ADD & ADHD with Your Diet

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If you have school-aged children, you know that receiving a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is becoming more and more common.

There are a couple of factors contributing to over diagnosis. One is that our expectation that bodies that were made to move should be still the majority of the day. The other is the impact of electronics and overstimulation. However, in some cases, ADD and ADHD is truly a condition that needs to be addressed.

Conventional medicine often points to prescriptions. If the side effects of those drugs aren’t enough, the statistics behind their misuse and overdose are staggering. In fact, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for this condition is a regulated schedule II narcotic that carries high penalties for those that possess it illegally.

improve-add-adhd-dietMany parents are left wondering what they can do to naturally support a child that is struggling with ADD or ADHD. Although plant-based alternatives like essential oils can help calm and focus the mind, studies are showing that diet plays a huge role in managing symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

Although it’s becoming common knowledge that sugar, gluten, dairy and food dyes can trigger ADD and ADHD symptoms, I recently learned about another component that I wanted to share with you.

Recently I was talking to a family member and she told me of her search to find a natural alternative to help her son focus. She ended up meeting with a holistic specialist. One of the biggest takeaways was to make sure her son had protein every three hours.

She started making protein smoothies for breakfast in the morning for her kids. After making smoothies for about a week, her son mentioned he noticed an improvement in his ability to concentrate! Although this may not be true for everyone, I encourage you to do some research or give this a try in your home.

Here are some quick tips to help manage ADD and ADHD:

  • Eat protein every 3 hours
  • Add quality fats, especially for breakfast and lunch
  • Remove artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives (read labels)
  • Reduce your sugar consumption
  • Eat organic foods, especially these from the dirty dozen
  • Eat carbohydrates that are grown, not processed
  • Avoid dairy and gluten

According to, “Organic foods don’t have more nutrition than non-organic foods, but they do not have the pesticides, hormones, and other additives that have been linked to ADHD. In a study of 1,100 children, those with higher levels of pesticides in their urine were twice as likely to have ADHD.”

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me, but taking steps towards improving focus has many similarities to the recommendations I heard from the documentary Carb Loaded: A Nation Dying to Eat. As we walk this natural health journey, we are continually learning more and more about the role food plays in our health. So although medication is sometimes necessary, we encourage you to look deeper, ask questions, and be your own best advocate.


Disclaimer: Always remember I’m not a doctor or medical professional. The content on this site is meant for education and entertainment and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, please take responsibility for your health by doing research and possibly consulting a medical professional.

Casey Bresnahan
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