Diet and Exercise

There is increasing evidence to show that a healthy diet and regular exercise can have a significant benefit for dyslexics.

Dyslexics need to concentrate more than non-dyslexics in order to take in the same amount of information and a fit and healthy person is better able to concentrate than an unfit one. This is because a fit and healthy brain and body works better and more efficiently than an unhealthy brain and body.

A healthy diet is important for a number of reasons. Firstly certain foods help the brain to function, while other foods can hinder this functioning. Excessive amounts of sugar and synthetic food additives (such as those described as "E" numbers) can effect a persons ability to concentrate. A dyslexic child needs to be able to concentrate more than a non-dyslexic child in order to take in the same amount of information. A child who drinks lots of sugar filled fizzy drinks and eats lots of lollies is going to really struggle to concentrate which will potentially make their dyslexic difficulties worse. Alternatively, a diet high in fresh foods such as green vegetables can help the ability to concentrate.

Research is showing that certain natural products can help the brain to function at its best. These include:

  • Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids which are found in fish oils, flax oil, and linseed oil helps brain function, mood and memory.
  • There is some evidence that Gingko supplements can help memory.
  • Vitamin B is useful to reduce stress levels.
  • Fresh foods generally contain more minerals and vitamins and less synthetic additives than processed foods. Thus it stands to reason that a diet which contains lots of fresh food will be more beneficial than one dominated by processed foods.

A fit and healthy body operates better than one which is not. This is because, in general, fit people have more energy, better blood flow and more confidence in their own abilities. These benefits also extend to increased brain function and concentration levels.

Dyslexics often have good days and bad days. These good and bad days often correspond with how much sleep the person has had the night before. A person who is well rested is able to concentrate far easier than someone who is tired. Research into sleep deprivation suggest that tiredness can effect concentration levels in the same way that alcohol intake does. Thus it is important for dyslexics to be well rested in order to assist their ability to concentrate. 

It stands to reason that keeping stress at a reasonable level will help a person to concentrate, learn and function effectively. The body needs a certain amount of stress to function at an optimum level but too much stress can have a deleterious effect. There is no one way to reduce stress levels and each person needs to find there own way to do this.