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Natural ADHD Treatment: Using Diet and Supplements to Manage Symptoms

Updated on March 12, 2011

Many parents of children diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD are concerned about treatment options. Prescription medications are now typically used only as a last resort for people with attention deficit disorders, especially in children. The reason for this has to do with the fact that these drugs are stimulants and usually include a laundry list of side effects, as well as the potential for abuse in adolescence and young adulthood.

Fortunately for many, there are a number of natural treatment options available for attention deficit disorders. While therapy is usually the most beneficial form of treatment for children, ADHD diets that include supplements as a form of treatment can help to fill the gap between what therapy can accomplish and living without symptoms.

There are several diet and nutrition programs for both children and adults with ADHD. All of these diets are focused on eliminating foods that may aggravate attention deficit disorder symptoms or lead to behavioral problems. In addition, new research in the field of nutrition indicates that there are also some foods that may help improve attention spans and decrease other types of symptoms related to ADHD.

Some medical professionals contend that it is actually nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, and the addition of artificial ingredients like dyes and petrochemicals that are the root cause of ADHD. However, this theory has never been actually proven on a scientific level, and there is still much debate among researchers and doctors alike as to what actually causes attention deficit disorders. Nonetheless, it is still generally agreed upon that ADHD diets offer a substantial level of benefits to adults and children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, when used alone or in conjunction with prescription medications.

While no ADHD diet is exactly the same, all of these diets consist of two food lists. One food list provides types of foods that should be avoided in people with attention deficit disorders, while the other includes foods that can be extra-beneficial in treating these types of conditions. At the same time, a handful of these diets also incorporate supplements like vitamins, minerals, and herbs to treat nutritional deficiencies.

Foods that should be avoided are often those that contain artificial colors, artificial flavorings, preservatives, and petrochemicals. Raw foods are often recommended, as well as whole grains. High protein diets that incorporate a variety of complex carbohydrates and fresh fruits can help improve sleeping patterns, make ADHD medications more effective, and also decrease attention deficit symptoms.

At the same time, fish that contain Omega-3s have been proven to help increase attention spans and improve concentration levels in both children and adults with ADHD. Tuna, salmon, olive oil, and walnuts are all sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that have been known to not only aid in heart health but improve brain functioning.

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