Natural Ways to Combat ADD/ADHD

Combating ADD/ADHD through a holistic approach would include testing for vitamin deficiencies, testing for food allergies, changes in nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, behavioral training, and brain training.

Natural remedies are treatments that do not involve a prescription from your doctor. People have been using natural remedies to address their health issues since time began. They are now generally referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and commonly involve nutritional strategies and lifestyle changes.

Vitamins and minerals play a very important role in natural remedies for ADHD. You can eat vitamin-rich foods and also take vitamin supplements to replenish any deficiencies a person may have.

Research shows people with ADHD have lower levels of omega-3 compared to their peers who do not have ADHD. The benefits of taking an omega-3 supplement may include improving ADHD symptoms, for example, increased attention, focus, memory, and attitude and may help with your overall approach to treatment.

People must always check with a holistic doctor whether it is safe to use certain supplements or other remedies.

Clean eating is a great term to describe a style of eating that avoids processed foods, additives, and chemicals. 

Eating regularly and not snacking through the day helps to control blood sugar. This helps to avoid focus and attention issues, irritability, and low physical energy that come with unstable blood sugar levels. If you skip meals or eat food that is high in simple carbohydrates and sugar, your blood sugar levels may be a little like a roller coaster with highs and lows all day.

Some ADHD characteristics make eating on a regular schedule difficult. For example, hyper-focusing might put you in a position where you forget to eat because you are so consumed in your activity. Tasks like meal planning and grocery shopping can be a challahs because of this.

A study found that people with ADHD have a higher chance of having food allergies and food intolerance than people who do not have ADHD. If someone has an allergy to a certain food and then eats that food, a reaction is typically experienced fairly quickly. Symptoms might include itchiness or a rash, or a more severe reaction, such as swelling of the tongue or problems breathing. Food allergies can be diagnosed with a skin test or blood test.

Food intolerance or sensitivities are harder to detect than allergies. They may not show up in blood results, and the effects of eating a certain food might not cause a reaction as fast. Yet they can still negatively affect one’s quality of life. For example, your energy levels can be affected, there might be changes in your behavior such as impulsiveness and a decrease in brain clarity or ability to concentrate. Food intolerances are personal, both in terms of what food or foods you are intolerant to and how they affect you.

Because blood tests are not a reliable way to test for intolerances, a good way to find out if you have any is to try an elimination diet. There are two ways to do this. You could eliminate all the top allergens like (gluten, soy, wheat, dairy, corn, yeast, peanuts) all at once, or you can eliminate one at a time and see if you notice a reduction in symptoms. Eliminating all the foods at the same time can result in a restrictive diet. There is also the potential that you would not meet your nutritional requirements. For some people, eliminating one food at a time is an easier and safer alternative.

Exercise improves ADHD symptoms, including the executive functions. There have been many research studies done to look at different exercise programs and how they help ADHD. There is not one exercise that is better than another. The important factor is to pick one that you enjoy and will feel motivated to do multiple times per week. It could be running, weight lifting, yoga, swimming or a martial art. If you have a tendency to get bored, you could switch it up constantly with your favorite exercises.

Not only is getting the right amount of hours of sleep every night important, but also getting quality sleep also helps ADHD. However, ADHD behavior can disrupt good sleep hygiene. For example, hyper-focus or procrastinating on projects until the last minute can mean you end up going to bed late, wake up in the middle of the night, or even waking up earlier than intended. Having a busy mind can make falling asleep feel impossible. This can make waking up in the morning feel like a chore because you are sleep-deprived. Not getting the sleep that our bodies needs to properly function affects your ability to focus and concentrate. It also affects your mood and health over all. Although making sleep a priority and changing habits around sleep might feel like a difficult task, it is a great natural way to help ADHD.