Proper Nutrition for ADHD Kids is Critical
The connection between ADHD and nutrition is huge. Nutrition for ADHD Kids has many aspects to it, many of which can be put to use for improving the symptoms of ADD and ADHD immediately.
What we eat determines more than just the manner in which our body works. Nutritional habits will also influence how kids with ADHD and ADD feel. It improves mood, balances blood sugar levels, and often greatly increases a child's performance in school. This is why nutrition acts very effectively as an alternative treatment for the disorder.
There are three areas of a child's health that the parent of ADHD children needs to be aware of. Address these three areas and you will see remarkable improvement in behavior, relationships and school performance.
ADHD and Blood Sugar Fluctuations
The first area of nutrition for ADHD kids that requires attention is blood sugar levels. The ADD and ADHD child is often overly sensitive to fluctuations in the levels of sugar in their blood. It has a surprising and amazing effect on behavior.
The ADD child will often become slow moving, slow thinking and unfocused when they experience a drop in blood sugar levels, while those with ADHD are more likely to become hyperactive, unfocused, angry and sometimes violent. Both of these children may become lethargic.
How to Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Unfortunately, the foods most children crave often are the cause of blood sugar problems. A breakfast consisting of white flour and sugar is a recipe for a bad day with attention deficit disorder children. Our family has had to avoid pancakes and syrup to a large degree because of the mood and behavior problems that they create.
Similar problems are associated with dairy and sugar. Ice cream not only causes blood sugar fluctuations, but often leads to restless nights with interrupted sleep. Sleep is also critically important for improving behavior.
Many parents are surprised by the best solution to blood sugar problems in ADHD children. We have found that peanut butter and raisins on whole wheat bread works great. If things are chaotic at home and schoolwork is just not getting done, then this quick solution can turn things around in between 5 and 30 minutes.
When considering nutrition for ADHD children, think often about the effects the food your children are eating will have on blood sugar levels.
ADHD And Protein Intake
It has been shown that a diet high in protein and low in simple carbohydrates is an important element to nutrition for ADHD children.
Research at the George Washington School of Medicine has found out that hyperactive children who received nutrition high in proteins did perform better in their task at school, compared to those who did not benefit from high protein intake.
A meal that contains lots protein will be a satisfying meal. Kids will feel better, be happier and handle stress in healthier ways. Meals that incorporate beans and meat will help provide nutrition for children that can carry them through the day and improve their sleep patterns, two critical things that children need.
Feeding the ADHD Brain with Omega 3
The extreme importance of the relation between nutrition and ADHD cannot be overstated and fatty acids are an important element to this.
Research studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies, resulting from a lack of fatty acid intake or amino acid intake can contribute to ADD and learning difficulties. Omega 3 fatty acids and amino acids are critical to proper brain development.
Studies at Oxford University have shown that the effect fatty acids have on children who suffer from ADD can be profound. ADD and ADHD children who were experiencing severe difficulty in reading and writing showed a definite improvement when given a diet that focused on increased fatty acid intake.
Fatty acids are essential for the management of a healthy body because they interact with the nervous system in an important way. They affect mental functioning by improving the neuronal connections between the areas of the brain.
Because the body isn't able to produce essential fatty acids on its own, it needs to be supplied with them from nutritional sources. This happens when consume products containing Omega 3 or Omega 6. Behavior and concentration is also improved by the intake of fatty acids, making this type of ADHD nutrition even more important.
The Western diet includes a high intake of the Omega-6 nutrient family which can be found in corn, margarine, vegetable oil, or oil coming from canola and safflower. However, most Americans lack nutrition from sources of Omega 3 which is found primarily in fish.
Every adult and child suffering from ADHD will benefit from improved nutrition by increasing the levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet on a daily basis. While some children refuse to eat things such as sardines, salmon or mackerel it is important that you keep in mind that such nutrients are extremely helpful in the effective treatment of the disorder.
One of the best ways to be assured that you and your family are obtaining the Omega 3 levels that will best support brain development and health is through the use of fish oil supplements. However, the purity of these supplements has been of great concern in recent years.
Because of this, we have chosen to use only Omega 3 supplements that have been shown to be pure and safe. Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil from Xtend-Life is one of the most affordable ways to know for sure that the fish oil you are taking will be safe and effective.
Proper nutrition for ADD and ADHD is critical when it comes to raising children. As you can see, it has the power to transform behavior, reduce mood swings and improve concentration which in turn will make life more satisfying for both child and parent.
As you prepare meals at home or lunches for your children to take to school, keep in mind that nutrition for ADHD is probably the most effective tool you have for dealing with this disorder.
A combination of improved diet and the use of herbal supplements designed to help with focus and hyperactivity has been a winning solution for many individuals with ADHD and ADD. Visit our ADHD herbal treatment page to learn more about herbal products designed to improve behavior and concentration.