The ADHD Food Fix: Fight Symptoms with Diet and Nutrition

Studies show that a high-protein, low-sugar, no-additive diet combined with ADHD-friendly supplements like fish oil and zinc can drastically improve ADHD symptoms in children and adults — with no side effects. Here, an ADD specialist tells you how to get started.

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Try Helpful Herbs

Several herbs have been recommended for managing ADHD symptoms, including ginkgo, St. John’s Wort, rhodiola, and ginseng. Most have been poorly researched, with two exceptions.

In a large European study on hyperactivity and sleep problems, a combination of valerian and lemon balm helped to relax children with ADHD by reducing anxiety. I use these herbs regularly for kids who deal with these problems. Consult a naturopathic doctor to find the appropriate dose for your child.

To improve attention, a new herbal product, called Nurture & Clarity, was developed, and carefully tested, by a team of practitioners in Israel. The children taking it demonstrated significant improvement, as measured by their performance on the Test of Variables Attention, a computerized measurement of attention. I would not make definitive recommendations based on one study, but this product is worth looking into. You can read about it at adhd-clarity.com.

Finally, pycnogenol, an extract made from French maritime pine bark, has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms in a limited amount of research. I have found that the herb helps improve concentration in some children.

One last thought: Herbal products vary greatly in quality, and some contain contaminants. You should find a knowledgeable professional to help you identify reliable sources of pure, standardized herbs.

Need an ADHD diet-planning cheat sheet? Claim your free digital copy of 5 Ways to Cook Up an ADHD-Friendly Diet. Learn how to beef up protein levels and omega-3 fatty acids while trimming sugar and chemicals from your family's diet. Plus, get tips for treating ADHD sent straight to your inbox.

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TAGS: ADHD Diet and Nutrition, Supplements for ADHD, Alternative Treatments for ADHD, ADHD-Friendly Meals

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