Updated: Dec 1, 2022
By Vriti Bajaj
Reading time 5 minutes ⏰
We have often heard about the revolutionary and ground-breaking studies that have shown the importance of diet and good mental and physical health. Recently, researchers have also been discovering that nutritions plays an even bigger role in the lives of the neurodiverse, more than ever before! Even though this is still debatable, more scientific research is needed to understand whether the two have a more significant relationship than we think. For instance, scientists have found out that a gluten and casein- free diet in individuals with autism, seem to improve some of the gastrointestinal issues that prove to be a major challenge while being on the spectrum. (Buspinar and Yardimci 2020). Let us now look at some of the diets associated with dyspraxia. It is essential to note that these are not “cures” but rather a fun and interactive way of understanding how nutrition affects our body and vice versa.
Let us now look at two components found in a lot of healthy foods that we eat everyday, “saturated” and “unsaturated” fats.
Saturated fats are the fat group found in foods that are solid at room temperature, eg- yogurt, butter, cheese etc. (“Dietary fat: Know which to choose”, n.d.) and unsaturated fats are mostly liquid at room temperature. Eg- fish, vegetable oils and nuts. (“Dietary fat: Know which to choose”, n.d.). Unsaturated fats are better than saturated fats and people who consumed more unsaturated fats had better heart health. (Li et al 2015.)
Unsaturated fats are divided into Polyunsaturated fats (eg- sunflower oil and soybean oil) and Monounsaturated fats. (eg- avocados, peanut butter, nuts) Omega-3 fatty acids is a type of fat that the body cannot make on its own, it is needed to survive. It lowers the risk of brain and heart problems at a later stage and is found in fish, plant oils and nuts. (“Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods & Benefits” 2019)
A study conducted for children who had these dietary deficiencies and dyspraxia showed that those who had taken unsaturated fats supplements seemed to have performed better at dexterity, ball skills and balance. (Richardson, n.d.,).
Diet and nutrition play an even bigger role in our lives than we imagined. Even though we might not see changes immediately, overtime, the dedication and motivation to eat right can enable us to make good choices for our bodies and minds that keep us fit, active and healthy in the future!
Buspinar, Busra, and Hulya Yardimci. 2022. “Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Can It Be Effective in Solving Behavioural and Gastrointestinal Problems?” The Eurasian Journal of Medicine 52, no. 3 (June). 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2020.19230.
“Dietary fat: Know which to choose.” n.d. Mayo Clinic. Accessed July 5, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fat/art-20045550.
Li, Yangping. 2015. “Saturated Fat as Compared With Unsaturated Fats and Sources of Carbohydrates in Relation to Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study.” National Library of Medicine 66, no. 14 (October). doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.07.055.
“Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods & Benefits.” 2019. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17290-omega-3-fatty-acids.
Richardson, Alexandra J. n.d. “DYSLEXIA, DYSPRAXIA and ADHD - CAN NUTRITION HELP?”