Research You May Not Be Aware Of....
Concerns have existed for approximately 40 years about the impact of modern processing of food on our children. In the early 1970's leading pediatricians, allergists and doctors began to question the safety of processed foods. One allergist/pediatrician in particular, Dr Feingold, was extremely concerned. Over the space of a decade, he had seen an exponential rise in children being brought to him with behavioural and learning issues. His research lead him to the conclusion that the processes, additives, flavourings and preservatives being used to grow, manufacture and store food were behind this exponential rise. He was seeing children with migraines, irritability, mood swings, depression, aggression, the inability to read, conditions that mimicked dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia as well as all those behaviours and symptoms we associate with ADD/ADHD.
He was not alone with his concerns. Researchers across the globe began to look at the effects of food on behaviour and the ability to learn. Their findings may surprise you.
According to Dr Feingold, up to 90% of cases that were presented to him with the newly coined "disease" of ADD/ADHD were caused by food alone. Since then, numerous studies have been done. Those that claim that food has no relation are the ones who get media coverage and are widely quoted. Those that show food to be the culprit are swept under the carpet and actively discredited - interesting isn't it? Yet research is still happening that shows the connection between food and behaviour - some researchers have shown through double-blind placebo tests a 100% reaction to certain foods...
For my part, I do believe that diet can and does play a significant role in behavioural problems. From personal observation with my own children and myself I can see how their behaviour, ability to learn and their general well being is impacted when eating certain foods.
Does Your Child Have Any Of These Common Reactions To Food?
- Inability to focus
- Confusion between symbols (letters, numbers etc)
- Difficulty in focusing eyes
- Poor memory function
- Loss of appetite
- General feeling of unwellness
- Words blurring on the page
- Words fading in and out
- Losing their place when reading or moving between work book and whiteboard
Why It Is Important To Consider Food As The Culprit
Many of the above symptoms can be confused for other "disorders". When we see a child that is hyperactive, we are led to believe that there is a malfunction in the brain (chemical imbalance) that can only be fixed by using drugs. However, what if the imbalance is caused by a food that suppresses the natural creation or absorption of that chemical (neurotransmitter) in the first place? Remove the offending food, remove the problem behaviour...
Or the child who has difficulty reading? Could their problem be caused by the food they eat? Dr Feingold believed so. He and his team saw many children who had difficulty reading become proficient readers just by changing the food they did or didn't eat...
Nowadays, it is very easy to become trapped in the convenience food cycle. Supermarket aisles are jam packed with food that is either wholly or partially man-made. They are not naturally occurring foods, some don't even contain a natural food. The glossy packaging and the seductive advertising convince us that feeding our children and ourselves these foods will enhance our lives. But what if they don't?
What They Are Legally Allowed To Put In Your Food And Not Tell You...
Take Vanillin for example. It is an artificial vanilla flavouring made from paper mill by-products, from petroleum, and even from animal waste. Yet we find it in many everyday foods.
What about the colourings that create the blue, pink, green, red, purple and yellow foods like ice cream, lollies, jellies, cakes, cereals, canned fruit and vegetables etc? Where do they come from? Many come from petroleum based items, industrial waste, animal waste and the by-products of the manufacturing process. Many have high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and other nasties...
Is it any wonder that food could cause adverse reactions in children and adults?
Then there are the natural foods that can cause problems. Many people are sensitive to foods that contain salicylates. Foods such as apples,almonds, apricots, berries (all), cherries, chilli powder, cider and cider vinegar (apples), cloves, coffee, cucumbers and cucumber pickles, currants, grapes & raisins, nectarines, oranges, paprika, peaches, capsicum, plums, prunes, tangerines, tea, tomatoes, wine and wine vinegar (grapes)...
These foods are good for us - IF we aren't sensitive to the salicylate in them. Many people over consume these foods and that is where the problem begins. Most can tolerate small amounts - it is when we eat too much that problems show up.
I'm not a nutritionist, however, when the research starts to stack up and I trust the source (not research sponsored by the very food companies that produce these toxic substances) then I'm curious enough to look at how food affects my family.
As they say in the computer world - junk in, junk out...
When food is the building block for all of the neurotransmitters, nerve cells, brain cells, every cell in my body actually, why would I want to put substances in that can and do cause harm? Very little of the human body doesn't require food in order to be made. The neurotransmitters that regulate brain function, memory, cognitive ability, moods, appetite etc all derive their basic building blocks from the amino acids found in the food we eat.
Without the correct food inputs the output isn't there...
Diana Vogel is a sought after tutor, parent educator and author who is passionate about teaching parents and their dyslexic children the life skills that they need to maximise their chances of success. The mother of 2 wonderful boys, one of which is dyslexic, Diana has seen both the positive and negative sides of the dyslexia coin.
To learn more about Diana and the work that she does go to http://www.TheKidWhisperer.com.au
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