ADD — Treatment Through Nutrition

In previous articles we covered what ADD is and how to diagnose it. In this third instalment we’re going to begin a series on how to treat ADD.

ADD can actually be battled from many directions. There are drugs, behavior modification, nutrition, exercise, and a number of other things that can be done to combat ADD in both children and adults.

In this article we are going to choose the natural route first and discuss proper nutrition which can have a huge effect on the behavior of someone suffering from ADD.

One of the main contributing factors to children who suffer from ADD is when their blood sugar level, or glucose level becomes too low. This causes them to become sleepy in class and then ultimately restless because they are bored. Glucose is extremely important in determining a child’s attention span. This may sound clichéd but the most important meal of the day is breakfast and glucose should be a part of every child’s breakfast. This will ensure that the child’s blood sugar level is maintained throughout the day. Kids who skip breakfast tend to have a shorter attention span and a harder time remembering things.

Next is vitamin B. Vitamin B is needed because it helps to release the energy in glucose. Without the proper amount of vitamin B in the diet a child can become aggressive and depressed. There are 12 essential parts to vitamin B so it may be difficult for a child to get all the vitamin B he or she needs just from eating, even though cereal is a good source of vitamin B. To supplement the rest a good multi vitamin capsule will do the trick.

Also very important is iron. Iron aids in transporting oxygen to the blood system and the individual cells, most importantly, brain cells. Not enough iron in the diet results in anaemia, which is very common in children who don’t have a balanced diet. Anaemic children, as well as adults, are very tired and don’t have the energy to do the things that want to or need to do. Good sources of iron are red meat, tuna, chicken and vegetables like broccoli.

Folic acid is also essential as this helps in the formation of red and white blood cells. Not enough folic acid will also make a child feel tired, irritable and forgetful. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of folic acid.

Zinc is needed to maintain communication between the brain cells and the nerve cells. Zinc deficiencies can cause your child to have difficulty in solving academic problems, which can lead to frustration for the child, therefore bringing on ADD symptoms. Zinc can be found in cereals and peanuts.

Vitamin A is important for the nervous system. Vitamin A also helps to strengthen vision. Many times a child will have problems in school because of impaired eye sight. Vitamin A can help to improve the eye sight which in turn will lessen the child’s frustration. Vitamin A can be found in carrots and many orange or yellow fruits like bananas.

Proper nutrition is an essential part of a child’s health whether he or she has ADD or not. But in children with ADD, proper nutrition is critical.

In the next article we’ll cover other treatments for those suffering from ADD.