Last week in my new three part series on Natural Remedies for ADHD, we covered what ADHD is, what causes it, and why it’s on the rise. This week, let’s talk prevention.
There has long been an association between ADHD and prenatal exposure to toxins, although most women don’t know this and aren’t told about this. So let’s start off by saying right away that reducing your exposure to any and all toxins while you’re pregnant is absolutely critical. But the other piece of really important information is that reducing exposure to toxins BEFORE you even start trying to get pregnant is also key to preventing ADHD.
Thousands of new synthetic chemicals have been produced in the US since the 1940’s, and countless studies have shown their negative effects on hormones and reproductive health. In fact, research shows that exposure to pollutants, pesticides, and industrial chemicals can decrease a couple’s ability to conceive by up to 29%. Even if you are able to become pregnant, toxic chemicals can take a while to leave your body, and the more toxins you are exposed to before and during your pregnancy, the higher your child’s risk for ADHD becomes.
Here are the BEST ways to reduce your exposure to toxins, AND increase your body’s ability to detoxify itself of the toxins you will inevitably be exposed to while you are trying to conceive and while pregnant:
Whenever possible, eat organic foods that have not been treated with chemicals. Animal products are hands-down the most important food to purchase organic, because animals accumulate toxicity much more than plants do. I always tell clients to ONLY purchase organic, grass-fed and pasture-raised meat and dairy products, and ideally always choose organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, beans and oils.
Everything that you breathe enters your body through your lungs, and everything that comes into contact with your skin enters your body through your pores. Choose chemical-free cleaning and personal care products with 100% naturally derived ingredients, and organic whenever possible. This way you can dramatically reduce the amount of potent toxic chemicals (like parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, and triclosan) that you’re exposed to. (Check out my posts on Non-Toxic Cleaning Tips and Recipes and Clean Makeup/Personal Care Products for more info, as well as my own personal favorite Clean Home & Beauty products).
Be sure to use a high quality water filter to remove toxins, heavy metals, fluoride, herbicides, disinfectants, and other municipal “additives” from your drinking water. Alternatively, you can choose spring or mineral water that is bottled at the source in glass bottles. These options will go a long way in reducing your exposure to unnecessary chemicals found in tap water. I also recommend installing a shower filter, which is one of the easiest things you can do to further reduce your chemical exposure.
In addition to reducing your exposure to toxins, it’s important to a diet rich in foods that support your liver’s natural ability to detoxify, and can therefore more easily process and flush out the toxins that you will inevitably be exposed to.
Cut all of the following out of your diet:
Make sure you’re eating plenty of the following liver & hormone-friendly foods:
Also make sure you are eating plenty of foods that support the health of your gut microbiome (which is also essential for helping your body process and eliminate toxins). This includes: kimchi, naturally fermented pickles/sauerkraut/and any other fermented vegetable, beet kvass, kefir water, and kombucha.
Following all of the guidelines above will definitely support the prevention of an ADHD diagnosis in your child, but what if your child has already received an ADHD diagnosis? Join me again next week where I will discuss natural remedies to help ease the symptoms of ADHD in your kiddo!
Looking to have a more in-depth conversation about ADHD prevention & treatment? Schedule a consultation with me!