Treating ADHD Without Drugs

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The CDC estimates that 5.4 million children in America have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while over half of these kids are taking stimulants to manage the condition, including Ritalin and Adderall. And the majority of these kids are boys.

Although there’s no argument against the effectiveness of these products in helping to “manage” (not treat) over activity, as well as helping children to better manage impulsive behavior, the side effects are never really talked about. And in many cases, the side effects can actually greatly outnumber the few pros of taking these drugs.

Children taking Ritalin and Adderall for ADHD can experience everything from severe sleep issues, loss of appetite, a diminishment of their natural personalities, and even mood swings. So how does one go about treating ADHD without drugs?

Start with the diet. Refined sugars, processed flour, preservatives, and artificial colors (you know, all of the ingredients running rampant in “kid” friendly foods) have all been linked to hyperactivity. In fact, a study out of the UK found that artificial food dyes and the pesticides commonly used on conventionally grown produce are, in fact, directly linked to ADHD.

So what should kids be eating? High protein foods rich in as many vitamins and nutrients as possible. Organic produce, grass-fed meats, almond products, and fatty fish are all fantastic choices, and can help to give children (and their brains) what they need to not only feel in control of themselves, but to excel.

These changes, coupled with plenty of time outdoors (rather than sitting like a zombie in front of a screen) can help many children with ADHD, without ever taking incredibly strong, side-effect laden prescription drugs.