5 Vitamins for ADHD
It’s unbelievable how much power food has.
Food actually has the ability to cause disease or prevent it.
If we aren’t getting the essential nutrients we need from healthy foods, our bodies will react negatively. But because everyone has gone through different stressors in life, everyone’s biological make up is a little different. So what is considered healthy for you might not be healthy for someone else.
For instance, nightshades and citrus fruits are usually considered healthy. They are whole foods from earth that are packed with nutrients right?
But here’s the thing… if your child has a citrus food allergy or is sensitive to nightshade veggies like potatoes, tomatoes or peppers then it’s definitely not a good idea for them to eat. The inflammation that happens as a result will eventually lead to health issues -- including ADHD like behaviors.
Every day many of us, including our kids, just deal with those common ailments from food allergies.
We have things like dry skin, canker sores, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, eczema, ear infections, seasonal allergies and asthma, and we think it’s just “part of life”. Even though some of these issues may be normal in our society they are not healthy. In fact, they are usually just signs that something is not right on the inside.
Most often, if our issue isn’t caused by an inflammation imbalance from food, it can be a result of yeast overgrowth, unhealthy gut flora, high toxicity levels, nutrient deficiencies or a combination of these.
Most conventional ways of treating these issues is to label the symptoms and treat them with some form of medication. But this does nothing for the root cause and often does very little for the symptoms.
These days our kids are prescribed drugs when specific nutrients are all they need! It just so happens, ADHD behaviors mimic the symptoms of some major vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and essential fatty deficiencies.
Could your child be suffering from something so simple?
Here are 5 major nutrient deficiencies commonly found in kids labeled with ADHD.
Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in people with ADHD.
The symptoms mimic symptoms of ADHD. Things like excessive fidgeting, tantrums, social difficulties, restless, insomnia, irritability, aggressiveness, poor attention span, coordination problems and learning difficulties.
Studies have shown that 95% of children with ADHD tested positive for magnesium deficiency. Those with lower levels of mineral showed more severe symptoms of hyperactivity. After supplementing with 200mg of magnesium for 6 months, hyperactivity was significantly reduced. The behavior of those who didn’t receive magnesium worsened.
Consider feeding your child more magnesium rich foods like pumpkin/sunflower seeds, cashews and almonds.
A kid’s mental and emotional state are critically dependent on Vitamin B in the diet.
B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, are vital to the development of the nervous system and the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. They are also responsible for blood sugar regulation. And we all know the negative effects sugar has on our kiddos…
Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include forgetfulness, short attention span, irritability, confusion and rage. The B-complex Vitamins have other very important jobs to do as well -- including improving the absorption of other nutrients into the body.
Consider feeding your child more B rich foods like fish, beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli and bell peppers.
Sometimes we’re so quick to offer a PB&J, chicken nuggets or a hot dog because they are socially accepted as “kid-friendly” or convenient foods, and by doing so we never give our kids the chance to fully develop and express their full potential.
3. Essential Fatty Acids
Almost all of us are deficient in Omega 3’s and we don’t have the proper ratio of Omega 3-6-9’s. This imbalance leads to all sorts of health issues.
Plus, conversion of essential fatty acids into DHA, AA and EPA can be inhibited by certain foods like wheat and diary. The conversion is also blocked by other vitamin and mineral deficiencies like B, C, Zinc and Magnesium.
Research from Perdue University discovered that kids with ADHD are not getting an adequate amount of nutrients for essential fatty acid conversion and as a result have low levels of EPA, DHA and AA. Omega-3 supplementation helped reduce ADHD symptoms.
Low zinc levels are associated with lowered immunity, poor heavy metal detoxification and ADHD. Maybe your child eats plenty of zinc rich foods like spinach, seafood, nuts and beans but sometimes nutrients get wiped out by other things… Especially processed foods, white breads, refined sugar and medications like antibiotics.
Antibiotics not only wipe out the beneficial bacteria in out gut (natural flora) buy they also impair the absorption of nutrients. We have noticed a large percentage of kids with the label ADHD have been on doses of antibiotics in their early years leading to damage to the natural flora in their gut and malabsorption of nutrients.
Zinc imbalances can interfere with proper neurotransmitter function in the brain. Especially the pathways in the brain that affect behavior. Adding zinc to diets of teenagers has been shown to improve memory and attention span.
5. Vitamin D
The vitamin D council estimates that 9 out of 10 people are deficient in vitamin D. It’s a very important nutrient that we rarely can get from food.
If we didn’t live in the northern US states then I wouldn’t tell you this is an important vitamin (because you’d most likely get enough from the sun) but we live in Wisconsin and for the majority of the year, we ARE deficient!
Vitamin D helps boost the antioxidants responsible for good brain health. Since “vitamin D” technically isn’t a vitamin at all, rather a hormone, when we become vitamin D-ficient we are causing our body to be in a pathophysiological state of stress (not good for healing both the body and the brain).
Vitamin D helps produce dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which is what many ADHD meds aim to do (unnaturally, I might add).
Vitamin D helps produce enzymes in charge of making brain chemicals necessary for focus. Especially long periods of time.
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