Magnesium Rich Weeknight Wonder Recipe

This week we are focusing on the mineral magnesium and the role that it can play in improving your ADHD symptoms.  This delicious recipe features spinach and avocado, which are both great sources of magnesium and spinach is in season during the Spring.   This week’s weeknight wonder recipe is Spaghetti with Spinach Avocado Sauce, which is originally from CookingLight magazine. When I first saw this recipe, I couldn’t wait to make it because I love just about anything with avocado.  I hope you enjoy this great combination of flavors.

All New Weeknight Wonder Recipe to Maximize Your Magnesium Intake!

Nutrient to Focus On: Magnesium

Last week, we investigated the power of probiotics and identified the variety of foods that contain probiotics.  This week we will turn our attention to the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body and the role it can play in improving ADHD symptoms.  This week's nutrient to focus on is Magnesium because it is involved in numerous processes that affect ADHD symptoms.  Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and it is critical for energy production. It is involved in DNA and RNA synthesis as well as protein synthesis. Magnesium is also essential for the regulation of muscle contractions. By now you know that ADHD symptoms relate to the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.  Dopamine and serotonin...

10 Sources of Powerful Probiotics

Yesterday, you learned about the power of probiotics and the benefits of these healthy microbes for individuals with ADHD. The brain-gut axis is a very powerful connection that is extremely important for those of us with ADHD to keep in mind.  Now that you know you need to include probiotics in your diet, what foods should you look for?  I have put together a list of the sources of probiotics so that you can maximize your healthy microbe intake and hopefully correct any imbalance in your gut micro-biome. Here are 10 Probiotic Rich Foods: Yogurt: One of the best sources of probiotics you can eat. Be sure to choose yogurt that says live and active cultures on the label to ensure you are getting the probiotics...

The Pros of Probiotics

Did you know that the bacteria in your gut and your ADHD symptoms might be connected? I certainly didn’t until I began researching for this week’s nutrient-probiotics.  I recently learned about the gut-brain continuum and decided to explore this topic in more detail this week. The gut-brain axis must be considered when managing any type of neurological condition, including ADHD. The gut micro-biome is controlled by the enteric nervous system. It has over 100 million neurons and 30 neurotransmitters and it is where 95% of the body’s serotonin is found. The gut micro-biome has the ability to modulate brain activity, specifically mood and behavior.

5 Tips to Help You Meet Your Zinc Needs Every Day

This week, we have focused on zinc and the critical role that this trace mineral plays in ADHD. Zinc is involved in Essential fatty acid conversion (Omega-3s) Brain development (deficiency is associated with inattentiveness) Neurotransmitter conversion (critical in ADHD because of already low levels) So how do you make sure that you are getting the zinc that you need each day? As a reminder, women need 8 mg and men need 11 mg.  Here are the 5 sources of zinc for meat eaters and 5 tips for vegetarians 5 Tips for Meat Eaters: Beef (Chuck Roast): 7 mg in 3 oz of braised beef Pork Shoulder: 3 oz contains 4.2 mg of zinc; Pork Chops contain 2.9 mg in 3 oz cooked Oysters: Just one medium oyster contains 5.3 mg of zinc Alaskan King Crab: 6.5 mg in...

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Zinc

This week we have looked at the benefits of zinc and the important role it can play in improving ADHD symptoms.  Here are 5 things you probably don’t know about zinc:

  1. Men and Women have different daily zinc needs. Men need 11 mg/day and Women need 8 mg/day. Infants and young children need 2-5 mg/day. Older girls/adolescents need 8 mg/day and older boys/adolescents need 11 mg/day.
  2. The Upper Limit of zinc is 40 mg/day. Excess zinc can lead to a copper or an iron deficiency because zinc inhibits the absorption of iron and zinc. Phytates(compounds found in grains also known as phytic acid) and copper can decrease the absorption of zinc.
  3. One of the most common signs of zinc deficiency in children is inattentiveness, which is one of the most common symptoms of ADHD.
  4. Zinc causes increased taste acuity, it enhances insulin action and it stabilizes DNA and RNA
  5. Zinc deficiency results in reduced immune function, poor wound healing, poor growth and hypogeusia

This Braised Chicken Thigh recipe is a simple way to boost your zinc intake for the day.

