Food is foundational to healing.
Starting a healing diet is a critical first step on the road to recovery.
As Michael Pollan wrote in Food Rules: “Eat food . . . not too much. . . mostly plants.”
Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
- Eat a diet that is free of artificial colors, flavors, excitotoxins, preservatives and includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods.
- Eat mostly organic foods because they are not genetically modified and don’t contain pesticides.
- Reduce or remove “white foods,” sugars, white flour and milk.
- Food should nourish our bodies: vary high quality proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
- Eat plants: fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates.
- Eliminate trans fats.
- Include good fat sources like cold water fish, nuts, seeds and vegetables that supply essential 0mega-3 fats.
- Rotate grains, meats, fruits and vegetables.
Here are some of the common arguments people use to not change the way their children eat:
It’s too expensive.
Expensive? Yes it is, but if you consider the cost of managing chronic illness over time, investing in healing food is a much better bet.
It’s hard to do.
Maybe at first, but you can find support.
In addition, it gets easier as you go.
Remember to take baby steps by making one change at a time.
Before you know it, your family’s new way of eating will have become a lifestyle.
There’s not enough time.
There are many ways to overcome this obstacle:
- Plan ahead
- Consider using a slow cooker
- Cook in bulk and freeze for the week
- In a pinch, use short-cuts like organic pre-cooked ingredients found in health-food stores
My child is a picky eater and will starve.
Also, consider the causes of picky eating such as:
- Sensory issues in the mouth
- Nutritional deficiencies, such as zinc
- Structural issues, such as tongue tie or high palate
- Food-related anxiety
- Emotional issues related to food and eating
Learn more about picky eating, and remember that there are professionals who can help you address these issues.
As you implement some of these changes, you’ll understand more and more why diet matters.
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Adams, J.B., Audhya, T., McDonough-Means, S., Rubin, R.A., Quig, D., Geis, E., et al. Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism. BMC Pediatr. 2011;11:111
Adams, J.B., et al. Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder-A Randomized, Controlled 12-Month Trial. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 17;10(3).