There are several different medications out on the market that is meant to quell the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. But these medications are both expensive and may have severe side effects on children. You may eventually decide that medication is your best option. However, you may be equally surprised to discover there are vitamins and minerals that improve ADD/ADHD. A natural, vitamin-rich diet can improve focus and hyperactivity in children with ADD and ADHD.
Keep in mind that it is important for you to understand what to look for in a supplement. A healthy natural supplement will provide the basic nutrients your child needs for optimum function and health. In many instances, they may not be getting enough of these 6 vitamins and minerals that improve ADD/ADHD.
Each of the supplements mentioned below has at least some scientific and medical research that confirms their effectiveness. One of the most important things to remember is that the more your child can get them from natural sources, the better. In most cases, they can be found in sufficient quantities in many foods. If you must buy supplements for your child, be sure you verify the amount of each nutrient in the supplement. You should also be sure of their overall quality; inexpensive supplements tend to use inferior ingredients. Many of them also have too many fillers in them.
Here are 6 vitamins and minerals that improve ADD/ADHD:
Important Note: Always consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your child’s diet. Some supplements may interact with prescription medications. Your child’s doctor will look at the list of supplements you plan to add to their diet. Then they will look at all medications your child is taking. From here, they will be able to tell if these 6 vitamins and minerals that improve ADD/ADHD are safe. Any time you make a change to your child’s diet, you should keep an eye on them. If you notice any unexpected changes in their health or behavior, contact your doctor and stop the supplements.
1. Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil and Omega-3s have been known to help children with ADD/ADHD focus. In doing this it can help them to organize objects (such as toys and crafts) and activities. A study conducted by Paul Montgomery, D. Phil. focused on the importance of fatty acids. He states,” A lack of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids may contribute to dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. You can either give your child a fish oil tablet or prepare them any of the following foods:
- Albacore Tuna
This supplement can be especially beneficial to children with ADD and ADHD between the ages of eight and 12.
2. Gingko and Ginseng
Gingko and Ginseng are herbs people use to help improve memory and mental sharpness. These herbs stimulate brain activity in a similar way to ADD and ADHD medications. However, they do so without subjecting your child to the side effects. Not only are children and adults less distracted after eating these herbs, but they’re also less impulsive. These supplements have been shown to help children with attention deficit disorder between the ages of three and 17.
In a 2012 study, children who took a 240mg Ginkgo biloba extract supplement daily for 3 to five weeks. At the end of the study, the children displayed a noticeable reduction in ADHD symptoms.
In a 2011 study, children between the ages of 6 and 14 with ADHD. Each child received 1000mg of Korean red ginseng daily over a period of 8 weeks. The results showed marked improvement in personality, anxiety, and social functioning.
Melatonin is a natural supplement that can help people of all ages fall and stay asleep. Studies have shown that a healthier sleep cycle can relieve some of the symptoms of ADD, in children and adults. Unfortunately, melatonin has not been known to have many positive effects on those with ADHD.
4. Vitamin B
Studies show that children with ADD/ADHD tend to have low levels of Vitamin B, even though they are eating a balanced diet. Children who had a regular intake of Vitamin B saw an improvement in their IQ scores (by more than 15 points!). Those who consumed Vitamin B-6 experienced increased levels of dopamine, a natural chemical in the brain that promotes alertness. Children with ADD and ADHD who take this vitamin will be more likely to listen to their teachers, mentors, and parents.
Protein has been known to positively impact children and adults with ADD and ADHD. The human body uses protein to create neurotransmitters, which the brain cells use to communicate with each other. The right protein levels have been found to help prevent “sugar surges” that can elevate a child’s level of impulsivity and hyperactivity. Get your child off to a good start every day with a breakfast that includes plenty of protein.
You can increase your child’s protein intake with a tasty protein shake or naturally through any of the following foods:
- Dairy Products
Protein is really grounding for those with ADD and ADHD, in that it keeps blood sugar levels from spiking. A surge in blood sugar levels can greatly exacerbate the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
6. Daily Supplements
You may consider giving your child a daily vitamin. It’s difficult for adults to obtain the nutrients they need in their daily food intake – just think about how much harder is it for children who are picky eaters! Check out one of our older blogs to see how you can get your child with special needs to take vitamins.
If you’re ready to take your child’s nutrition to the next level, improving both their physical health and their mental health, then sign up for personal training sessions with a professional at Special Strong. Our founder, Daniel Stein, has ADHD himself, so he understands more than most the effects of a proper diet and exercise on his ability to focus. Sign up for our 7-day pass today.
Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.