Attention Deficit Disorder and Nutrition
In the last decade we have all come to know the term attention deficit disorder. There is much controversy of what attention deficit disorder, also known as ADD is and how to go about treating it. The debate in the medical field range from it being biological to being psychological in origin. There are different ways to treat ADD such as medication or behavior modification. One thing I feel is often overlooked is proper nutrition. This article is just my opinion on how taking a closer look at proper nutrition may be a way to help with attention deficit disorder.
Medicating Our Children
Dealing with a child with ADD is by all means not an easy task. It can leave parents physically and mentally drained and desperate to find a solution. This may lead them to find medication as a means to solve the problem. I feel every option naturally should be explored before going in this direction. Medication is a quick fix to the problem without getting to the cause. Proper nutrition should be one of the first things looked at when attention deficit disorder is being discussed.
Nutrition and Attention Deficit Disorder
A major contributor to attention deficit disorder in children is having low glucose or blood sugar levels. These low levels will cause sleepiness and will also result in being restless or the more popular term of being “overtired”. Glucose can play an important part in a child’s attention span. The importance of having breakfast can ensure blood sugar levels are maintained throughout the day. Kids who miss out on having a breakfast are more likely to have a harder time trying to remember things and may also have a shorter attention span.
Vitamin B. Vitamin B is also an important nutrition factor as it will help in the release of energy contained in glucose. If there is not a sufficient amount of vitamin B in the diet, a child may become depressed or even aggressive. Vitamin B has 12 essential parts so it may be difficult to get them all through eating so a multivitamin can be used to supplement the need.
Vitamin A. Vitamin A playes an important part in the nervous system and will help strengthen vision. If a child is having problem with vision they may become frustrated in school. Vitamin A, found in such things as carrots and many of the yellow and orange fruits. What may be considered attention deficit disorder could be just frustration from not having clear vision. This is another example of the process of elimination to determine the root of the problem.
Iron. Iron is important because it will help transport oxygen to the blood system and to the individual cells, such as the brain cells. Anemia is very common in children who are not taking in a well balanced diet. Children, and also adults, who suffer from anemia, will find themselves very tired and lack the energy to do even the little things as concentrating on something. Iron can be found in sources like, tuna,red meat, chicken, and vegetables.
Folic Acid. Another factor that may be causing tiredness and the lack of concentration is a lack of folic acid. Folic acid will help with red and white blood cell formation. A lack of folic acid will lead to feeling tired, irritable, and being forgetful. Folic acid can be found in fruits and vegetables.
Zinc. Zinc will help maintain the communication between brain and nerve cells. A lack of zinc may lead to the difficulty in solving problems. This can lead to frustration and bring out attention deficit disorder symptoms. Cereal and peanuts are good sources of zinc.
Proper nutrition is crucial to a child’s health and development whether they have attention deficit disorder or not. Ensuring a well balance diet will eliminate the possibility of nutrition as a cause of attention deficit disorder symptoms.