Can We Treat ADHD Naturally?

The Best ADHD Diet According to ADDitude Readers

ADDitude asked our readers which foods and supplements comprise their ideal ADHD diet.


Q:  Which food, supplement, or ADHD diet has helped you manage symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD)

“Before my diagnosis, while studying law, I used ginseng, Bio-Strath, and BioPlus supplements to help me focus. I have not taken them since, but I might start again to see if they improve my attention.”  —An ADDitude Reader

“We avoid processed foods. We eat lean meats and plenty of fruits and veggies. We add melatonin for sleep, and we take fish oil supplements.”  —Krista K., Omaha, Nebraska

“We eat a diet high in protein and fresh foods, and we don’t skip meals.”  —An ADDitude Reader

“We eliminated processed foods and red dye from our diets.”  —Rebecca Vicaretti Serrano, Port Jervis, New York

[Free Guide to Delicious (and ADHD-Friendly!) Eating]

“I avoid chocolate and caffeine after 3 p.m., or I don’t sleep well. I use melatonin to slow my mind down at night so I can go to sleep.”  —Stacy Nelson, Electra, Texas

“For my son, we tried an elimination diet, which confirmed that he reacted badly to red food coloring, citrus, and corn products. At 45, he still avoids most of those. As for me, at 70, I can’t take meds for ADHD for medical reasons, but coffee helps greatly, as does getting outside for exercise daily.”  —Pam Michaelson, New York

“I have not made an effort to change my diet or try supplements. When I was diagnosed, I finally had answers to life-long questions, and a prescription for Vyvanse swept the cobwebs from my brain. Now, a few years in, I realize I should make an effort to use diet to aid my medication.” —Ellen Brenan, Huntington Beach, California

“I follow a ketogenic diet, and I fast regularly. Fasting really helps. I also take ashwagandha and bacopa, both of which help with anxiety.” —Andrea, Vancouver, British Columbia

[Free Guide: What to Eat (and Avoid) for Improved ADHD Symptoms]

“My son is a picky eater, so it is difficult to add variety to his diet. I haven’t been able to incorporate or eliminate any foods that I would like to. The only thing I do is make sure he eats as soon as his meds wear off.” —Diana Miele, Manalapan, New Jersey

“No dietary approaches have helped. In fact, when I tried taking away foods from my son, he bought them and kept them in his room.”  —An ADDitude Reader

Reducing sugar intake while taking ADHD medication was an important step. Sugar is a stimulant, and it adds to the effect of the stimulant medication.” —An ADDitude Reader

“Magnesium calms down my legs and my mind at night. Switching to minimally-processed foods has also helped.” —An ADDitude Reader

“I’ve cut out sugar and limited caffeine. I also do intermittent fasting a few days a week. These practices help my yo-yo mind.”       —Greg Hoy, San Francisco, California

“I eat lots of protein to keep my blood sugar levels stable. I avoid sweets, but dark chocolate is my downfall. Having wine with dinner calms me down for the evening.”  —An ADDitude Reader

[Self-Test: Could You Have ADHD?]

How to Treat ADHD in Children: Next Questions

  1. What ADHD medications are used to treat children?
  2. Is ADHD medication right for my child?
  3. What are common side effects associated with ADHD medication?
  4. What natural treatments help kids with ADHD?
  5. What if the medication stops working?
  6. How can I find an ADHD specialist near me?