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Diet for ADHD: What are the best foods?

Diet for ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is becoming a common condition that substantially impacts an individual’s day-to-day life. One of the biggest problems appears to be the inability to concentrate. As a result, the individual remains distracted, becomes impulsive, or experiences random bursts of energy. Although there are a few treatments available for ADHD or ADD, one approach that people have recently been experimenting with is attempting to control typical symptoms at home. One at-home remedy that some people find to be effective is a special diet for ADHD.

This hypothesis stems from the fact that the wrong foods in a person’s diet who suffers from ADHD can result in worsened symptoms. At health2delivery, qualified mental health experts have specialized knowledge relating to common symptoms of ADHD. According to them, here are just some of the foods that may be helpful to add to a diet for fewer ADHD symptoms.

Foods to try with ADHD

As you likely already know, ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that typically emerges in teens who are in the 12-17 age range. Youngsters between these ages already have enough on their plate, so dealing with the effects of ADHD can be mentally and physically exhausting.

The disorder is thought to be caused by apparent imbalances in the brain chemistry – specifically neurotransmitters. To help relieve the debilitating effects of ADHD, various foods and nutrients can be beneficial for some individuals.

Such foods and nutrients may improve brain function and overall health. Following are some of the foods that may benefit those struggling with ADHD.

1. Omega fatty acids-based diets

It is not unusual for doctors to advise a person to increase their intake of omega fatty acids, but many people do not know the exact reason behind such advice. Omega fatty acids – more specifically omega-3 fatty acids – are highly beneficial for brain health.

The reasoning behind this is that omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory as well as lower neuroinflammation. This means that omega-3s assist in lowering the risk for the inflammatory response in the brain, which has been directly linked to several mental health disorders.

Furthermore, since omega-3 fatty acids act as building blocks for cell membranes, they can significantly improve neurotransmitters’ function in your brain. Following are some foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids:


  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines


  • Walnuts


  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds


  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil

2. Protein-based diets

Another essential part of your diet when trying to control symptoms of ADHD is making sure you are consuming enough protein. Protein is vital for maintaining and improving the health of the brain.

In addition to this, protein plays a significant role in assembling brain chemicals named neurotransmitters. Therefore, adding protein to a meal is necessary since protein prevents a sudden increase in blood glucose levels. Sudden surges in blood glucose levels can lead to hyperactivity and overstimulation.

Also, it is crucial for the brain to receive sufficient protein to function correctly. The logic behind this is that protein is broken down into amino acids.

As a result, these amino acids assist the brain in creating neurotransmitters as well as neuromodulators — these are the chemical messengers in the brain. As ADHD is caused due to imbalances of neurotransmitters (for instance, dopamine), protein tends to be beneficial.

A few foods high in protein are:

  • Meat and Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Peas

3. Vitamin-based diet

Following are some foods that are exceptionally high in Vitamins B – more specifically B6 and B12:

  • Meats (All types)
  • Chicken breast
  • Frozen or FreshTurkey
  • Beef (Sirloin)
  • Beef Liver
  • Seafood (tuna, salmon, clams)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Nuts (mix)
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach

4. Ketogenic diet

These days, ketogenic diets are pretty popular. Some people believe this way of eating can reduce blood glucose levels and more.

At its core, a ketogenic diet – commonly known as the keto diet –  is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. It is a wonderful way of reducing weight healthily, too.

Furthermore, according to studies, the keto diet has been credited with an effective treatment for epilepsy, in some cases. Since children with epilepsy tend to display symptoms of ADHD a lot, implementing a keto diet might be beneficial.

5. Nutrient-focused diets

Another diet that can reduce or control ADHD symptoms can include the following nutrients:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Fish oil

Other foods ideas for ADHD

The foods mentioned above and diet include a lot of food options; however, there are a few fruits and vegetables that have not yet been mentioned. Following are the fruits and vegetables that you can add to your meals or eat as snacks that are not generally harmful to those with ADHD.

  • Bananas
  • Beans (all kinds)
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage and Kale
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Dates (Avoid dates if you have diabetes, though)
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Green, Yellow and Normal Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Potato
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

Concluding words on diet for ADHD

Some people swear by the benefits of a specialized diet for ADHD to help minimize symptoms. It’s important to recognize that not everyone will have these same benefits as each case is unique. Finally, see your doctor or dietician before changing your diet to discuss any potential allergies and what is best for you.

2 thoughts on “Diet for ADHD: What are the best foods?”

  1. These are all great tips on nutrition. I find with my add (I was diagnosed at 48) that exercise and proper nutrition has been key to dealing with my symptoms for most of my life but also had to get help with medication with my emotional regulation. My advice to others is to try exercise and diet first. It really does help to some degree if you don’t want to try meds… but being diagnosed at 48 I really wish I had gotten diagnosed earlier and put on medication for my symptoms.
    Great read

    1. You are amazing, Kristen ~ You’re moving forward with the diagnosis and doing your best with it. I was only diagnosed last year with a health condition that I’ve had since birth so I get you about wishing we were diagnosed earlier!!

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