Nutrient to Focus On: Zinc

By now, you know that diet and exercise play a crucial role in ADHD.  Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and iron all have the potential to improve ADHD symptoms.  This week, we will turn the focus on zinc. Zinc is a trace element and a micro-mineral. It is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.  Zinc has many important functions: it regulates the activity of intracellular brain signals (including dopamine); it regulates the activity of fatty acids and melatonin; and it plays a structural role in protein.  Each of these functions plays an important role in the symptoms of ADHD, which is why zinc is the nutrient to focus on this week.

Some studies have shown that children with ADHD have lower levels of zinc than children without ADHD, which suggests a relationship between zinc concentrations and ADHD symptoms. Another research study suggested that zinc may help improve ADHD related behavior and symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to be the most effective nutrients in reducing ADHD symptoms through diet. Zinc provides protection against oxidative damage of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Without zinc, these benefits may be compromised if the omega-3 fatty acids oxidize and form free radicals. Zinc supplements have shown to alleviate some symptoms of ADHD including hyperactivity and impulsivity. I believe that you and your child can meet your daily Zinc needs by including the right foods in your diet.  The best sources of zinc are animal proteins including meat, fish and poultry.  Pork shoulder is a great source of zinc, with 4.2 mg in a 3 ounce serving, which is why I have chosen Pork Carnitas as today’s recipe.

Vegetarian Friendly Ways to Add Iron to Each Meal

Happy April Fool’s Day! This week, we have been focused on iron and the role it plays in improving ADHD symptoms.  A diet rich in iron leads to increased dopamine production which improves cognitive function.  You now know ways to optimize iron absorption, but how much iron do you need each day  The USDA iron recommendation is 18 milligrams for women and 8 milligrams for men. If you are a vegetarian, it is recommended that you try to consume twice the amount of dietary iron because non-heme (vegetarian) sources of iron are absorbed less efficiently than heme (meat) iron. Here are some meat-free strategies to help you get to 18 mg of Iron that you need each day.

4 Ways to Absorb More Iron

As you may know, this week's Nutrient to Focus on is Iron.  Did you know that iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world? Many individuals struggle to maintain their iron levels, especially those of us with ADHD.  If you are trying to increase the iron in your diet, you need to know these 4 strategies to maximize your iron absorption. Here are 4 Ways to Maximize Your Iron Absorption: Watch out for Calcium: this mineral can block iron absorption in the small intestine.  If you are taking an iron supplement, avoid eating dairy within 30 minutes of taking the iron supplement. For dietary iron, avoid adding dairy to a meal to maximize iron absorption. Vitamin C: This vitamin has the opposite affect of Calcium...

Nutrient to Focus On: Iron

Last week, we continued to investigate the relationship between ADHD and diet by exploring the benefits that protein has on an ADHD brain. This week, we will begin looking at the micronutrients that play a role in ADHD symptoms and behavior.  This week's Nutrient to Focus on is: IRON! Iron is a mineral that our bodies need to survive. It helps provide oxygen to our organs and is involved in dopamine transport in the brain. Last week we discovered that low levels of dopamine is common in those with ADHD. Research suggests that children with ADHD are more likely to have low iron levels. Here are the symptoms of to look for if you are concerned about low iron levels: Increased irritability and inattentiveness Depression Poor Memory Finicky appetite Symptoms of restless leg syndrome As you can see, there...

Crispy Garlicky Chicken Thighs

In case you missed it, last week's nutrient to focus on was protein. Chicken is a great source of protein and is a leaner option. For more protein ideas, check out 8 Surprising Sources of Protein and 5 Ways to Easily Add Protein. As promised, here is the quick and easy weeknight wonder: Garlicky Chicken Thighs. This simple recipe is a one pot meal and takes very little time to prepare. The recipe is originally from "Two in the Kitchen", which means that the recipe is meant to serve two. While the ingredients listed are meant for two, this recipe could easily be doubled or tripled if you have 4 or 6 people to feed. Ingredients: 1lb skin on bone in chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat Salt Freshly ground...

8 Surprising Sources of Protein

This week we have focused on protein and the potential benefits it can have on your ADHD symptoms. You might be wondering how much protein you need and today I am going to help you calculate your individual protein needs. An average adult needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.  So if you weigh 140 pounds, you divide 140 by 2.2 to convert your weight into kilograms. 140/2.2= 64 kg                64 kg x 0.8g/kg protein= 51 grams of protein Certain factors and health conditions will cause your body to have increased protein needs, and it is important to talk to a dietitian to determine if you need additional protein in your diet.  Now that you have a...