How to Treat ADHD with Nutrition

| Pregnancy & Parenting

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According to Healthline, 6.4 million children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States. Some symptoms include inability to pay attention to details, disorganization, forgetfulness, not listening to others and fragmented conversation. (via WebMD) As a mother, you may find it hard to swallow when your child's teacher at school says she suspects that your son or daughter has an attention disorder. Perhaps the thought of medications and psychotherapy is daunting and you feel helpless in your child's quest to success. You can, in fact, have a very strong impact on their progress against an obstacle that can otherwise hinder performance in school and in their social life. Your child's diet could have an effect on the symptoms of ADHD and, while nutritional problems are the not the cause for attention disorders, they surely can make things more difficult than they need to be.

>> Read more: Diet and ADHD: What's the Connection?

An improved diet oftentimes cannot replace medication and behavioral therapy as effective treatment for ADHD, but an ADHD diet can help the brain work better and tame symptoms like lack of focus and restlessness. Three options for ADHD diets include overall nutrition diets, supplementation diets and elimination diets. The most important thing is to find what works best for your child. If nothing else, your child's body will be healthy and more equipped to take on overcoming the challenges ADHD bring. (via WebMD)

Overall Nutrition

This diet includes lots of protein, fewer simple carbohydrates, more complex carbs and more omega-3 fatty acids. Also, try to limit sugar (including corn syrup and fructose) because it can stimulate energy to the brain but cause your child to crash hard soon afterward. Simple carbs are abundant in processed foods and can affect the body just as sugar does. Protein helps with production of neurotransmitters in the brain, having a positive effect when it comes to managing ADHD.

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>> Read more: 14 Brain Power Snacks for Your Kids

Nutritional Supplements

Regardless of whether or not your child is a picky eater, you might find that daily supplements are important to your child's behavior and performance. Maybe your son or daughter doesn't want to eat those yucky green vegetables you know are so important for a balanced diet. A daily multivitamin will ensure that they get those nutrients. Vitamin B6 can increase alertness and reduce aggression. Iron is important to the production of dopamine in the body, which also enhances brain function. Magnesium creates a calming effect for the brain. Making sure your child gets all those nutrients from their diet can be overwhelming and that's where supplements can play an important role. (via ADDitude Magazine)

>> Read more: 9 After-School Snacks Kids Can Make Themselves

Elimination Diets

This technique helps to identify certain foods that might trigger adverse effects in your child's behavior and eliminate them from their diet. Look for patterns in your children associated with specific foods and remove that food from their diet. If it lessons symptoms of ADHD, you can avoid it. Food additives and artificial colors are common trigger ingredients, as well as sugar and caffeine.

>> Read more: 6 Additives Making Your Kids Sick

In the end, your greatest concern is with your child's success, happiness and health. You will do whatever it takes to help them, even if it means revamping your pantry and refrigerator. If you are concerned or have questions, talk to a medical professional. Whether or not your decisions about your family's diet directly affect the symptoms of ADHD, a healthier family can ease the burden and ensure that your family is ready to face whatever challenge heads your way. Check out this article on Healthline for more diet tips and foods to avoid.

>> Check out this article about why you should start teaching your kids healthy habits now!