Autism or Autism Spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social, language and communication impairments. It affects 1 in 68 children worldwide. Parents usually notice signs of autism in the first two years of their child’s life.
Some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. Children with autism also have restricted and repetitive behavior pattern like flipping objects over and over again, echolalia. Autism may be mild, moderate or severe.
Research has shown that there is neuroinflammation in the brains of individuals with autism and other mental disorders. This could be due to a number of factors such as the presence of environmental toxins in the body which can damage the DNA repair system in the cells. When the DNA repair system is damaged, free radicals accumulate. Free radicals are produced during normal cellular metabolism but when they accumulate in the cells due to DNA damage, they become harmful to the body.
In autism, gut inflammation, “leaky gut syndrome” and neuroinflammation are common. Leaky gut syndrome is increased intestinal permeability caused by mainly by environmental factors like toxins, antibiotics etc. In leaky gut syndrome, undigested food compounds pass through the gut into the blood stream and causing an allergic reaction which can lead to the development of various diseases.
When the gut microbiome is compromised, nutrient absorption is impaired and this can lead to nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies can also damage the DNA and lead to disorders like autism and other diseases. For instance, for people with autism and other mental disorders, studies show that there are deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, folate, and zinc. Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to neurological damage and brain dysfunction. Zinc deficiency may lead to brain and immune dysfunction. All these can be treated by healing the gut and eating a well balanced nutrient rich diet. Eating a diet that consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables and some cooked food including animal protein can go a long way in providing the body great nutrition necessary for great health.
Raw food contains antioxidants that get rid of free radicals and help to repair the cells in the body. Probiotic food and probiotic supplements can help to heal the gut by increasing good gut bacteria and decreasing leaky gut syndrome. Adding vegetables, fruits and leafy greens to the diet is vital for good mental health and decreasing autistic symptoms. Juices and smoothies contain a load of nutrients and antioxidants which are healing to the gut and the body as a whole.