Feed Your Brain: How to fuel your brain from someone with ADHD

No comments

 I was one of the lucky women that was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age and have been managing it with diet and lifestyle since I was in elementary school.  Many women don’t get diagnosed until later in life, which impacts their overall mental well-being as many go decades without an understanding of how their brains work and treatment options. One stat from the Center for ADHD Awareness Canada states that up to 75% of girls with attention problems go undiagnosed. My mental well-being has been an area of continued learning, especially as I become more aware of its impact on my day-to-day life. Adulting has been a steep learning curve while I learn to manage my ADHD symptoms, overall health, working towards my goals, and the seemingly never-ending to-do list. So here are the top 3 recommendations that I have used for my mental well-being. 

Omega 3 

Omega 3 (EPA and DHA)  can be found in seafood and algae. While dietary options are the ideal source, fish and other forms of seafood might not be a regular part of your diet for one of many reasons. This is where supplementation with fish or algae oils is a great option. So why is this something that is recommended? In a study review (2) where they reviewed 25 different studies that looked at the impact of omega-3 across a person’s lifespan. They found that having a regular source, be it food or supplement, can help with learning, cognitive performance, memory, mood and stress regulation. The possible reason behind these findings is that omega 3 has a beneficial impact on neurogenesis (growth of brain cells), optimized brain repair mechanisms and protected synaptic transmission to name a few.  Although these benefits can also be seen in a neurotypical person, Omega 3 can help the ADHD brain work more efficiently and possibly see a reduction in some symptoms, which has been my personal experience.


With the rise of mental health concerns, so has the research on holistic non-pharmaceutical remedies, this includes research done on the gut-brain axis or more specifically the microbiota-hippocampal axis (3,4). Fibre feeds our gut microbiota and recent studies are finding that there is a connection between our mental health and our gut health. In animal studies, it has been seen that a fibre-deficient diet in mice has shown a decrease in brain function and cognitive decline. Considering that the Western Diet often only meets half of the dietary recommendation for fibre, it’s something to keep in mind and just another reason to eat your veggies and other high-fibre foods.  

Get active 

Last but probably most important is physical activity. In the dopamine-deficient brain of an ADHD person exercise is a healthy source of focus-inducing dopamine. Not to mention the other many numerous health benefits. When focusing on the brain and mental health, physical activity has also been shown to aid in Neuroplasticity, improved learning, focus, and better sleep cycles, all things that can be a struggle for those of us with ADHD(1). 

While mental health can be complex, there are things that we can do as part of a lifestyle that can support our mental and physical well-being. If you are looking for support in setting up a lifestyle that will support you while you work towards achieving your goals, you can reach out to me through my “contact me” page.


  1. Phillips C. (2017). Lifestyle Modulators of Neuroplasticity: How Physical Activity, Mental Engagement, and Diet Promote Cognitive Health during Aging. Neural plasticity, 2017, 3589271. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3589271 
  2. Derbyshire, E. (2018). Brain Health across the Lifespan: A Systematic Review on the Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements. Nutrients, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10081094
  3. Shi, H., Ge, X., Ma, X., Zheng, M., Cui, X., Pan, W., Zheng, P., Yang, X., Zhang, P., Hu, M., Hu, T., Tang, R., Zheng, K., Huang, F., & Yu, Y. (2020). A fiber-deprived diet causes cognitive impairment and hippocampal microglia-mediated synaptic loss through the gut microbiota and metabolites. Microbiome, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-021-01172-0 
  4. Grosso, G. (2021). Nutritional Psychiatry: How Diet Affects Brain through Gut Microbiota. Nutrients, 13(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041282