Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that affects self-control and attention of a person. This condition makes it difficult for a person to inhibit their spontaneous responses (from movement to speech to attentiveness).
Some kids find it difficult to sit still, listen and follow instructions no matter how clearly you present them. These children are however criticized for being lazy and labelled troublemakers, but these attitudes may be as a result of ADHD.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD In Kids
If you spot a number of ADHD signs and the symptoms are present across all situation including home, school and at playgrounds, then you should take a closer look. Below are some signs and symptoms of ADHD.
- Difficulty sitting still, playing quietly, relaxing or be patient
- Have a hot temper
- Trouble listening and paying attention
- Easily get bored and distracted
- Moves around constantly
- Often seem absent minded
- Always needs a reminder to do things
- Acting without thinking
- Intrudes and interrupts others a lot
- Rush through homework and tasks
- Excessive energy
- Difficulty in following basic instructions
- Frequent emotional swings
- Prone to losing items
When Do the Signs and Symptoms of ADHD Appear?
The signs and symptoms of ADHD often appear before or around the age of seven, and it can be difficult to differentiate between ADHD and normal kid behavior. When these symptoms are left untreated in children, it can cause disruptive behavior.
Fortunately, there’re ways to mitigate the symptoms of ADHD. Natural remedies including food supplements and a healthy diet can help to ease the symptoms.
Causes of ADHD Symptoms in Kids
There are many possible causes of ADHD includbehavioriour and environment of the mother as well as child’s environment and diet.
- Smoking: Maternal smoking during pregnancy or smoking after childbirth by either parent can lead to ADHD in children.
- Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injury can cause various symptoms including attention deficit as well as impulsive behaviour.
- Genetics: Adhd can also be linked to genetics in some individuals. If parents or grandparents have ADHD, some children are likely to develop symptoms.
Food That Can Worsen ADHD Symptoms in Kids
To manage the symptoms of hyperactive disorder, there are certain food you need to avoid. Some of which include;
Youths and children that drink sweetened beverages, and energy drinks, are more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention. It is not just adolescents that need to avoid sugary drinks, as sugar is also associated with ADHD in some adults.
Therefore, both children and adults are encouraged to avoid concentrated forms of sugar these include fruit juices, desserts, candy and sweets.
2. Food Coloring
Consuming artificial food colours (AFCs) has increased over the years and has increased behavioural reactions, including hyperactivity in children.
AFCs are found in almost every processed food, including carbonated sodas, convenience foods, cheeses, cereals, and toothpaste. As part of the ADHD diet, it is important for children and adults to avoid all artificial food colours and dyes.
Consumption caffeine and alcohol is often associated with anger and violence in teens.
Adolescents and adults with ADHD symptoms should avoid energy drinks with a high concentration of sugar, caffeine while using prescription stimulant medication for some individuals with ADHD; it is essential to remove all forms of caffeine on an ADHD diet, as it is known to increase anxiety, anxiousness, insomnia and other symptoms of ADHD.
4. Artificial Sweetener
Artificial sweeteners such as acesulfame K, benzene, cyclamates, saccharin and sucralose that are used to replace sugar in foods are associated with a wide range of side effects.
Some of which include cancer, obesity, infertility, headaches and increase heart rate. Learn to restrain taste buds by adding other flavours from herbs, and use other natural sweeteners in moderation.
5. Soy and Personal Food Allergens
Soy is one of the most common food allergens in the world, and can cause different symptoms in allergic individuals, including tingling in the mouth, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and abdominal pain.
In some individual without known sensitivity, soy can disrupt hormone levels in the body, and this can cause ADHD or worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Top common allergens, including peanuts, shellfish, conventional dairy and eggs should be removed from an ADHD diet.
Personal sensitivities or personal food allergens should also be excluded from the ADHD diet. These may include avocados, bananas, chocolate, papaya and coriander.
Food That Can Improve ADHD Symptoms In Kids
A balanced ADHD diet has beneficial effects on all of the problems caused by a poor diet. To change to an ADHD diet, eat a diet of unprocessed whole foods while avoiding the foods mentioned above.
1. Foods High in Protein
Meals high in protein should be focused on for ADHD children. Food that includes raw dairy, eggs, free range chicken and wild caught fish.
2. Foods Rich in Iron
When the body iron levels are low, it usually causes poor concentration, fatigue, weak muscles, poor memory, leaky gut syndrome and irritability.
Eating meals rich in iron is essential for a successful diet strategy for ADHD children. Some foods rich in iron include black beans, egg yolk, liver and steaks from grass-fed beef, spinach etc.
3. Foods Rich in Omega 3
Foods rich in omega 3 such as wild caught tuna, kidney beans, walnuts, salmon, cod Liver oil and sardines have direct effect on cognitive function in children and even adults.
A successful diet for an ADHD child will include two or more servings of salmon or tuna per week.
4. Foods High in Vitamin B
Foods rich in vitamin B-6 are essential for brain function, and the production of serotonin and dopamine. Foods rich in vitamin B-6 are tasty and very easy to incorporate into ADHD diet of children.
Some Vitamin B rich foods include; wild tuna and salmon, grass-fed beef, bananas, sweet potatoes, cooked spinach and other green leafy vegetables.
Natural Treatment for ADHD
Food supplementation and other natural treatments appear to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children and improves learning, reduce depression and anxiety, helps to prevent insomnia and some form of cancer.
Supplements provide a safe treatment option for children’s educational and behavioural problems.
1. Fish Oil and Omega 3 Complex
The omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, within fish oil are very essential for brain health and also contains strong anti-inflammatories. Children weighing 50 to 70 pounds should be given one teaspoon daily while children weighing 70 to 130 pounds, two teaspoons daily. It is better than ritalin for ADHD children.
2. Vitamin B-Complex
Children with ADHD problems basically need more of the B-vitamins to help them maintain focus, increase concentration, fight against stress, relieve tiredness and fatigue, balance hormone levels, and produce healthy levels of serotonin. Children should take at least 50 milligrams daily.
3. Zinc and Minerals
High-quality zinc supplement should be added to the diet of children with ADHD. This is because low levels of zinc are associated with poor brain functions, poor attention and other variety of motor disorders.
Also, food high in mineral supplements should be added to ADHD diet, mineral-rich foods such as dark greens, wild caught salmon and beans.
Common symptoms of ADHD include insomnia and restlessness. Especially for children taking prescription stimulants, behavioural sleep intervention helps to improve the severity of ADHD symptoms.
It is necessary for children to develop a good evening routine that allows them to unwind at the end of the day. The goal is to enable them to have a good eight hours of sleep every night.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oil such as lavender essential oil can be used in different ways to improve mood when anxious or nervous. As with other essential oils, a few drops of essential oil can be added to the bath, in diffusers, applied directly on the skin or rub on the bottoms of feet at bedtime.
It can be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. You can also use peppermint oil, which helps to improves mental focus, boost your energy and help to release tight muscles.