The right nutrition is extremely important for any growing child. The activity levels of children with ADHD are buzzing constantly, therefore it is essential to regulate their diet in accordance with their needs.
Many parents are always on the lookout for foods that could help their kid with ADHD manage her symptoms better. To cope with their everyday behavior and challenges, following a specific diet can really help. Below are the essentials you should add to your child’s diet.
Limit Sugar Intake
The most important thing to remember is that sugar worsens your child’s hyperactivity levels!1So, for parents of kids with ADHD, decreasing the amount of sugar in their kids’ diet is crucial.
Fixing a sandwich with white bread or having waffles are all easy breakfast options, but what many are unaware is that it’s equivalent to eating sugar. Simple carbs like refined flour should be avoided and instead complex carbs like whole grains should be added to your kid’s diet.
Add More Omega-3’s To The Diet
Studies have proven that omega-3’s can bring a world of change in several aspects of ADHD behavior. These fatty acids are necessary for proper brain functioning and hence it is important to supplement the diet with foods rich in them.
Seafood, cod liver oil, walnuts and chia seeds are all rich sources of omega-3’s. Many studies have proven that a remarkable improvement in hyperactivity, impulsivity and concentration in kids after omega-3 supplementation. 2
Include Iron-Rich Foods
When researchers checked the blood samples of children with ADHD against children without the disorder, it was noted that the serum ferritin levels were markedly low in the former. Studies have proven that fall in ferritin levels could contribute to symptoms of ADHD.3
Increasing consumption of iron-rich foods like lean red meat, turkey and chicken, shellfish, and beans will maintain iron-levels in a normal range. It is best to consult a doctor and check the serum ferritin levels, before giving your child iron supplements.
Follow A Regular Intake Of Magnesium And Zinc
Magnesium and zinc are minerals necessary for optimal brain functioning in any child. Studies have reported that children with ADHD when supplemented with magnesium and zinc showed a remarkable reduction in their hyperactivity levels.45
Make it a point to include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, yogurt in your child’s diet so that their daily requirements of magnesium and zinc are met.
Avoid Food Additives At All Costs
Food additives have literally colonized each and every packaged product we eat. From breakfast cereals to soft drinks and candies these chemicals do more harm than good to our health.
Long-term studies have reported a drastic increase in the symptoms of hyperactivity among children with ADHD who consumed food with artificial colors and preservatives. Next time you buy something for your child, read through the label thoroughly. As much as possible, eat clean and eat organic.
Ultimately, for any parent, raising a child with ADHD is indeed a challenge. The right diet and nutrition can help your child cope with ADHD better than any stimulant drug. All you have to do is encourage him to eat right for the sake of his health.
|↑1||Girardi, Nancy L., Sally E. Shaywitz, Bennett A. Shaywitz, Karen Marchione, Steven J. Fleischman, Timothy W. Jones, and William V. Tamborlane. “Blunted catecholamine responses after glucose ingestion in children with attention deficit disorder.” Pediatric research 38, no. 4 (1995): 539-542.|
|↑2||Bos, Dienke J., Bob Oranje, E. Sanne Veerhoek, Rosanne M. Van Diepen, Juliette MH Weusten, Hans Demmelmair, Berthold Koletzko, Ans Eilander, Marco Hoeksma, and Sarah Durston. “Reduced symptoms of inattention after dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in boys with and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Neuropsychopharmacology 40, no. 10 (2015): 2298-2306.|
|↑3||Konofal, Eric, Michel Lecendreux, Isabelle Arnulf, and Marie-Christine Mouren. “Iron deficiency in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 158, no. 12 (2004): 1113-1115.|
|↑4||Starobrat-Hermelin, B., and T. Kozielec. “The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test.” Magnesium research: official organ of the International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium 10, no. 2 (1997): 149-156|
|↑5||Bilici, Mustafa, Fatma Yıldırım, Sema Kandil, Mehmet Bekaroğlu, Sermet Yıldırmış, Orhan Değer, Metin Ülgen, Alişan Yıldıran, and Hatice Aksu. “Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of zinc sulfate in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 28, no. 1 (2004): 181-190.|