The best Vitamins and Minerals to complement an ADHD friendly diet
A balanced and ADHD-friendly diet (link to previous text), a good sleep routine and supplements can couple positively with ADHD medication. A variety of vitamins, minerals, and herbs have proven to be effective in relieving ADHD symptoms of inattention, cognitive function, memory, and mood.
But what are these supplements exactly and how do they help?
While we would always recommend speaking to your family doctor or nutritional expert to implement these supplements into your daily routine, it is important to be armed with a breadth of good information going into these conversations.
You might believe that you are eating well but you may not be getting all of the necessary nutrients for your body and brain to function optimally. Nutritional supplements are the additional vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats that ensure you stay in tip-top shape.
So, what are the most important vitamins and minerals to complement your ADHD-friendly diet?
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The most common form of Omega-3 Fatty Acids is fish oil. Omega-3s are important in brain and nerve cell function and are found in fatty fish, shellfish, avocado, walnuts, and seeds such as chia and flax seeds. We see significant improvement in the ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity, attention, and impulsivity. The optimal dose and the best way to consume Omega-3s remains a topic largely under review. One of our nutritional experts can guide you with a personalized eating plan.
Iron is absolutely crucial for brain function. A simple blood test can measure iron levels and how efficient your body is in absorbing iron. The mineral iron can be taken as a tablet form supplement or iron intake can be increased through diet. Iron-rich foods include legumes, such as lentils, peas, tempeh, and beans. Iron-rich bread and cereals, such as oat cereals, rye bread, and whole what bread. Iron-rich fruits, such as figs, dates, raisins, and prunes, and iron-rich proteins, such as beef, chicken, eggs, ham, turkey, shrimp, tuna, and sardines. Vegetables include broccoli, dark leafy greens, and potatoes. Our expert can guide you as to the best path for you.
The vitamin zinc is an essential cofactor for more than one hundred types of enzymes in the body. It is necessary for the metabolism of fatty acids, carbohydrates, and proteins. Importantly for ADHD, Zinc is an important metabolizer for the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is important when looking at ADHD, specifically the symptom of hyperactivity. Zinc is also necessary for the metabolism of melatonin, which helps with producing dopamine. Research has shown that there is a higher prevalence of people with ADHD and a zinc deficiency. Speak to our nutritional expert about testing your zinc levels and dosage of zinc supplements.
The mineral magnesium can have a positive effect on the ADHD symptom of hyperactivity. Getting enough magnesium via diet or supplement can have a calming effect. Men need approximately 400-420 milligrams of magnesium per day and women 310-320 milligrams per day. Magnesium is found in nuts and seeds such as roasted almonds, roasted cashews, flaxseeds, peanuts, and roasted pumpkin seeds. It is also found in a range of legumes such as black beans and edamame, fiber-rich whole grains, such as quinoa, spinach, and even dark chocolate.
Is a herb used for cognitive function for thousands of years which comes from a unique species of tree native to East Asia. Studies indicate that Ginkgo Biloba may have therapeutic benefits for ADHD but clinical studies are ongoing. Studies have shown promising results for the ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity, cognitive function, and oppositional behavior. While still under review and further research is required, it is, however, interesting to be aware of possibilities and results so far.
St. John’s Wort
Is a herb found to have positive effects on the comorbid conditions often associated with ADHD, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social phobia. Studies are ongoing but research to date proves interesting in alleviating problems associated with these disorders.
Is a Nootropic supplement for the mind, helping with cognitive improvement. A medicinal mushroom, it can help with cognitive performance, focus, and memory, as well as having positive effects on reducing depression and anxiety. Lion’s Mane helps to build more Brain-Derived Neutrophine Factors (BDNF), the proteins helping to build neurons, therefore helping with memory, long-term memory, and cognition. Building the neurons in the frontal lobe of the brain, Lion’s Mane can also help with decision making. Lion’s Mane can be taken as a tea or in capsule form.
Is also a Nootropic and is extracted from green tea products, but can be also bought as a supplement. It has a calming and stimulating effect at the same time, giving more focus and attention. L-Theanine can also help with getting a better night’s sleep. With sleep issues a common problem for people with ADHD, and the poor quality of sleep leading to heightened mental health problems, L-Theanine can help with some good quality shut-eye. Anxiety is a common comorbidity of ADHD and L-Theanine can also offer some calming effects. Check with our doctor first before adding a L-Theanine supplement to your diet.