pets. working in a team or with a boss no success. i have principles that should not be exceeded or someone will take advantage of my good nature that looks dangerous in their eyes. as a dog groomer i am my own boss where i can do my best to get every dog as healthy and beautiful as possible mentally and physically. and if a client doesn't like me or i am not what they are looking for equally good friends bye bye.
    i wish i could help others besides myself with writing but probably no dog ever reads my pieces. so i'll just go back to my reclusive existence. wait until i'm allowed to trim dogs again and in the meantime keep my household going, entertain myself and clean up any litter i get in my line of sight.
    just a little longer and then trump and corona will be gone and we can work together for a better climate on our mother earth.
    gr an infp aspie
    profession: dog groomer
    axis : asperger
    personality type : infp

  3. Good day,I also have adhd,and on top of that also a histamine problem
    I'm also looking for a diet form,or a different eating pattern,to still absorb a bit of the stress,and get a regular pattern

    Gr Kees

    1. Hi Kees, I also have a histamine problem (and burn out). It's probably because I don't produce the DPP-IV enzyme properly. I am now taking this supplement under the guidance of an orthomolecular therapist. Maybe something for you to look into too. Good luck!

    1. Interesting piece, I have also been on a moderate Paleo diet since 3 months.
      All sweets (soft drinks, sweets, biscuits, cakes, etc.) I have removed from my diet plan, still occasionally chips in working out, but notice that it really makes me fitter.

      P.S.: Organic is totally fine, good for the animals etc, but better for the environment it certainly is not!

  4. Well I still see a grain of truth in this from experience within my own life.
    Very extreme example though, and at first glance also not corresponding. But I will explain him.
    I used to experience being slightly busier. But never investigated adhd. At one point at MBO(4) I was doing quite well at school until I unfortunately came into contact with drugs at the age of 16, amphetamine became a daily drug for a period of 9 months(also the active ingredient in methylphenidate). But having had all that behind me, now over 3 years ago now and going back to school. I clearly noticed in myself that both socially, at home and at school, the symptoms of adhd were always there, but now they were clearly intensified and I was really limited by this. at the age of 16, your brain is still developing and maybe this has caused the extra damage. Indeed, it can depend on a lot of different factors. But I see a connection here in this headline text to this my own little story. Exorphins are also stimulants (opiates) but on a much lighter scale of course. Which affect dopamine levels, and lower them.

  5. Hello, thanks for this interesting article! I can do something with that :) I'm breastfeeding though, I hope the little one doesn't have bowel problems if I eat green smoothies!?
    And I do still wonder what butter/oil you use to fry e.g. meat? Can you use butter/coconut oil/olive oil?
    Greetings, Maria

    1. Coconut oil and olive oil can both. There is now also a tasty vegan butter Flora for occasional use.
      Coconut aminos can replace soy and is tasty.

  6. Hi, I have a question - does LTO work on appetite?
    My son has ADD and is now taking Methylphenidate and on its own it works very well in terms of concentration but he has very poor appetite. He is growing enormously and needs good nutrition but he is losing weight because he eats far too little. That is why we are looking for alternatives.
    Fri. Annette

    1. Hi Annette,

      This is a known side effect of Methylphenidate. It may be that the appetite gets better in time. Best to discuss this with your doctor and watch how the side effects diminish.
      Lto3 does not reduce appetite. You can always try it for a while to see if it works for you.
      Good luck with it.

      Greetings Jochem.

  7. I see you usually skipped lunch which is not very convenient for an HSPer and, by the way, not healthy at all. Just always eat 3 meals people

  8. Hi Jochem, your information is correct only I do have the following advice. You eat meat quite often, you can. And without gluten, dairy does leave you with less. But the meat you eat is most likely from cattle. Cattle are fed on feed that makes them grow fast. This contains relatively high amounts of msg and glutamate. That glutamate causes a similar consequence to exorphins (check ndma receptor). You are what you eat we say, so are cattle from what they ingest and so are we what we ingest from cattle. I thought it was a cool insight. I heard it yesterday from a doctor.

