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Vitamins and Supplements for ADHD

Vitamins and Supplements for ADHD

Have you ever wondered whether vitamins and supplements can help treat the symptoms of ADHD?

 

Over the past few decades, alternative and complementary medicine has gained in popularity. As a result, there is now a wide range of nontraditional approaches to personal health and healing. These various remedies are sometimes used in the place of standard medical approaches. Oftentimes, though, they are used in addition to standard medical therapy. Some alternative remedies are safe, relatively affordable, and easily accessible. And some may actually create an opportunity for you to participate actively in key decisions about your health.

 

On the other hand, there are other natural or alternative remedies that are unsafe. That's why it's important to know what works -- and what doesn't -- when it comes to nonstandard treatments for conditions like ADHD. The fact that claims are made that a vitamin or supplement is natural is not a guarantee that it's safe. It's important to always discuss any therapy with your doctor before taking it.

 

Read on to discover whether there are vitamins and natural supplements that are safe and effective for treating symptoms of ADHD.

 Zinc for ADHD symptoms

Some studies suggest that children with ADHD may have lower levels of zinc in their body. And some scientists have reported improved symptoms in children with ADHD who took zinc supplements along with traditional ADHD treatment.

 

Several studies have shown a reduction in hyperactivity and impulsivity with zinc supplementation. The same studies, though, report no change in inattentiveness, which is another key symptom of ADHD. A 2005 study in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, though,did show a correlation between zinc levels and teacher- and parent-rated inattention in children.

 

Foods high in zinc include oysters and other seafood, red meat, poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals.

 Fish oil for ADHD symptoms

There is some evidence that fish oil can help improve ADHD symptoms. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. There are some findings that suggest that, in children with ADHD who are 8 to 12 years old, fish oil supplementation may improve mental skills. For instance, it may help improve a child's ability to organize activities.

 

In one study, a specific supplement of fish oil and evening primrose oil was used. Results showed that it improved hyperactivity, inattentiveness, an inability to think clearly, and overall behavior in children with ADHD who were 7 to 12 years old.

 

Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, and sardines.

 St. John's wort: No help for ADHD

St. John's wort is a common herbal supplement. It's used for treating depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. This herbal treatment affects brain chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

 

Recent scientific studies do not support the use of St. John's wort to treat ADHD. In fact, recent findings conclude that St. John's wort has no effect on the symptoms of ADHD.

 

One study involved a group of children and adolescents with ADHD ranging in age from 6 to17. Each child and adolescent was given either a placebo or St. John's wort supplement three times a day for 8 weeks. They were then evaluated for changes in their hyperactivity and inattentiveness. The results showed no difference between the two groups.

 Other natural supplements for ADHD

There is some preliminary evidence that some natural supplements may benefit people with ADHD. For example, in one study, a combination of American ginseng and Ginkgo leaf improved ADHD symptoms in children ages 3 to 17. But researchers conclude that more scientific studies are needed to confirm this finding.

 

Some research also shows that the natural hormone melatonin may offer some benefit for children with ADHD who take stimulant medications. Researchers noted that it improved sleep problems in these children. Melatonin, though, has not been found effective in decreasing ADHD symptoms.

 

Natural supplements such as GABA and inositol are sometimes used to treat ADHD and ease mood symptoms. Neither one of these natural products is proven to be effective, though. Also, there is still insufficient evidence about the safety of either product.

 Can nutritional supplements help with ADHD by filling dietary gaps?

Some proponents of nutritional supplements believe that ADHD symptoms occur because of a lack in the diet. They also believe that supplements are needed to fill that dietary gap.

 

For instance, there are some studies on using iron supplements to treat ADHD. Findings from these studies suggest that children with ADHD may have iron deficiencies. The hypothesis is that supplementing with iron may improve ADHD symptoms.

 

It's important, though, to use caution when giving your child any supplement. Taking too much iron, for instance, can be toxic -- even deadly. It's important to check with your child's doctor if you believe your child may be iron deficient.

 In addition, always talk to your doctor before using any natural supplements. That includes megadoses of vitamins or minerals. That's because there's always a chance of toxicity or of interaction with medication. 

Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate

Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements and you'll believe they can do everything from sharpen focus and concentration, to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.

But do they really work? There's no denying that as we age chronologically, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy brain -- if you add "smart" foods and beverages to your diet.

  Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There's no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter -- but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize and help you focus and concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz -- though the effects are short term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

  Sugar Can Enhance AlertnessSugar is your brain's preferred fuel source -- not table sugar, but glucose, which your body metabolizes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. That's why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability.

Consume too much, however, and memory can be impaired -- along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory, without packing on the pounds.

  Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your BrainTempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform significantly better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers' brain fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don't overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.  Fish Really is Brain FoodA protein source associated with a great brain boost is fish -- rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and development. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: higher dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke risks; slower mental decline; and may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.

For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.

  Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and ChocolateNuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties. And it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus and concentration.

Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to provide all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.

  Add Avocados and Whole GrainsEvery organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. Eating a diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells.

Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though avocados have fat, it's the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that contributes to healthy blood flow.

  Blueberries Are Super Nutritious

Research in animals shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning and muscle function of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

  Benefits of a Healthy DietIt may sound trite but it's true: If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can decrease your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your ability to focus. A heavy meal may make you feel lethargic, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs.

Benefit your brain: Strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy, wholesome foods.

  Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements?Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient.Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain.

Check with your doctor.

  Get Ready for a Big DayWant to power up your ability to concentrate? Start with a meal of 100% fruit juice, a whole grain bagel with salmon, and a cup of coffee. In addition to eating a well-balanced meal, experts also advise:·         Get a good night's sleep.·         Stay hydrated.·         Exercise to help sharpen thinking.·         Meditate to clear thinking and relax  

Daily Red Meat Raises Chances of Dying Early

Daily Red Meat Raises Chances Of Dying Early

 
The new study says,
The new study says, "If people want to be healthy and live longer, consume less red and processed meat," global nutrition professor Barry Popkin said. (By James M. Thresher For The Washington Post)
    
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

 

Eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely, according to the first large study to examine whether regularly eating beef or pork increases mortality.

The study of more than 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who consumed about four ounces of red meat a day (the equivalent of about a small hamburger) were more than 30 percent more likely to die during the 10 years they were followed, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Sausage, cold cuts and other processed meats also increased the risk.

Previous research had found a link between red meat and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, but the new study is the first large examination of the relationship between eating meat and overall risk of death, and is by far the most detailed.

 

"The bottom line is we found an association between red meat and processed meat and an increased risk of mortality," said Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute, who led the study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In contrast, routine consumption of fish, chicken, turkey and other poultry decreased the risk of death by a small amount.

 

"The uniqueness of this study is its size and length of follow-up," said Barry M. Popkin, a professor of global nutrition at the University of North Carolina, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. "This is a slam-dunk to say that, 'Yes, indeed, if people want to be healthy and live longer, consume less red and processed meat.' "

 

There are many explanations for how red meat might be unhealthy: Cooking red meat generates cancer-causing compounds; red meat is also high in saturated fat, which has been associated with breast and colorectal cancer; and meat is high in iron, also believed to promote cancer. People who eat red meat are more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease. Processed meats contain substances known as nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer.

 

Although pork is often promoted as "white meat," it is believed to increase the risk of cancer because of its iron content, Sinha said.

 

Regardless of the mechanism, the research provides new evidence that people should follow long-standing recommendations to minimize consumption of red meat, several experts said.

 

"The take-home message is pretty clear," said Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It would be better to shift from red meat to white meat such as chicken and fish, which if anything is associated with lower mortality."

 

The American Meat Institute, a trade group, dismissed the findings, however, saying they were based on unreliable self-reporting by the study participants.

 

"Meat products are part of a healthy, balanced diet, and studies show they actually provide a sense of satisfaction and fullness that can help with weight control. Proper body weight contributes to good health overall," James H. Hodges, the group's executive vice president, said in a written statement.

 

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 545,653 predominantly white volunteers, ages 50 to 71, participating in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. In 1995, the subjects filled out detailed questionnaires about their diets, including meat consumption. Over the next 10 years, 47,976 men and 23,276 women died.

 

After accounting for other variables that might confound the findings, such as smoking and physical activity, the researchers found that those who ate the most red meat -- about a quarter-pound a day -- were more likely to die of any reason, and from heart disease and cancer in particular, than those who ate the least -- the equivalent of a couple of slices of ham a day.

 

Among women, those who ate the most red meat were 36 percent more likely to die for any reason, 20 percent more likely to die of cancer and 50 percent more likely to die of heart disease. Men who ate the most meat were 31 percent more likely to die for any reason, 22 percent more likely to die of cancer and 27 percent more likely to die of heart disease.

 

In contrast, those who consumed the most white meat were about 8 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who ate the least, the researchers found. Poultry contains more unsaturated fat, which improves cholesterol levels, and fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

The risk also rose among those who consumed the most processed meat, which included any kind of sausage, cold cuts or hot dogs. Women who consumed the most processed meat (about an ounce a day) were about 25 percent more likely to die overall, about 11 percent more likely to die of cancer and about 38 percent more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those who ate the least. The men who ate the most processed meat were 16 percent more likely to die for any reason, about 12 percent more likely to die of cancer and about 9 percent more likely to die of heart disease.

