4. Biochemical Imbalances
Children with autism often have biochemical imbalances that stem from both genes and nutrient deficiencies. Studies show that children with autism are low in glutathione. Glutathione a primary detoxifier and antioxidant.
Toxins deplete our glutathione stores. And when toxins cross into the brain, tantrums and hyperactive behaviors may increase. Both boosting glutathione levels through nutrients and reserving it by avoiding exposure to toxins can help. One step you can take is to avoid food additives, which are difficult to process and harmful to our health. Aluminum and plastic are also difficult to remove from the body, and can transmit toxins from cooking and storage containers to the food being cooked.
To reduce your child’s exposure to toxins, eat organic foods, and avoid pesticides, GMOs, and hormones. Grass-fed meats, organic produce, and pastured chickens are all safer, natural options.
Finally, help the liver, which plays a major role in detoxification, by eating foods high in A, C, E, and B vitamins. Foods high in sulfur, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, also support liver function and can be useful. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are high sulforaphane: a nutrient that increases glutathione levels in the body and has been shown to improve autism symptoms.
Glutathione first requires proper methylation:a set of biochemical pathways that are impaired in the bodies of children with ASD. Methylation has hundreds of important functions in the body, including: healthy gene expression, proper mitochondrial function (i.e. energy production), good mental health, and the avoidance of leaky gut and anxiety.
Supplementing with nutrients like B6, B12, folate, magnesium, and zinc can help with methylation. You can work with your pediatrician and nutritional team to determine exactly which supplements your child needs for proper methylation.
Generally speaking, a healthy diet rich in folate, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, and other nutrients will help support these important biochemical pathways.