Diet and Exercise

Do not begin any diet or dietary supplement without checking with your doctor first. Please do not consider any of the following medical advice.

Suggested Reading

Diet & Mental Health:


  • The Glucose Revolution by Jennie Brand-Miller and Kaye Foster-Powell.      
  • Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight at bookstores or at 1.800.291.1128, code 212
  • Children with Starving Brains by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD.     
  • Special Needs for Special Kids by Lisa Lewis, Ph.D. (dietary interventions for autistic spectrum and others)
  • The Zone Diet by Barry Sears, Ph.D.
  • Body for Life by Bill Phillips
  • Mayo Clinic/Williams-Sonoma Cookbook




Antioxidants are important for brain health.  Omega-3 fatty acids may be particularly helpful for this condition. Alternatively, and have products with a good EPA/DHA ratio, and screened for contaminants such as PCBs and Mercury). 2-3g daily may be sufficient. Coromega, which contains 2.5g of omega-3, in a pleasant-tasting orange-flavored pudding can be obtained from or 1-877275-3725. Puritan Pride at has some reasonably priced Fish Oil products. We also recommend Vitamin C 250-1000 mg twice to three times daily, Vitamin E 200 IU twice daily and Vitamin B Complex once daily.  A half to one aspirin or ibuprofen 200 mg daily with food is also beneficial sometimes.


Dietary Strategies:


There are several important dietary strategies that are often helpful for people with learning, emotional or behavioral problems.  Avoid much caffeine and nicotine – they may make your condition worse in the long run and decrease the effectiveness of the medication.  Avoid large quantities of simple sugars.

  • A higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet is often helpful for people with concentration, energy and focus problems. 
  • A balance between carbohydrates and protein is better for people with overfocused symptoms. 
  • Trial of dairy-free (casein free) diet for a week.
  • Trial of gluten free (wheat, oats, barley, rye) diet for a week.



Intense aerobic exercise is often very helpful to improve mood and concentration.  I recommend an exercise program of at least 30 minutes a day 5 times a week.  In order for the exercise to be aerobic one must have a sustained increased heart rate.