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Finding Focus with Adult ADD and ADHD
With an increase in exposure to food additives, sugar and heavy metals, it’s no wonder more and more people are looking for ways to support mental function, memory and mood — especially those with ADD and ADHD. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy foods and supplements to turn to!
Fish oils provide a variety of health benefits, especially for our brain. Rich in EPA and DHA, omega-3 fats comprise a significant portion of the lipids in the brain and help to support cognition, attention, and mood. Some of the best sources of omega-3 fats include cod liver oil, wild-caught salmon, and smaller fish commonly used in fish oil supplements including
sardine, mackerel and anchovies.
B vitamins are go-to nutrients for supporting our nervous system by promoting the activity of nerve cells and the production of neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. These anti-stress vitamins work synergistically with each other to help provide energy for our cells, as well as support for memory and mood! Better yet, bilberries have anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic effects. If you can’t find fresh bilberries, you can find them as a supplement in most health food stores.
Did you know that our gut is known as our second brain? There is a very intricate connection between mental health and gut health, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to support and strengthen our digestive system. Probiotics help to reestablish friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract which helps boost our immune system, manufacture B vitamins, and improve the breakdown of various foods.
Magnesium is an excellent anti-stress mineral and can have a very calming effect on the body, but due to reduced soil quality and depleted magnesium levels in our food supply, many people aren’t obtaining adequate amounts from their diet! Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant in the body and can help aid restlessness, improve sleep, and can help prevent imbalances in mental function including apathy, poor memory, and other symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency.
Comprised of many different components including choline and inositol, lecithin makes up a significant percentage of our brain and plays a big role in promoting mood balance and healthy nerve function. Phosphatidylserine, another component of lecithin, is particularly useful in promoting memory and attention and can help improve cognitive function. Lecithin is most often sourced from soy or sunflower, and is also concentrated in egg yolks.
Whichever foods or supplements you choose to explore, there are plenty of nutrient-dense options available to support mental function, memory, and mood!
1. Mateljan, G. (2006). The world's healthiest foods: Essential guide for the healthiest way of eating. [pp. 389] Seattle, WA: George Mateljan Foundation.
2. Haas, E. M., & Levin, B. (2006). Staying healthy with nutrition: The complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine. [pp. 165, 272, 283] Berkeley: Celestial Arts.