 

Experts stressed that the findings do not mean that people need to eliminate red meat from their diet, but instead should avoid eating it every day.

 

"You can be very healthy being a vegetarian, but you can be very healthy being a non-vegetarian if you keep your red-meat intake low," Willett said. "If you are eating meat twice a day and can cut back to once a day there's a big benefit. If you cut back to two or three times a week there's even more benefit. If you eliminate it entirely, there's a little more benefit, but the big benefit is getting away from everyday red-meat consumption."

 

In addition to the health benefits, a major reduction in the eating of red meat would probably have a host of other benefits to society, Popkin said: reducing water shortages and pollution, cutting energy consumption, and tamping down greenhouse gas emissions -- all of which are associated with large-scale livestock production.

 

"There's a big interplay between the global increase in animal food intake and the effects on climate change," he said. "If we cut by a few ounces a day our red-meat intake, we would have big impact on emissions and environmental degradation."

 

Veggie swap

While your palate may crave a juicy steak, research suggests that eating too much meat could be jeopardizing your health. An extensive study concluded that consuming four ounces of red meat a day (size of a small hamburger) can increase the risk of both heart disease and cancer by more than 30 percent. On the flipside, vegetarians tend to exhibit lower incidences of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and hypertension.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a devout herbivore to reap the benefits of vegetarian fare. Consider choosing one or two nights a week to prepare a meatless meal that still satisfies your carnivorous appetite. Here are some tasty ideas:

  • Tofu not your thing? Try seitan as an alternative. This protein-rich wheat gluten product also imitates the consistency of meat and absorbs flavors well. Use it to replace beef or chicken in stir-fry recipes or fajitas.

 

  • With their hearty texture, beans serve as filling inserts in dishes that usually call for meat. Consider incorporating an array of black, kidney, lentils, anasazi, and pinto beans into your chili. Load up soups and salads with chickpeas or lima beans. Or add black beans to omelets instead of bacon, sausage, or ham—processed meats in particular are shown to raise cancer risk.

 

  • Mushrooms are packed with cancer-fighting properties. Try using the low-calorie, high fiber fungus to fortify enchiladas, pizza, or casseroles. Or spice and grill portobellos and place them in a sesame bun for an upscale veggie burger.

Walking for balance and coordination

Walking for balance and coordination

The simple act of walking may seem like second nature, and it is. Walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week can also improve overall balance and coordination.

·         Walking strengthens bones so you’re better apt to handle a misstep. It even lowers hip fracture risk in women by 55 percent.

 

·         Practicing can enhance walking ability in sufferers of brain impairment or injury. Studies find that stroke patients who walked on a treadmill improved overall stability and speed well into the first year of recovery

.·         Walking not only engages the lower extremities, core, and back to improve physical control, it also strengthens nerve connections between body and mind that coordinate movement.Find time for your walk today.

Not only will it help you enjoy overall good health, it will also improve your balance and coordination.

Best Bodyweight Exercises

What can you do when you can't get a gym?
>
> If you are busy, on vacation, traveling for work or just want a good
> workout at home, here are some of the best bodyweight exercises you
> can do to get a great muscle building and fat burning workout.
>
> Chest Dips
>
> Hang on the bars with your arms fully extended. Keep your legs bent
> and crossed together.
>
> Slowly lower yourself until your elbows are at about 90 degrees.
> Focus on your chest muscles as you do this. Now push yourself back up
> to the top position, but don't lock your elbows.
>
> Close Grip Chinups
>
> Grip the bar using an under-hand grip (palms facing you), with your
> hands about 6-8 inches apart.
>
> Pull your body up (using bicep muscles only) until your upper chest
> touches the bar. Then slowly lower your body until your arms and
> shoulders are fully extended. Repeat. Don't swing your body for
> momentum.
>
> Handstand Pushups
>
> Get a few inches away from a wall and kick yourself up into a
> handstand against the wall. At this point your body should be as
> straight as possible, with your legs straight up the wall.
>
> Slowly lower yourself to the ground. Once your head nearly touches
> the floor, push yourself back up to the starting position (but don't
> lock your elbows at the top).
>
> One Leg Squats
>
> Hold one leg out in front of you and stretch out your arms.
>
> Lower yourself slowly using the leg that's on the ground. Make sure
> your foot is perfectly flat on the floor and that you aren't moving
> your toes around. At the point where your squatting leg is parallel
> to the ground, squeeze your stomach muscles as hard as you can and
> get to the bottom position. Hold the bottom position for 1 second
> then push yourself back up to starting position. This exercise is
> done one leg at a time.
>
> Hanging Knee Raise
>
> Hang from chin-up bar.
>
> Lift your knees up towards your chin while rounding your back
> slightly during each movement. At the top of each rep, hold and
> squeeze your abs, then lower your legs in a controlled fashion.
> Do not use momentum to swing your legs up.
>
>
> For more information on bodyweight workouts checkout
> http://list.netatlantic.com/t/58601118/39727547/151932/0/

Do's & Don'ts of Cardio:

Relax before and after every Cardio session. 
 
