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ADHD Nutrition Tips for Better Brain Functioning

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be treated with good nutrition and the right diet.  The brain is fueled by the food we eat, and eating foods that nourish the brain will improve its function in the long run.  Here are several nutrition tips for better brain functioning in individuals with ADHD.

  1. Eat a protein-rich breakfast.  The neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are responsible for alertness and attention, and for regulating sleep and wakefulness.  Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that protein improves the function of neurotransmitters that induce alertness.  Instead of eating cereal or pancakes for breakfast, try a high-protein breakfast. A study from the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows that children who eat a high-protein breakfast have fewer behavior problems and better school performance. 
  2. Eat healthy fats.  Not all fats are unhealthy.  Certain kinds of fat, like omega-3 essential fatty acids, are critical for brain functioning.  Not only do these fatty acids make up 60% of the brain’s structure; they also improve communication between neurons.
  3. Eat organic as much as possible.  Non-organic fruits, vegetables, and meats are laced with pesticides and growth hormones that can impair brain function and aggravate ADHD in high amounts.  Stick to organic produce as much as possible. They taste better, they’re chemical-free, and they tend to contain more nutrients than their non-organic counterparts. 
  4. Eat complex carbohydrates for energy.  Simple carbohydrates are the sugary foods we eat for a quick energy fix.  The problem is that these carbohydrates get converted to glucose almost as soon as they are consumed, and the energy they provide is short-lived and causes a "crash."  Instead of eating a candy bar or pastries, eat more complex carbohydrates from fruits, nuts, and other foods with a high glycemic index.  Complex carbohydrates have different sugar types that provide long-lasting energy to keep your brain charged and working at its peak. 
  5. Balance is key.  The brain is a highly complex and sophisticated organ that cannot be controlled by just one substance, like medication. For this reason, you should not limit yourself to one natural treatment for ADHD, either. Treating ADHD naturally involves a series of different approaches that address the various facets of the disorder.  Use the same logic when using nutrition and diet as an ADHD natural treatment.  Don’t use just one type of supplement; instead, take a huge variety of multivitamins, food supplements, and homeopathic remedies. Ask your health care practitioner for advice on which supplements to take and at what dosage.