Nutrition is a big player in the dyslexia world. Food is fuel for your brain, and the quality of the fuel can help or hinder your brain’s ability to think and process information. Good nutrition isn’t something you can practice occasionally—it needs to be an ingrained habit.
As an example of how nutrition can affect your child’s dyslexia cure, take the story of Mandy, an eight-year-old who was flunking school and couldn’t pass any of her tests. After ten weeks of care, she went from getting Ds and Fs to As and Bs. Everyone was delighted. End of story? Sadly, no.
Four to six months later, Mandy was once again getting Fs in math and her father didn’t know what had happened. This was now mid-November. However, at Halloween Mandy had eaten a sizable amount of candy, and three weeks later reverted to her old problems.
During the original treatment with Dr. Books, Mandy was found to have several allergies, including sugar. Part of the protocol for all clients is that they stay off sugar for six weeks. When sugar is ingested, the sphenoid bone, one of the bones that form the eye socket, can’t maintain its proper position and loses the integrity of the muscle. That sphenoid bone can then twist and distort the eye muscles in the process.
That is exactly what happened in Mandy’s case. By eating large quantities of sugar, that sphenoid bone fell out of place like a logjam, preventing her brain from seeing and processing written information correctly. Hence, the learning problem returned full force. The good thing about all this was that Mandy and her parents saw the disastrous effects of too much sugar. Once the all saw the dramatic changes with sugar consumption, everyone was motivated to take the reduced sugar recommendations seriously.
Take charge of your child’s diet
Most people say they’re too busy to cook meals for the family on a regular basis. So they end up with fast food or eating along with way with little thought about the nutritional content. If you added up all the time you spent eating out, versus how much time it would take you to go to the Farmer’s Market and the grocery store once a week and do your entire food preparation for the week, you would find that you would save time and have meals to last at least five days.
The food habits children learn at home will influence how they will think about food for the rest of their lives. If the child is allowed to indulge in processed foods, junk foods, and colas, he or she will likely join the swelling ranks of Americans with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic degenerative diseases that come about when a person lives on junk food.
Above all, your child will not have a permanent dyslexia cure without a dramatic change in his or her diet. At minimum, you will need to drastically reduce or cut out several types of food that aren’t doing anyone in your family any good anyway.
The Big Four Nasties:
Above all, make sure that you are eliminating the four big nasties from your family’s diet: wheat, dairy, caffeine, and sugar, for a minimum of three weeks. It’s not easy, but you’ll be amazed at the changes and at how much better everyone feels.
Nasty #l: Wheat
Eliminating wheat means that you’ll be finding substitutes for pizza, cereal, and pasta. You are probably wondering where in the world you’ll find enough food your family will actually eat.
How do you eliminate these staples from your diet? It can be done, and it must be done. Wheat allergies have long been a problem for people. Since the advent of genetically modified foods (GMO) in recent years, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease have been on a sharp increase. Gluten is a gluey protein consisting of a mixture of glutelin and gliaden, present in cereal grain, especially wheat. You or your child can be gluten sensitive for years with no symptoms at all.
Finding wheat substitutes is much easier now than it was a few years ago. Here are some tips to get you started on the road to wheat freedom:
- Substitute rice instead of bread, and try gluten-free pizza crust is available at the frozen food section of most grocery stores.
- Eat more potatoes (not potato chips laden with fats and salt), and try sweet potato French fries.
- Explore exotic gluten-free grains such as quinoa, millet, and chickpeas, and use gluten-free flour for baking. Find it at Whole Foods, some grocery stores or even online at www.pamelasproducts.com.
Nasty #2: Dairy:
Your children love milk, ice cream, and cheese, but it doesn’t love them. You’ll be amazed how many mucous problems clear up when you eliminate dairy. Runny noses, ear infections, and sinus headaches mean there is too much dairy in the diet.
Like wheat, milk has long been an allergy problem for children. For the next three weeks, you’re going to stay away from all milk products, including cheese
- Almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk are all good milk substitutes, and Rice Dream makes a great ice cream.
- There are several other non-dairy ice creams available, even at your local grocery store. Coconut based ones are delicious.
- Watch out for cheese substitutes. Here is one place you really have to read the labels, especially looking for casein.
So many brain problems actually start in the gut. The good thing is that they are correctable.
Nasty #3: Caffeine
You and your family will need to stay away from caffeinated soft drinks, coffee, tea, and those high energy drinks. Caffeine acts a bit like sugar in that it elevates your energy levels and then causes you to crash, so you are apt to go through highs as the caffeine “hits” and lows as it dwindles.
Mood swings, irritability, hyperactivity, and aggressive behavior, which accompany the caffeine and sugar, contribute to learning difficulties. They prevent children from focusing their brains, paying attention, and learning effectively.
When you quit caffeine, be prepared for sluggish behavior, sleepiness, and resistance. You might need to wean yourself over a week or two. Taking extra B vitamins will yield extra energy and a positive outlook, and increasing your exercise during this time will raise your dopamine (the feel good chemical).
Nasty #4: Sugar
Here’s the biggie. Sugar makes up 25–40% of the typical American diet, and of that, soft drinks are the most common way of ingesting sugar. If you and your children drink sodas, substituting carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon or lime will help you feel like you’re not being deprived.
Food companies add sugar in places you’d never suspect, so even when you avoid sugar every way you can, you’ll still be getting some. A common practice is to feed sugar to animals before slaughter to improve the color and flavor of the meat. Sugar is in hot dogs, salad dressings, frozen pizzas, peanut butter and, of course, ketchup.
Many times when people seem to crave sugar, they really want fat or protein. Instead of going for that candy bar, try an avocado or guacamole instead. It is satisfying and you feel content somehow. Having a good protein will also give you sustained energy without your energy level spiking and dropping like it does with sugar.
- Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. If you are eating fruit, eat the whole fruit because the cellulose in the fruit will slow down the metabolizing of the sugar.
- Honey and molasses still break down as sugar, but both are loaded with other.
- Stevia, agave, and real maple syrup are other acceptable sugar substitutes.
Eating sugar alternatives is better than indulging in sugar itself; however, nothing is as good for you and your children as avoiding the sweet stuff altogether as much as possible.
Hopefully, the positive changes you experience from this cleaner diet will encourage you to stay on healthier foods. Feeling good is a great reward, and everyone in your family benefits. You will want to adopt these changes as a long-term lifestyle change. If you and your family revert to your old ways, you run the risk of all the positive changes not holding.
Please look at how Dr. Books incorporates nutrition into her Smart Brain Packages. See: https://drphyllisbooks.com/programs/smart brain programs. You might want to purchase her book, Reversing Dyslexia (available on Amazon) and read the chapter on nutrition and sugar. Then you might want to hop a plane and come get care for one or more of your family members. You’ll kiss sugar goodbye and kiss your smart brain, hello
Dr. Books 512 331-0668