Natural treatments for ADHD from Arizona Natural Health Center

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Kids and ADHD: Natural Treatments for Better Focus and Behavior
Foods, supplements and treatments that boost your child's brain power!

By Jamie Oskin, N.D.

ADHD is a very common condition amongst children today. In fact, it is the most commonly diagnosed childhood psych disorder! ADHD affects a child's ability to focus, follow directions, interact socially and control his or her impulses.

Research has shown a possible link between nutrition and symptoms of ADHD(1).

Many parents of children with ADHD notice a change in their child's behavior after eating certain foods, including sugar, processed foods with artificial food colorings, dyes and preservatives. Sometimes children can be sensitive to specific foods in their diet such as wheat and/or dairy. It's important to take note of any foods that cause an increase in hyperactivity or unwanted behaviors, and it's equally important to incorporate the right "brain foods" into a child's diet to help keep their behavior stabilized.

Whole Foods Diet
The best diet is one that consists of whole foods. Whole foods include unprocessed fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and essential fatty acids, like those found in cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines. As a rule, if it comes from the ground, then it's a whole food. If it came from a box and has ingredients you can't pronounce, then it's best to avoid it.

Is your child a picky eater? It's not uncommon for kids with ADHD to be particularly averse to certain smells or textures in food. Smoothies and shakes are a great way to incorporate whole foods into the diet in a more palatable form.

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Vegan Chocolate "Ice Cream"

In a blender, mix the following ingredients until they are a smooth consistency like soft-serve ice cream:

1.  1-2 frozen bananas
        Note: it's easy to cut up and freeze the ripe bananas at the end of the week to save them before they go bad. Keep them on hand for smoothies or vegan 'ice cream' treats.
    
2.  4-5 frozen organic strawberries
    
3.  1/4 -1/2 cup of UNSWEETENED Almond Milk as a starter for the blender

4.  1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds

5.  1-2 tablespoons of your favorite UNSWEETEND Cocoa Powder.

Once you have blended the ingredients you can serve this healthy, yummy treat a few ways:

.    In a bowl like ice cream.
.    Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for later.
.    Add a little extra Unsweetened Almond Milk to serve in a cup like a 'milk-shake'.
 
Most importantly, be creative and have fun in the kitchen!

Fish Oil
One supplement I frequently recommend for my patients is high-quality fish oil. Packed with essential fatty acids, this is the ultimate "brain food".  My patients really like Barlean's Omega Swirl - it's a liquid form that comes in several flavors and tastes sweet, like a fruit smoothie.

When considering fish oils, look for "molecularly distilled" varieties in a dark bottle, and keep them refrigerated. Ask your doctor for the appropriate dosage for your child.

Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a safe, gentle and highly effective natural medicine that goes to the root cause of a child's ADHD symptoms and works to re-balance the system. Homeopathy was found to be effective for up to 75% of children in a randomized placebo controlled trial that was published in the European Journal of Pediatrics in 2005. Five and ten year follow up studies showed that cognitive performance and social behavior improved highly significantly with homeopathy (2).

Homeopathy stimulates a slow, gentle process of self-healing that helps the child become healthier all around. It is very important to consult a trained homeopathic practitioner for complex chronic conditions like ADHD, because homeopathic remedies are prescribed on an individualized basis, based on the unique symptom patterns of each child.

About Dr. Jamie Oskin

Dr. Oskin is a licensed naturopathic physician with Arizona Natural Health Center. Dr. Oskin focuses his practice on the natural treatment of children with ADHD, autism and other childhood developmental disorders. For more information or to book a free 15-minute consultation, visit http:// www.aznaturalhealth.com.

References
(1)     http://www.feingold.org/adhd/php
(2)    European Journal of Pediatrics. 2005 Dec;164(12):758-67


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