Do you feel that it is hard for your child to pay attention? Do you feel that your child finds it difficult to sit without movement or maybe restless and overly active? If yes, it can be a sign of hyperactivity or ADHD ( Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) in kids.
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Hyperactivity is a state of excess activity that may be evident by symptoms such as:
- Excessive physical activity like unnecessary climbing and jumping.
- Talk nonstop.
- Be fidgety and restless.
- Trouble sitting still.
- Disrupt others or can’t wait for their turn.
ADHD(Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
ADHD or Hyperactivity in kids is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder. It is a disorder which makes it difficult for kids to pay attention, control Impulsive behavior, and feel restless. Usually, the symptoms of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) start to surface between the age of 3 to 6 years old, and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. However the symptoms like hyperactivity improves with age and other symptoms like poor impulse control and disorganization often continue through the teen year.
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In addition to the symptoms of hyperactivity, below are some common symptoms in the behavior of child with ADHD, generally noticeable in the early childhood:
- Trouble in staying focused on a task.
- Often makes careless mistakes
- Easily distracted.
- Appears forgetful or losing things. (foods to increase memory)
- Difficulty in following instructions.
- Frequently avoid tasks that require a long time.
- People usually complain that he/she doesn’t listen even when someone is directly talking to them.
- Act too quickly without thinking.
- Interrupting conversation.
- Constantly tap their hands or feet.
- Not able to interpret danger.
- Desire for immediate reward.
- Difficulty sleeping.(What are some foods that help in sound sleep?)
However the exact cause of ADHD is not clear yet and research is continuing. The kids with family history of ADHD, who were born premature or have low birth weight, brain injury that happened either in the womb or later in life are at high risk.
While there is no cure for ADHD, currently available treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve functioning. Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments. Along with the treatment and therapies, including some foods in diet may help to great extent.
Foods to avoid
Refined sugar: Excessive sugar impairs cognitive skills as well as self control. Moreover, sugar damages the protein in our body, resulting in ageing of organs, which further compromises immunity, growth and functioning. Greatest source of sugar in the average kid’s diet are sugary snacks and beverages like cookies, cakes, candies, fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks. Everything that the child picks up to eat today has strains of added sugar in some form or the other.
Preservatives: Most of the packaged food companies are adding artificial preservatives to delay spoilage and contamination in foods. Artificial preservatives such as nitrates, benzoates, sulfites, sorbates, parabens, formaldehyde, BHT, BHA and several others can cause serious health hazards such as hypersensitivity, allergy, asthma, hyperactivity, neurological damage.
Refined oil: The high temperature involved in the refining process removes all the natural and beneficial substances from the oil, which is not good for the digestive as well as respiratory health and ultimately affects your immunity.
Foods to manage hyperactivity and ADHD symptoms in kids:
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and macadamia nuts all have unique qualities to offer. Macadamias support healthy brain function, while pistachio nut oils store fatty acids and fight inflammation. Almonds aid with memory improvement. For children who don’t consume meat, nuts are a fantastic source of several minerals including omega-3 fatty acids. It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids can control ADHD.
Apart from nuts, seeds like sunflower, melon and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers and therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration and memory. One of the easiest to feed brain boosting foods for kids.
Jowar, which is rich in iron, can also lessen ADHD symptoms like anxiety, hyperactivity, and tantrums. Iron has the ability to relax the nervous system, which helps the child with ADHD syndrome to become more at ease.
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Gotu kola has strong anti-oxidant qualities and enhances cognition, memory, and mental performance. It gently relaxes the nervous system while also encouraging alertness—the best possible state of consciousness for any form of mental focus, study, or cognition.
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Spearmint extract has higher quantities of phenolic compounds that enhance working memory, spatial working memory and increase attention, concentration, and brain function by promoting the formation and protection of new brain cells.
ST. JOHN’S WORT
St John’s wort contains chemical messengers like Hyperforin and Adhyperforin. These chemicals has antidepressant properties. The extracts of this herb enhance mood, focus, and also reduce anxiety and insomnia. According to several studies, adolescents with ADHD may benefit from taking St. John’s wort every day for four weeks. It is also used to treat problems including anxiety, exhaustion, appetite loss, and difficulty sleeping that might occasionally accompany depression.
The chemicals in the passion flower provide a calming and relaxing effect. Early research indicates that taking passion flower orally for eight weeks may help some ADHD symptoms in kids aged 6 to 13 years.
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The herb valerian has relaxation properties. Additionally, it contains some anticonvulsant qualities that might be advantageous for kids who are prone to seizure activity. Children with ADHD, cognitive impairment, hyperactivity, irritability, anxiety, behavioural regulation, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities can benefit from valerian for improved attention and sleep.
The most well-known essential oil for soothing is lavender. Lavender essential oil can be helpful for reducing anxiety and making you feel more at ease, which may help with ADHD symptoms. The aroma of lavender oil can calm and soothe the nervous system. Its relaxing qualities can benefit autistic children by enhancing their sleep quality and assisting their bodies in combating emotional stress.
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Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric is known to improve spatial memory, long-time retrieval and visual memory as per a study. It helps in managing anxiety, depression etc which is commonly seen in people with ADHD disorder.
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Ginkgo biloba is a promising herbal supplement that may alter the neural system in a disorder similar to ADHD. It enhances the memory and cognitive performance. According to a study, Children who took a ginkgo extract daily for three to five weeks showed a decrease in the symptoms of ADHD.
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Sunflower lecithin is an excellent source of choline, a vital nutrient required for a variety of health functions. Since choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning, choline is particularly significant for maintaining good brain function.
Also check, Foods to manage hyperactivity in kids
A research found that the exposure to the aroma of rosemary oil improved people’s performance on thinking tasks in terms of speed and accuracy.
Also check, Healthy diet plan for autism.
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