  9. I can totally endorse this story; world of difference! I have been doing this for 2.5 weeks now. The erxorphins are due to a lack of DPP IV enzyme. With this enzyme added in capsule form, it goes a bit faster and better. With this, you can still be a little inattentive now and then. In addition, pay close attention to vitamins and minerals, especially if the intestinal villi (as in Celiac disease) have disappeared.
    It is not very easy to eat 100% gluten- and casein-free, but more than worth it. All symptoms have disappeared, including physical ones. This list is too long to post here ... Breathing and heart rate have also become much calmer and deeper.
    With very quiet greetings,

  10. I see good things above, but try a raw vegan diet for a month, then you won't know what hit you at all. If you want to know what that's like, I can recommend the following books: Thrive by Canadian Brendan Brazier and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.

    Greetings Ferry, Zwolle.

  11. Do you happen to have any tips for a vegetarian, who actually lives vegan most of the time? For example. what can I take to get enough omegas? I'm thinking flaxseed oil?

    1. Hi Lorerai, I think you will get a lot from nuts and flaxseed indeed seems to contain a lot of omega as well. I would also eat avocado regularly. And otherwise just eat lots of vegetables and salad, add some olive oil or another oil etc.

    2. Just a quick note for vegans and vegetarians. Algae oil. Also natural to use if you are not. Algae oil is a good alternative to fish oil. From algae, fish gets its omega 3. A good pure one is, for example, the Testa brand.

  12. Hi Jochem,

    Thanks for the information, leaving out sugar, gluten and cow's milk has already allowed me to experience the impact food has on my hsp being!
    What about dairy products like goat yoghurt and soy products (organic, non-GMO soy milk or yoghurt, tofu and tempeh). I read quite a lot of conflicting articles and can't see the forest for the trees. It is important though as I eat mostly vegetarian (though occasionally fish).


    1. Hi Astrid,

      Personally, I no longer take dairy at all. Even goat yoghurt contains lactose as far as I know. Of course, it's best to find out for yourself. You already indicate that you notice positive changes so now you can experiment further yourself with what you do and don't react well to.
      I don't take soya either. Actually, all I drink is almond milk, rice milk, cashew milk, fresh gravy (not too much, as it's still sugar without the fibre from the orange) and I drink a lot of water throughout the day. Works great for me and I don't miss anything at all :) Every now and then, I'll have a wine or spirits with, say, gravy.
      I can advise you not to fluff around too much on the internet because you will indeed not see the wood for the trees and everyone has their own truth. The best thing to do is to find out for yourself what you react well to and what you don't react to. For me, a good guideline is to eat as pure and close to nature as possible, avoiding gluten/lactose/soya and added sugars as much as possible. But every step is one and you don't have to do it as drastically right away as I did. Listen to your body and do it in steps :)
      Greetings, Jochem.

  13. Hi Jochem,

    Suppose I were to try this kind of diet, in order to thereby bring the influence of HSP on my life into more positive spheres, is spinach really not beneficial(if I may describe it that way)?


    1. Hi Tineke, spinach I wouldn't worry too much about. It often turns out to be the exorphins from gluten and lactose and possibly soya that are the problem. And if you eat spinach once a week, that won't be a problem but every day will be something else, but only if you can't break down the exorphins from the spinach. You can have those exorphin tests done.
      Greetings Jochem.

  14. I myself have 2 children with ADHD and related issues. I would get the eldest of 15 to take smoothies, but the youngest of 13 will absolutely refuse and will not even take other things. The youngest already drinks and eats no dairy products and eats bread in moderation. How do I get him to eat this healthier food?

    1. Hi,
      Most children find smoothies very tasty. With the fruit in them, you don't even taste the vegetables. That fruit makes them sweet. You can also add nice sultanas and dates, for example, to make it a bit sweeter. I don't think a child who doesn't like smoothies likes sweets either ;)

  15. hi Jochem,
    very much agree with your attitude that food can be a source of children and adults who have disabilities, with eating patterns that can bring out the disability. As we sometimes agree that in the past you rarely if ever heard about these conditions,which is unfortunately more common nowadays. Nowadays there are also many different E numbers and also especially sugars (carbohydrates) in products. My daughter has epilepsy and is not seizure-free, so she takes a lot of medication. Last year, she followed a ketogenic diet for 3 quarters of a year (this is on a medical basis) she did not have any major seizures during that time. After those 3 quarters of a year, she decided to go back to "normal" eating and the seizures are no longer a thing of the past.Now she has started again with full courage to change her eating pattern and start eating low-carb. Just because I am her mother I have been eating low-carb with her,both as last year and also now. My other daughter which has combined form of ADD/ADHD and has been on medication for a few months now, I am now going to subject what I read here to start eating sugar-free as well!!!! What strikes me first of all is the positive energy what you get from it and you also get weight reduction. Would steer clear of that for children who are at normal weight to eat extra fats!!! and by now I can call myself an experienced cook in low-carb eating. if you take the time, you can turn something you are no longer allowed to eat into something alternative that is even sometimes much tastier!!!

