Using Holistic Nutrition To Address ADHD
At the time of this writing, we don’t yet understand what causes ADHD. We also don’t know how to cure it, or if a cure is even possible.
However, there is some support for the idea that nutrition can help with the symptoms of it.
When studying how to become a holistic nutritionist in Canada at the Edison Institute Of Nutrition, you’ll learn a wide variety of skills you can use to navigate a wide variety of health concerns, including ADHD.
Today, let’s take a look at how ADHD works, and how holistic nutrition can help.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a mental health disorder.
ADHD can cause unusual levels of hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and trouble focusing or sitting still.
Though many people struggle with their attention and energy levels, in people with ADHD this can happen more often and affect their lives significantly more.
Both adults and children can have ADHD, and it is a diagnosis recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Symptoms Of ADHD
Symptoms of ADHD can be broken into a few components – common symptoms, symptoms that are specifically hyperactive, and symptoms that affect focus.
The most common symptoms of ADHD include having trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks. You may be forgetful and struggle to complete your tasks, even if you want to do them.
You might also have difficulty sitting still or become easily distracted.
If you’re experiencing the hyperactive symptoms of ADHD, you may have trouble remaining seated at work or in class, or have trouble carrying out tasks.
Maybe you talk excessively, find it hard to wait your turn to speak, or even interrupt others when they are speaking.
If your struggles are specifically around focusing, you may notice you make frequent mistakes or miss details when you study or work.
You might find it hard to maintain focus when listening to something or reading.
Often, you may notice that you lose things all the time, have trouble organizing your daily tasks, or become easily distracted while trying to focus.
What Causes ADHD?
While there are many theories about what causes ADHD, doctors and researchers are still not sure about what causes the condition.
Neurological origins are suspected, and it is believed that genetics play a role in inheriting this condition.
Some potential causes may include smoking during pregnancy, or structural differences in the brain.
While it is unknown if food and nutrition, or malnutrition, cause ADHD, it is believed that certain foods can worsen symptoms.
There has been some research that suggests that children with ADHD may have low levels of essential fatty acids.
Certain foods may worsen the symptoms or cause behavior that is similar to those of someone with ADHD.
How Can A Holistic Nutritionist Help With ADHD?
Because certain foods may play a role in affecting the presentation of ADHD symptoms, there is an important role a holistic nutritionist can play in addressing your treatment.
The ideal ADHD diet may help your brain function better while lessening your symptoms.
There are a few tactics that a holistic nutritionist may take to help you with your ADHD.
This may include looking at overall nutrition, to figure out what you might be eating or missing in your diet that affects your overall health.
They might suggest a supplementation regimen as well, which would add vitamins and minerals to see if that gives you more balance.
1. Start With An Elimination Diet
A holistic nutritionist will usually start with an elimination diet, which takes certain foods out of your diet to see if that improves your ADHD symptoms.
For example, you may start by eliminating added sugar or foods with red dye, to see if that will help you.
Elimination diets can help you analyze whether certain foods are triggering behaviours and worsening your symptoms.
2. Reduce Added Sugar Intake As Much As Possible
One of the first foods to eliminate from your diet is candy, which is full of sugar and artificial coloring.
Sugar has been linked to increased hyperactivity in some studies.
Soda, cake, energy drinks, and other sugary drinks are other common sources of sugar that you should make sure aren’t dominant forces in your diet.
3. Increase Omega 3 Intake
Omega 3 fatty acids are helpful for your brain, and what is good for your brain may be helpful when it comes to managing your ADHD symptoms.
The best technique to get certain supplements in your diet is to eat a variety of foods.
Omega 3 can be found commonly in walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, wild caught salmon, and other white/cold water fish.
Omega 3 fatty acids also come with a laundry list of other health benefits, including:
- Maintaining good eye health
- Managing arthritis through nutrition
- A natural treatment for eczema
- A natural depression solution
- A nutritional approach to autoimmune conditions
- And a lot more
4. …But Be Wary Of High Mercury Levels In Fish
While fish is a natural way to get more omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, they are also known to sometimes contain high levels of mercury particularly tunas it is a very large fish.
Mercury is hard for your body to digest and can accumulate in your brain, potentially increasing your hyperactive ADHD symptoms rather than improving them.
Because of that, be wary of the amount of fish you consume, especially the worst culprits: shark, mackerel, tilefish, tuna and swordfish.
5. Provide Simple Meal Plans
By meal planning, you can make sure you are not impulsively eating out.
When you eat out a lot, you don’t know exactly what is in your food, so preparing at home will ensure you are following your new diet plan.
While it can be challenging to plan meals when you have ADHD, keeping your meal plan simple will enable you to have some much needed control over your diet.
With this control, you may start noticing an improvement in your symptoms.
Of course, knowing what hurdles your holistic nutritionist clients will face is important.
And if you’re making it too difficult for your clients to follow instruction, that’s a sure way to lose their trust.
Contact The Edison Institute Of Nutrition Today
Do you want to know more about how holistic nutrition can address the symptoms of ADHD?
Maybe you want to help yourself and others improve their every day health by becoming a holistic nutritionist.
The Edison Institute Of Nutrition can help.
- Holistic cancer coach certification
- Live and dry blood cell microscopy training
- Metabolic balance coach training
- And more