Written By: The Green Crunchy Mother
Disclaimer: This article is not to be used as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult with a doctor if you believe you are suffering from the following conditions. The Green Crunchy Mother shares her life experiences only and what is working with her own children.
For some parents of an ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) child, knowing there are natural approaches can be a relief. Depending on your view of ADHD’s possible causes, you might be willing to explore dietary changes, meditation, and other alternative treatments for ADHD. Here are some ideas.
This is probably the most significant natural approach to ADHD. It is significant because it involves a fundamental change in eating habits, and even in how you view food. The ADHD diet usually consists of the following.
- The reduction or elimination of gluten – This wheat and grain protein has been implicated in ADHD and other childhood disorders. A gluten-free diet is often embraced by parents of ADHD kids.
- The elimination of artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives – These food additives have been implicated in ADHD, particularly FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine).
- Reduced sugar intake – The ingestion of white sugar has been shown in multiple studies to exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. Therefore, an ADHD diet is low on or devoid of refined white sugar.
- Whole, fresh, organic foods – Emphasis is placed on whole foods that are fresh and free of pesticides. Pesticide ingestion has been linked to ADHD in children, and eating whole foods means much less exposure to preservatives and other food additives.
- Essential fatty acids – The essential fatty acids known as Omega-3s and Omega-6s are an integral part of an ADHD diet. Foods high in these fats are emphasized, and many children take fish oil supplements.
- Common food allergens –
There is said to be a connection between ADHD symptoms and food allergies. Many families have had relief from ADHD symptoms by eliminating the most common food allergens: dairy, eggs, wheat, chocolate, and pork.
Meditation has been shown to help relieve ADHD symptoms. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and other meditative moves and exercises are designed to bring focus and peace. The exercise and discipline of martial arts, which is often tied in with meditation, also has the potential to provide an outlet and subsequent relief for kids who have ADHD.
Finding a good exercise program for your ADHD child can really help. Exercise is usually considered beneficial for anyone. But for the ADHD child, it can make a real difference. It helps work out energy and channel it into something constructive. It fosters a sense of self-esteem, especially if the exercise is a sport.
Children often respond well to herbs and herbal teas. Your natural health food store may carry homeopathic treatments for ADHD, and also herbal blends formulated for children with this disorder. You might want to talk with an herbalist or natural health practitioner about specific herbs for your child.
What natural approaches have you tried with your ADHD child? What has been successful?