  16. Hi Jochem,

    I have been diagnosed with ADD and mild autism for 2 years. After a short trial, I switched to a completely gluten-free and low-dairy diet last year. It was as if a fog lifted. Since then, my symptoms have been much reduced. Since a few months, I have been trying to eat sugar-free and as pure as possible. That also helps enormously. If I do eat a lot of sugar once, the next day I feel like I have a hangover. And so tired.
    I didn't know your story about exorphins yet, I will definitely look into that more!
    I too have discovered green smoothies, as well as green juices from the juicer. I try to make 1 or 2 daily. I too experience better concentration and being more present as a result.
    Thanks to this new lifestyle, I can now slowly go back to work more and I am very happy with that. They wanted to put me on medication, which I refused. I use food as medicine and that works much better!

    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Paula,

      How incredibly happy I am with your response! :D I try to make as many people aware as possible and I can't do it alone. Thanks to comments like this, people see that it really works and that I'm not just saying something.

      The more people know this the more people can reduce their symptoms on a natural basis. Who wants heavy stimulant drugs for ADD or ADHD when the real problem turns out to be in our contemporary diet.

      Thanks for taking a moment to share your story Paula. This can be just that extra push for many people to get serious about this too!

      Greetings, Jochem.

  17. Hi Jochem,
    First, a quick note that gluten is not only in wheat products, but in cereal products. That is, you can eat something that contains wheat but not gluten.

    Regarding what to eat/don't eat, my son with label ADHD had a blood test last year that looked at food sensitivities. For him, a list of about 25 foods came up and divided by gradations. It ranged from carrots, paprika to dairy, egg, orange and cereals.After this, he went on a diet. After 1 month, he was allowed to reintroduce a portion, which he was least sensitive to, but via rotation and not too often and at the same time. After 2 and 6 months another part and now basically everything with gluten and wheat remains in its entirety. (The highest group started at value 50 and he scored 117). He hasn't eaten those for over 7 months.

    The result?
    January 2014, he was on concerta and scored well at school, he is now 10, and in tests was averaging B (havo level). Then we stopped medication and in May his scores dropped to D/E, (struggling VMBO).
    Started diet in September and later added LTO3. His master is thickly satisfied, he is very concentrated and structured and now just scored his B again and sometimes even better.

    I myself no longer eat gluten and feel much more energetic and no longer have migraines. If I have eaten gluten again, the next day it is like having a hangover.

    In addition, it is also interesting to read about exorphin overload. This is found in gluten, dairy, soya and spinach. If you cannot process exorphins, you may experience ADHD-like and many other symptoms.

    1. Hi Margriet, nice of you to respond and thanks for your story and your tips! :)
      You are indeed right. Wheat basically always contains gluten but they can also sometimes take out the gluten. I changed it to wheat.
      How nice to hear that your son is doing so well now and that you yourself are benefiting so much from not taking gluten. Great also that lto3 can help in this. You are one of the many whose good reports I hear about lto3.
      Your last sentence about the exorphins I had already written, by the way ;) If you click on the link under the row of nutrition tips, a section will open up with further explanation in which I discuss exorphins, among other things.

      Thanks Margriet and all the best!

      Greetings, Jochem.

  18. Doable as an adult but with children I find it really difficult. My son has no diagnosis but many characteristics of ASD and ADD. We don't experience these traits ourselves because he is still small now but his wisecracking and lack of empathy can still cause problems when he is older.
    The foods listed above, my children would always sit reluctantly at the table with these. Like many children, they are big consumers of starch. Food is a kind of necessary evil for them. Vegetables, nuts, eggs, that would really be a punishment. How would you handle that?
    And offering everything gluten-free will be too costly.

