Sometimes kids say the most interesting things.
A little background first– my stepson is 8 years old, and has Asperger’s and ADD. Roughly 3 years ago, I put him on a gluten free, additive free food plan. The entire family follows this eating plan because we’re concerned about potential toxins in our food and the effects of additives and preservatives have on our health. With that food change, we saw a drastic improvement in the my stepson’s behavior. His violent outbursts stopped, he had an easier time getting along with his siblings, and he became easier to teach– he seemed to understand more.
Then, about one and a half years ago, we switched the family’s diet again. This time we decided to forgo cooked foods, and went on a raw food plan. We’re not perfect, and occasionally we slip. Early on in our raw food experiment we slipped and ate rice and beans or something similar for dinner. We noticed that for the next 5 days or so stepson had a very difficult time speaking He’s always had language difficulties and it’s something we rarely notice unless there is significant change. This was a drastic decline from his normal speech. We increased his detox herbs a bit and waited it out. Predictably, as the cooked meal left his system his speech returned to normal.
Afterwards, he was able to describe the extperience a little. He said it was “hard to think.” With his permission, I started experimenting with different natural foods to see which foods, if any, impached his thinking. We found that sugar, potatoes, and beans gave him problems. But he’s never been able to identify any foods which seem to have a specific positive effect.
Today, he made airpopped popcorn for everyone. Around here, the person who pops the corn gets to season the popcorn. We use olive oil and which ever natural spices are desired. My 13 yr old daughter asked 8yr old why he always makes the popcorn so spicey. (His favorite seems to be either lime/lemon juice and chilli powder or onion and garlic powders with a little bit of salt)
He answered her very specifically. “Hot food makes it easier to think.”
I asked him about it and he is adamant that he notices a difference in his thinking when he eats spicey foods. He says the improvement lasts all day.
I find this interesting since stimulants are used in allopathic medicine to treat ADD/ADHD. I’m going to reasearch this a bit more, but in the meantime I’ll be adding more spicey foods to our daily menu.