Autism Nutrition: How To Support Your Autism Child
The 7 Importance of Proper Nutrition and 7 Ways You Can Support Your Autism Child To Be The Best Version Of Themselves!
You might have an autism child who is very picky in what they eat, falls sick all year round, have infections, sleep troubles, behavioral issues, learning difficulties, speech etc. to name a few.
What if I tell you by implementing a thorough diet and lifestyle shift you can alter and recover almost all these troubles your child suffers from?
Sounds awesome? It is.
Even picky eaters can be encouraged to eat well and you can support their immunity, digestion, health and general wellbeing by implementing systems and routines.
Here are 7 ways how diet & nutrition and autism is connected:
- Scientists are proving that due to the Gut-Brain axis connection it is essential to have a thriving gut microbiome and a properly functioning digestion and excretion mechanism for human esp autism spectrum children.
- Gut bacteria (the good variety) helps in digestion of food especially starch/carbohydrates, produce enzymes, supports immune system, helps in synthesis of B- vitamins and a plethora of other activities. The bad bacteria prevents all these and also cause disease, infections etc.
- Since the gut and the brain is connected so a toxic atmosphere in the gut will invariably cause toxin accumulation in the various brain centers which affect speech, learning, communication, motor function etc.
- Opiate like substances are produced due to improper digestion of various food such as grains and animal milk proteins. These substances act on the brain and suppress various natural activity and create “addiction” like behaviors. Just like opiates (such as heroin and morphine) will hamper many brain functions these chemicals does too.
- Ethanol and acetaldehyde are biproducts of starch digestion by the yeast colony in the gut. Autism children due to having disbalanced gut flora have higher yeast (Candida albican) population so produces these neurotoxins. They in turn creates conditions such as hyperactivity, brain fog, learning and communication disability etc. Because the brain is under constant attack from all these neurotoxins it cant function properly.
- Not many of us know that sugar is 50 times more addictive than heroin! Autism children almost invariably are always on sugary food like biscuits, cookies, nutella, candies, chocolates etc. So excess sugar not only makes them crave more but makes the body acidic, feeds the yeast and bad bacteria population and in turn creates more neurotoxins. It is a never ending vicious cycle.
- The lack of fiber, undigested animal milk proteins and undigested grain based food all are often rotting inside and creating more pathogenic bacteria, toxins, neuroactive agents etc. Often these children have moderate to severe constipation and some even hold on poop due to being scared of the hardship of passing dry, hard and compacted stool.
Now that you know how the food that your child is eating can actually create all these struggles for himself/herself, its time to learn what are some of the actions that you can take starting now reverse the cycle.
Here are 7 Tips to help support your autism child’s nutrition:
- Slowly and steadily reduce and remove as much grain based, sugary, processed, take away and packaged food as possible and dial in natural, fresh fruits and vegetables in your family diet. Drastic changes will cause them to resist like there’s no tomorrow. Been there and done that 😉
- Cut out fruits and veggies in fun shapes, taking care of the texture preference. Some children who can’t chew will need boiled nearly soft version while those who chew might want to bite and enjoy. Don’t start with boring carrot and broccoli. Think fruits like kiwi, dragon fruit, persimmon, apples, pears etc.
- Children learn by modelling and you being a parent need to be The Model and go to when it comes to embodying good eating behaviors. You eat what you need them to eat. Don’t order takeout that often, Please!
- We are busy parents these days with working from home, no daycare, homeschooling, building a career etc. One important thing you can do is building a system of having homecooked, batch prepared and ready to go or almost ready to cook food in your fridge and freezer. Once a week curve out a few hours to meal prep and make that a family time.
- Often we cook in bland ways for our children which is why they want take outs! You can absolutely cook yummy food at home, at a fraction of cost, and without chemicals, added preservatives, colors or taste improvers. Make spices your BFF!
- Implement home pressed fiber removed juices to give easy to absorb, nutritional support and they are yummy! Just make 50% of ingredients as nutrient dense (such as kale, spinach, carrot, beet tops etc.) and 50% taste givers such as apple, pears, pineapple, beet, orange etc.
- Proper nutritional support, digestive aid, hydration are all essential. Use prune to soften stool. Make them drink more water or juices like above. Add copious amount of butter, ghee, extra virgin olive oil in their food. Makes it yummy and also provides with building blocks of brain and gut tissue.
The first hurdle is the Right Knowledge. We are not told of the essential connection between human gut, digestion and proper functioning of the body. For the brain to function properly it needs proper nutrition. When You make a conscious choice and decision to implement changes…trust me…YOU CAN!!
Some Scientific Researches To Read:
Srikantha, P., & Mohajeri, M. H. (2019). The possible role of the microbiota-gut-brain-axis in autism spectrum disorder. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(9), 2115.
Fowlie, G., Cohen, N., & Ming, X. (2018). The perturbance of microbiome and gut-brain axis in autism spectrum disorders. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(8), 2251.
Williams, B. L., Hornig, M., Buie, T., Bauman, M. L., Paik, M. C., Wick, I., … & Lipkin, W. I. (2011). Impaired carbohydrate digestion and transport and mucosal dysbiosis in the intestines of children with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances. PloS one, 6(9), e24585.
Gotschall, E. (2004). Digestion-gut-autism connection: the specific carbohydrate diet. Medical Veritas, 1(2), 261-271.