Nutrition plays a key role in transforming young people struggling with ADD. What your teen is eating directly impacts their ADD and ADHD because food has the capacity to regulate or disrupt their behavior.
Just like any diet, there are some foods that will help fight them tough symptoms and other foods that will exacerbate the problem. And thus, understanding the relationship between nutrition and ADD is vital for treatment. Knowing what to eat can make all the difference for your loved one.
ADD Signs + Symptoms
The first thing you should know is that ADD is incredibly common. The United States alone reports over 3 million cases of ADD each year, so you should not feel like you’re alone on this journey. The fact is that lots of parents deal with challenges of ADD and consistently search for ways to ameliorate the issue. And because of its prevalence (and because there’s not just one way to test for it), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) compiled a checklist to help you decide if your child needs the help of a health care provider who will help them cope with some of the problems associated with ADD or ADHD (like anxiety and depression).
These are some of the symptoms that your child may be presenting either at home, school, or while performing certain activities: (Checklist provided by ADDresouces.org)
- Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (loses focus, gets sidetracked).
- Often has trouble organizing activities.
- Is often easily distracted.
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
- Talking excessively or fidgeting
If you think or know your child has ADD, then you are likely familiar with many of these behavioral traits. And you know how difficult it is to manage your child and their activities on a day-to-day basis. Information that can help your child while also providing you with some relief may radically shape your daily experience and transform your loved one in unimaginable ways (particularly if it’s something that’s a necessity and already part of their day like eating). So let’s get to the bottom of what they should be eating and what should be avoided at all costs. Let’s explore nutrition and ADD.
Nutrition and ADD
According to research performed by centers like the National Institute of Health, young people can manage their ADD or ADHD with diet. Nutrition and ADD have long been linked and recent research shows that people living with ADD or ADHD may be lacking some essential vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. This means that by just giving your child a multi-vitamin and things like oily fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines), you can positively influence their behavior. A protein-rich diet (a.k.a. brain juice) is also highly recommended. The negative foods should be obvious: sugar, foods with artificial coloring, foods that cause allergies (gluten, wheat, corn, soy, etc.) They essentially cause some children to lose focus and amps up their hyperactivity.
Nutrition and ADD: A Special Focus at Pacific Quest
At Pacific Quest, we understand nutrition and ADD. All our programs rely heavily on nutrition to see actual results. What you put in your body directly affects how you feel and behave. The Pacific Quest diet has been developed to provide balanced and vital nutrition. We take advantage of locally grown foods in Hawaii so food is always fresh and healthy. We teach the basics of nutrition and how the body uses food as fuel. You can read more about our nutritional approach and the typical diets we provide here.
Ultimately, we want all our students to be empowered and fully self-aware of the relationship between the mind and the body. Our Wellness Program is integrated with both medical and wellness teams. They are there to guide your child through a wide range of complexities while also teaching them about the impact of nutrition on ADD. We truly believe that in order for adolescents and young adults to feel good and have adequate energy for optimal engagement in the therapeutic process, they must eat nutritious food, free of refined sugar, artificial chemicals and harmful substances. So visit Pacific Quest today to learn more about us and to deepen your understanding of nutrition and ADD.