Supplement Your ADHD

I’m a huge advocate for balance in all areas of life.  There are many parts to ADHD management that, added all together, can create a well balanced plan for clients.  Exercise, coaching, diet, supplements, medication, and meditation are all key factors in overall ADHD optimal success.

I’m super aware of the multitude of options in managing the symptoms of ADHD.  The majority of my clients use medication for help. Medication fulfills one checked box of ADHD management, but, as a whole, the overall treatment is multi-faceted.  You can take all the medication you’d like, but it may not necessarily help you manage your time after school or your workload or your project deadlines, or even how to plan your day.  You’ll need additional strategies for success. To give you a little insight: just like one friend can’t fulfill all of our wishlist categories of a perfect BFF, nor can medication be the one and only answer for all things ADHD.  We have to look at the whole package.

Natural Strategies for ADHD

One of the areas of balance I am a huge advocate of is supplements and diet.  No eye rolling here, please! Maybe you’d like to decrease or eventually come off your meds altogether?  There are key supplements that support optimum brain function and are proven to aid in the improvement of ADHD symptoms.  With strategies and natural alternatives, coming off meds or decreasing them could be a high probability for some.

Here are the 3 primary supplements that support healthy brain function, mood and impulsivity in the brain.   

Omega 3: One of the best vitamins to help support brain health and keep our chemical neurotransmitters functioning is Omega 3.  Just like oil is to a car, so is Omega 3 to our brain. It supports mental clarity (minimizes brain fog), helps keep all the “highways” in the brain running smoothly, and helps with overall concentration and mood.

Food sources: Salmon, eggs, walnuts, flaxseed oil, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter squash, chia seed, wild rice

Zinc:   Zinc helps reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Zinc also helps regulate the function of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which, supports the feelings of pleasure and rewards.

Food sources: Red meat, shellfish (oysters, crab and shrimp), chickpeas, lentils, beans (kidney, garbanzo beans), seeds (pumpkin, sesame),  nuts (almonds, pine nuts, peanuts), eggs, milk, cheese, whole grains (quinoa, rice, wheat), dark chocolate

Magnesium and B6: Magnesium and B6 are essential for overall brain function because they help the binding of neurotransmitters. Symptoms from a deficiency of magnesium include irritability, difficulty with concentration, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.  

Food sources: Spinach, peanut butter, avocados, bananas, dark chocolate, almonds, tofu

Not liking the food source options above?  Got Picky Eaters?  Neba Health has all 3 supplements in liquid form for children and is a great resource.

I would be utterly remiss not mention overall diet.  Friends, anything natural (meaning from the ground or an animal), with bright and shiny colors – eat!  

Protein is a must for ADHD’ers.  

Fruits (especially blueberries, blackberries), vegetables, eggs and meat – offer your children something bright and shiny every meal!  

MINIMIZE anything in a box:  processed, with food dyes.

And yes, I’m going to say this…MINIMIZE (or totally eliminate – ha!) SUGAR.  Nothing good comes from lots of sugar. A child with ADHD already struggles with impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity – why are you bringing food into the home to fuel the fire here?  Yes, you are adding fuel to the fire of ADHD and bringing out the worst aspects of ADHD when sugar (candies, breakfast cereals, food dyes, sugary drinks, etc) is part of your child’s diet.

Remember:  who is buying the groceries?  There are plenty of other alternatives that will fill up your child!  Have the discipline in the grocery store to walk past all this stuff that is toxic for your child.  If you need help with snacks, here’s a great article that will help!

With Much GrADDitude, (and healthy brains and body),

Kelly

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