Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects both children and adults. Its most prominent symptoms are hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness. While medications and therapies exist for the disorder, there is still no cure.
Without intervention, those with ADHD suffer from lack of focus, anxiety and lack of self-control, which is diagnosed when someone is less likely to delay gratification when beneficial. For children specifically, smaller brain regions are revealed compared to those without ADHD. This is why ADHD is considered a disorder of the brain. Hormonal imbalances and deficiencies contribute to this improper brain functioning and allows ADHD to follow a child into adulthood.
Although stimulants and antidepressants are used to help those with ADHD, various therapies such as behavioral, cognitive, and family show some effectiveness in conjunction with and without medication. However, even more holistic approaches to treating ADHD have been explored to combat its symptoms, with change in diet being one of the most effective.
If you want to learn about more options for ADHD treatment, research has found that the following show improvement in ADHD symptoms and although not considered cures, have been effective in treating the disorder:
- Ginkgo and Ginseng
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Fidget Spinners
Options for ADHD Treatment
Most dietary changes made to alleviate ADHD symptoms should be made to improve brain function. Hence the inclusion of vitamin and mineral dense foods. Vitamin-packed foods assist in the regulation of hormones which affects behaviors and moods.
High in vitamins B6 and C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese, bananas have proven effective in treating ADHD. The vitamin B6 in the banana optimizes brain function, by forming protective myelin, and maintains magnesium levels which is very important because of the prevalence of low levels of magnesium in ADHD sufferers. The vitamin C helps to regulate norepinephrine which is directly responsible for your moods and stress responses. Lastly, the potassium improves nerve transmission which means smoother signaling throughout the brain as well as protection against the irritability that can come from a potassium deficiency.
Salmon also houses a combination of nutrients that are beneficial for treating ADHD, especially when mood swings or hyperactivity is prevalent. This is because of the omega-3 fatty acids that are potent in salmon. These acids are essential for brain and cellular function. Present in your cellular membranes and nervous systems, omega-3s make up part of the cellular membrane and help your nervous system run at its best. For those with ADHD, this means a decrease in mental overstimulation.
Salmon also contains selenium, phosphorus, and vitamins D, B6, and B12, tryptophan, and magnesium, with the latter two being very important to treating ADHD. The tryptophan produces serotonin which affects mood, while the magnesium reduces stress and relaxes muscles.
Spinach is great option for treating ADHD because of its high iron content as well as its magnesium and vitamin E content. Although filled with other nutrients such as vitamin A and C, spinach is said to improve ADHD because iron deficiencies are present in many children with ADHD. The magnesium in spinach is great for muscle relaxation as you already know, but it is the vitamin E content that’s particularly significant because of its antioxidant properties. It improves brain circulation and protects against free radicals that could adversely affect the body and brain, therefore combating the improper brain function that would promote ADHD.
Below your options for ADHD treatment continue exclusively in plant forms that are either consumed as spices or supplements.
Turmeric has been used for centuries for a plethora of ailments such as acne, cysts, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, and now it’s been discovered that a component within turmeric – curcumin – is responsible for improvements seen in those afflicted with ADHD. Curcumin has proven to improve cognitive function with its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its most important feature for those with ADHD is its ability to increase glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is responsible for protecting against excessive radicals such as lead and mercury. When a person suffers from ADHD, these glutathione levels decrease and those afflicted are therefore more susceptible to the adverse side-effects seen in ADHD.
Ginkgo and Ginseng
Although both ginkgo and ginseng are sold separately, they are also sold as joint supplement because of how well they work together to improve mental acuity. One of the oldest and most widely used herbal supplements today, the ginkgo biloba plant is known for dilating the blood vessels which improves memory and focus. Ginseng on the other hand, specifically red ginseng, calms the consumer and has shown to improve social functioning and anxiety. Together or a part, these two can be taken as supplements to improve the ADHD condition.
Rhodiola rosea has shown to be one of the most effective natural supplements when treating ADHD because it effectively regulates serotonin and dopamine levels. It has been used for centuries to improve alertness, yet does much more in the scope of ADHD. When consumed by someone with ADHD, fatigue is reduced, mood is improved, and mental clarity is increased. It also overall improves both physical and mental performance. This plant can be taken as an oral supplement or the roots can be boiled into a tea for consumption.
The final item on this list is a non-consumable object geared towards children that is effective only if used correctly.
A derivative of the fidget cube, which became the 10th highest funded Kickstarter project in 2016, the fidget spinner was designed with the same purpose of relieving anxiety and increasing focus. The former was targeted mainly to adults in the workplace, while the latter became wildly popular this year as toy for children. If used as directed, the fidget spinner is designed to increase focus. However, fidget spinners are used out of context and as toys. They end up becoming far more of a distraction than an aide to focus.
If you want to effectively utilize a fidget spinner with a child who has ADHD, guidelines must be set. The fidget spinner is effective at increasing focus only if the spinner itself is out of view. It is meant to channel the anxious energy into the action and feeling of spinning while the spinner focuses on his work or teachers.
Try This and More
From natural foods to helpful gadgets, there are many options to treating ADHD aside from the modern medication and therapy. The following risk factors for ADHD create or pass-on improper brain functioning:
- Premature birth
- Maternal drug abuse
- Toxin exposure (lead, mercury)
Given this information, the consumable options for treating ADHD that were provided are all excellent for brain health and neurological improvement.