Fruits, vegetables may help with ADHD symptoms in kids

Fruits, vegetables may help with ADHD symptoms in kids

For parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity, the produce aisle has never been more important.

That’s because fruits and vegetables may help to reduce inattention in kids. Researchers at The Ohio State University reached that conclusion as after studying what foods children ate — and how much — over a 90-day period. For the study, parents answered a questionnaire about their child’s diet and ADHD symptoms. Those issues included difficulty remembering things, not following directions and struggling to stay focused.

When the scientists looked more closely at fruit and vegetable consumption, they noted that kids who ate more of those foods had less severe ADHD symptoms, including inattention, hyperactivity or impulsive actions. A dearth of fruits and vegetables also appeared to have a cascading effect: As consumption of those foods dropped, the severity of inattention increased.

Overall, fruits and vegetables were found to be about equal in terms of influencing ADHD severity. Refined grains, saturated fat and sugars all had the opposite effect, contributing slightly to ADHD symptoms.

The study was one of a trio by the same researchers. In one of the other studies, children who took a 36-ingredient vitamin and mineral supplement were three times more likely to show ADHD improvement than kids who took a placebo. In another study, children whose family had food insecurity were more likely to show severe ADHD symptoms.

All of those findings point to a similar conclusion: A healthy, well-balanced diet can supply the nutrients children need to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

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