ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) affect nearly 3-5% children in the United States. Conventional therapists are quick to prescribe Ritalin like drugs which come with a bevy of side effects such as sleepiness, loss of appetite and so on. Most doctors also fail to see the real problem in individual cases. So, let us discuss some natural remedies for ADD or ADHD in children.
1. Eliminate food sensitivities
ADHD or ADD kids are sensitive to foods such as gluten, sugar, food colorings, preservatives and dyes. Try and eliminate foods containing these ingredients one at a time, completely to see if it makes a difference in their ADD symptoms. Many studies have now proven that gluten free diet can elicit profound changes in child’s behavior, concentration and attention to details. This is one of the best home remedies for ADHD in children and adults.
2. Use behavior therapy to promote discipline and focus
This is one of the best natural remedies for ADHD and ADD. Behavior therapy can help calm children down and prevent mood swings or temper tantrums in public places like shopping malls etc. Parents and the child need to attend several behavior therapy sessions to see results. They can help the caregivers focus clearly on setting realistic expectations from the child. Parents can also learn to establish benchmarks and document daily achievements. They can also learn to note and reward milestone improvements. One can then work with their child’s school to expand the therapy. It is very important to start behavior therapy at an early age since it works best when initiated earlier.
3. Check for magnesium deficiency
In many children, magnesium deficiency could lead to ADD and ADHD symptoms. There are many foods abundant in Magnesium, including green vegetables, chlorophyll rich plant based foods etc. Magnesium needs to be balanced with calcium levels. So make sure the child eats dairy foods alongside green vegetables.
4. Change the cooking methods
Avoid overcooking vegetables since that will reduce their calcium and magnesium content. Instead steam the veggies in a pot filled with a little water. Once the water boils, lower the heat. Do not overcook- if the vegetables change the color, it means they are overcooked. Also retain the water used for boiling and add it to soups and stews. This is an essential home remedy to use when cooking meals for ADD or ADHD adults and children.
5. Fish oil
DHA is Docosahexaenoic Acid is an essential fatty acid found in fish oil. Children diagnosed with ADD have lower levels of DHA compared to others. Human brain is made up of nearly 60% fats and it needs good fats like DHA to support all its function. So feed the diagnosed child or adult high levels of fish like tuna, salmon etc. You could even use fish oil supplements to ensure the right levels of DHA. Fish oil pills contain both EPA and DHA fatty acids. Experts now recommend selecting pills having higher EPA ratios to relieve ADHD and ADD symptoms such as mood swings etc. Adults may take up to 5 grams of fish oil a day and children may take up to 2.6 grams per day.
6. Exercise-the best natural remedy for ADD and ADHD
When you walk, run, jump etc, your body secretes endorphins and also elevates dopamine, nephrine and serotonin levels. So enrolling the child in activities such as martial arts, skateboarding, rock climbing, gymnastics, ballet etc is recommended. Even adults with ADD and ADHD can benefit from these activities. These exercises have technical movements with timing control which helps activate several areas of the brain that control balance, sequencing, consequence evaluating etc. Hence, exercise is one of the best natural remedies for ADHD.
7. Working memory training
Working memory training involves training the mind/brain to hold a memory until a specific goal is achieved. By improving working memory, one can improve IQ and EQ. Kids who complete these online courses become more alert to their surroundings. They understand social cues and can perform tasks such as remembering to bring certain books to class etc. Working memory training is held over 5 weekly one hour sessions of total 25 hours. The cost of this training can range anywhere from $1500 to $2500.This training will not replace ADHD medicines but can help reduce dependency on conventional medicines.
8. Nature walks
The benefits of “green time” or nature walks are numerous and some of them include reduced mood swings, temper tantrums etc in ADHD sufferers. Nature walks are recommended in-between classroom sessions where using the brain depletes the neurotransmitters. Green time helps children replenish these depleted systems. So encourage the child to go outside and play, walk a dog, ride a bike etc.
Try these 8 natural remedies for ADHD and see if it makes a difference in the symptoms.