The majority of people these days are focusing on a healthy diet. People are going the vegetarian or vegan route in order to be sure their bodies are receiving beneficial vitamins and minerals that will enable it to function better. Many people who switch their diets for healthier options report better digestion, health, mental state, and overall well being. Could the vegetarian’s be onto something? Could eating a healthier diet be the key to healing the autistic body?
Along with Autism often comes problems with the gut and digestive system. Multiple research studies have found that the Autistic body is often lacking essential enzymes that are needed in order to digest food properly. Along with the enzyme deficiency, there are a high level of food allergies that are found in Autism cases as well. For these reasons, it’s important that your child’s diet be a priority. It’s a relatively inexpensive treatment, and really just comes down to monitoring what they eat, and making sure it’s conducive to their individual needs.
One of the most commonly practiced Autism diets is the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diet. When wheat and dairy products are broken down, their peptides bind themselves to the neuroreceptors of the brain, just as opiates do. It’s important to also be sure that if you decide to practice the GFCF diet, that you’re sure to omit all gluten and casein sources from your child’s diet. Additionally, there are hidden sources of gluten that you should be sure to avoid as to not contaminate the body.
Another diet that is beneficial to Autism is the SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The SCD diet removes all starches and complex sugars from the child’s diet and it’s goal is to rid the intestines of bacterial overgrowth. Studies show that microorganisms in the gut damage the GI tract and cause digestive problems along with brain problems. The damaging microorganisms survive because they feed on carbohydrates that are difficult for the body to digest. By practicing the SCD diet, and eliminating the pathogens “fuel”, it starves them out and prevents them from surviving.
The Feingold Diet promotes the function of the PST enzyme which is weak in those with Autism. Typically, vegetables with high color contents and food dyes are the biggest culprit. When you eat foods with Yellow #5, you lose Zinc through your saliva and urine. Zinc is essential for the proper digestion of protein, fat, and alcohol. Additionally, Zinc is necessary for wound healing, immune system function, thyroid function, and cognitive function.
No matter if you’re utilizing one of the above diets, or a physician ordered diet, it’s important they you’re certain that you’re still giving your child the vitamins and minerals that they did for their health. For example, while fish has a high level of Omega 3, some types have Mercury, which is damaging to the brain. Omitting fish is okay, but that missing Omega 3 needs to be supplemented. Pro-biotic supplements are mandatory for children who are completely dairy free.