When jumping rope, don't jump as high as you can just jump high 
enough for the rope to pass under your feet. 
 
When running, take short brakes every few meters, if you feel your
 heart is way too jumpy and have troubles breathing stop and rest 
for a few minutes, relax, have a drink of water and if you feel 
fine continue. 
 
Don't wear formal shoes, heels or similar shoes. Always wear tennis 
shoes, sneakers or similar type of shoes. 
 
Don't skip on a hard surface. You might hurt your tendons and 
ligaments. 
 
If you feel dehydrated drink water until you're satisfied, but not 
too much. When jogging, walking or other similar activity always 
take water with you. 
 
Don't over train, this is bad for you - just do as much as 
your body can take, not more. 
 
Clothes are important; they depend on whatever Cardio activity 
you're doing. For example, don't wear jeans when running; wear a 
t-shirt not a dress shirt for Gods sake! And remember that the 
clothes you wear shouldn't be tight or you'll feel uncomfortable. 
 
Equipment is also important; make sure you have the right 
equipment. Don't take a soccer ball to a basketball game! 
 
Try working out in the shade out of the sun, trust me you'll feel 
much more comfortable and you ll be away from the harmful UV rays. 
 
Wear sunglasses if doing an outdoor exercise, for some reason 
you'll feel less hot with them on. 
 
The most important thing, have motivation! Let it be a special 
someone, a boyfriend or a girlfriend, the way you look, etc. 
Doesn't matter, make sure you have one and you'll see that 
you'll work harder for your goal!

Sun safety tips for early spring

When summer’s heat is pounding down on you, you get a cue to protect your skin. But even in the spring, the sun can damage your skin—no matter the weather conditions.Follow these tips to be sun-smart in the spring:

·         Know your skin type. Rates of melanoma are rising, and fair-skinned people are at greater risk.

 

·         Plan around the sun. Try planning outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is weaker.

 

·         Cover up. Choose clothing that is appropriate for the temperature and that covers as much skin as possible. In cool spring weather, this step is easier than it is in the summer.

 

·         Use sunscreen. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, which filters out about 97 percent of UVB rays. And remember to reapply the sunscreen if you’re outside for a while, especially if you’re exercising and sweating. Don’t forget to wear lip balm with SPF protection as well.

 

·         Don’t forget your eyes. Wear sunglasses that block UV rays to help protect your eyes.

 Simple measures for sun safety can help prevent skin cancer and various kinds of damage from the sun. Also be sure to examine your skin regularly and discuss any areas of concern with your doctor.

Food chemistry

The molecular makeup of foods determines how they react both inside and outside your body. Keep these thoughts in mind when you prepare your next meal:

  • Gas. Generally, fruits release ethylene gas as they ripen, while vegetables absorb the gas. Apples and bananas are prime suspects. To help slow the ripening effect, separate your fruits and veggies. Prolong the freshness of leafy greens by storing them in paper bags with a moist paper towel. To take advantage of the chemical reaction, bundle green bananas together to turn them yellow faster. To ripen an apple overnight, place it in a bag with an avocado and fold the bag over to close it.

 

  • Heat. In most cases, cooking any vegetable sacrifices its nutritional integrity to some degree. But others actually benefit from a little heat. For instance, cooking tomatoes into a sauce activates lycopene, a cancer–fighting antioxidant.

Spring cleaning for the mind and spirit

With the beautiful weather and renewed energy spring brings, many people feel the urge to do some spring cleaning. When you remove clutter in your life, you also create a feeling of satisfaction.Spring is a great time for de-cluttering your mind as well. Consider these tips:·         Exercise. It’s a good escape. Without phone calls, emails, or other distractions, you have time to be alone with your thoughts, reflect on the day, and sort out problems.·         Make a list. Consider making a list of issues to work through or dilemmas to resolve. Review the areas of your life that may contribute to mental clutter. Then set some priorities that will help you achieve clarity.·         Talk it over. Sometimes all it takes to clear your head is talking things over with a friend, family member, or therapist. Putting a name to your worries can do wonders.·         Accept it. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, there are some things you can’t change. Accept them as a reality and focus on what you can control—your reactions and your attitude.When you manage your stress, you may find you can deal with issues more effectively as they come up.
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