Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental and behavioral disorder that affects both children and adults and has no cure. It is characterized by an inability to focus on tasks, pay attention, and follow simple directions. It also can cause behavior problems. According to the National Institute of Mental health, ADHD affects 3% – 5% of school-age children. Typically medication is used to treat the symptoms, but there are alternatives that can be explored which can provide a number of viable options.
1. Try organic whole foods instead of refined and processed ones. Organic foods offer a delicious variety of foods that do not contain pesticides, additives or toxins. These unwelcome additives can impair focus and concentration and increase hyperactivity in children. Avoid boxed cereals, processed breads, packaged desserts, soft drinks, and frozen fast foods. Consider the Feingold Diet which eliminates foods containing artificial preservatives and colors.
2. Eliminate high-mercury fish, such as shellfish, from the diet as it has been shown to hamper the ability to think and concentrate. Since so many ADHD children are sensitive to gluten, those products containing it should be eliminated. This includes wheat, barley, and rye. Increase fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other healthy snacks. Consume plenty of protein especially early in the morning. Include extra meat in sandwiches and salads at lunch and dinner. Avoid fried foods and chocolate.
3. Consider adding food supplements that have been shown to enhance brain function. The most effective ones are Alpha lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q-10, Ginkgo Biloba, Phosphatidylserine, and N-acetyl-cysteine.
4. Add a good mult-vitamin, an Omega-3 tablet or fish oil supplement, and encourage healthy eating habits. B-complex vitamins can help with stressed nerves. These can be found in leafy green vegetables, Brewer’s yeast, and brown rice. Citrus fruits and foods rich in iron should be a part of a healthy diet. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
5. Experiment with natural herbal remedies. Many herbs and botanical extracts may be beneficial in reducing restlessness and over-excitability. Tuberculinum is a homeopathic remedy that can help relieve irritability, destructive behaviors, and general feelings of discontent.