    1. Actually quite simple Henrike. Start with green smoothies. You can really put everything in there. Besides vegetables and fruit, you can also put in nuts. They are also super tasty so that should go down well. Maybe it's fun to make that with the kids. That your kids are reluctant to sit at the table when you eat healthy is because they have been taught the wrong thing already. Children eat what they are used to. The longer you keep pleasing them the harder it becomes. They are not pathetic if they start crying because they don't want to eat healthy. They are pathetic when they have a mother who won't pierce through that and gives in to the whining. Really!

  19. Super good your tips Jochem! I use green smoothies for breakfast every day! With 2 pieces of fruit, arugula, corn salad, spinach, endive or kale. Add a tablespoon of goshi berries, a teaspoon of linseed, a teaspoon of hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and shake! And for lunch spelt bread with raw vegetables and a glass of vegetable juice pure organic, for dinner white meat such as Kaljoen or chicken fillets with multicoloured vegetables or fish preferably salmon with multicoloured vegetables.As snacks nuts all kinds of unroasted raw nuts. !I feel very good with this diet and really like to get more variety tips from you!.Thanks Jochem great tips!

    1. Thanks Tiny, that's always nice to hear! :D Yummy green smoothies, they really are the bomb huh! So healthy and so tasty. Nice that you do that too. Looking at it this way, we eat pretty much the same thing already. Keep up the good work! I'm going to do my best to keep it up too, haha. Greetings, Jochem

  20. Dear Jochem, I had heard about the blood group diet for years, but had never taken the time to delve into it. I was already following a paleo diet. Now there seems to have been a lot of research into the different ways of reacting to diseases, medicines and food. Apparently, these reactions depend on your blood group and so there is not 1 diet that is right for everyone. I am very enthusiastic and for my blood group diet, I only have to change small eating habits as I already eat according to Paleo. So Adamo's book comes highly recommended and is already in its 18th printing! Well scientifically substantiated! Greetings, Martin.

  21. I myself have not followed any of the previous diets but I am quite sure that gluten, colourings and flavourings really make me hyper nervous. Prepared foods, sweets, soft drinks, and pasta are really out of the question for me, (and I believe for many adhd'ers).
    From experience, I would definitely recommend you to give it a try. It is not easy and with me there were results only after a few months , but when I sin once, and suffer again, I know what I am doing it for !!!

    1. Hi,

      As you put it now, you have actually followed exactly the right diet I think ;) You pretty much meet the list at the top of the page. Nice to hear it's benefiting you so much!

      So keep it up, I'm going to try my best to keep it up too! :D

      Greetings, Jochem

  22. I often hear and read that fruit and vegetables together gives fermentation and is therefore not good for your bowels. Bloating and flatulence. What is your experience with that?

    1. Hi Ingrid, What I know is that this definitely happens in the beginning and can last up to 3 weeks. But so that is temporary and actually a very good sign! In the long run, it doesn't bother me personally but in the beginning I had it too, you know ;) I think that if you do have long-term problems with this, it is not such a problem.

      Fruit and vegetables always seem good to me. Possibly if you have a fragile gut you might experience a bit more flatulence but that doesn't seem like a reason not to eat fruit and vegetables. All these good nutrients are actually going to clean your whole system and repair your gut.

      1. Homegrown and seasonal fruits and vegetables are better than all things imported. That might help. Also the preparation. Intestines can sometimes react violently if vegetables are too raw.
        Dairy from cow and goat are also known for it and soy milk, you can also get bloating from that.

        1. Raw vegetables are best. They are uncooked and packed with good nutrients. Your stomach may react strangely at first, but that's okay. The more symptoms you have the better it is, the more clutter you have to clear out in your body. Just go through it and it will pass.

  23. In December I will get an official ADD test, (without a test for me already clearly add), and suffered from ME for over 25 years. About 2 years ago I started Paleo or primal diet, and I must say it goes ge dig. Now if I eat anything wheat, or anything else that is not good for me, I immediately get eczema or other skin rashes. In my case, the extreme fatigue was simply a food problem. In terms of mood too, everything is much more balanced. So for me there is a clear connection between food and AD(H)D (and in my case ME) It has at least improved the quality of my life a lot.

    1. cure autism,bull
      i have add/pdd-nos/classical autism form.
      and just eat sweets biscuits crisps like anyone else.What reduces symptoms are swimming,walking,cycling and a massage at times and lots of sleep