I'm Story

Hi, I’m Brittany.

I’m the founder of I’m Nutrients.

It all started in 2019 after I could never seem to find the perfect nutrient combinations for my children’s needs. I had a very good idea of what those perfect combo's were. 

As a nutritionist + herbalist with 10+ years of experience and being mum of 2, I knew what products I wish I have. And I’m nutrient was born, a child focused nutrient company, after I struggling to find effective, clean and palatable supplements for my children. 

Everything my children tried either contained too many additives like sugars, artificial flavours and sweeteners and excipients, didn’t contain effective dosages or optimal forms of nutrients, and were too tricky to take; either capsules or gross non-palatable powders.  

The inspiration behind my first product, I’m Calm + Focused came from my son. He was diagnosed with mild ADHD, predominately inattentive type and was struggling to focus at school. Being a nutritionist, I knew that a combination of zinc, magnesium, and B-vitamins would be helpful and there was evidence to back that up. My herbal knowledge pointed me to research more about antioxidant rich herbs. Saffron, a common culinary, had gained a lot of attention in recent years because of a number of published clinical trials, specifically showing benefit for saffron and ADHD.  It also was one of the more sustainable and environmentally options for herbal medicines. 

 Giving my son all these nutrients meant multiple tablets and capsules. For a number of months, I opened up capsules of zinc and B-vitamins and added them to homemade (healthy jelly). For magnesium I would bath him in magnesium chloride and apply magnesium creams. I also tried to use saffron in cooking as much as she could. We ate a lot of paella! After just 2 weeks of this protocol, my son was starting to sleep better, being calmer and the feedback from school was “what has changed? He is doing great”.

 The results from my son were so overwhelming positive that I then looked into further research. She found that Saffron was also helpful for reducing irritability, stress, mild anxiety and to calm the mind. I was overwhelmed by the number of studies on nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and B-vitamins too. I was relieved to find out that Saffron can potentially offset some of the side effects of common stimulant medications and is safe to use concurrently, if this were to be on the cards for us later on.

 I was confident that the therapeutic effects of saffron, with the addition of zinc, magnesium and active vitamins B6, follinic acid (B9) and B12 to support the underlying biochemical pathways to provide support for nervous system, was the ideal combination. I  also saw the significant need, through her clinical practise, in the paediatric population for integrative support for mental health issues. It was also important that this combination of nutrients was in a form that was both easily to absorbed into a family’s daily routine, without adding further stress.

I’m Nutrients was born.

Do your kids hate green vegetables and only feed them organic bread? Chances are they might be folate deficient.

Folate (natural form of B9 found in foods) or folic acid (synthetic form of vitamins B9), is best known for being essential when planning for a baby and during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. The vitamin, in my opinion, does get enough credit beyond baby making. 

Folate is essential for growth and in childhood. Folate helps to make DNA, form red blood cells and for the growth and repair of tissues. Folate deficiency in children can cause haemological changes such as megaloblastic anaemia and have consequences for their growth, as well as cognition (WHO). Some studies have reported lower scores in schoolchildren with low folate status. 

Folate deficiency in the past was such a significant public health issue, that in Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) implemented mandatory folic acid fortification to floured use to make commercial breads, organic flour being exempt. Three slices of fortified bread contain approximately 120 micrograms of folic acid.

Clinically, I see many families who opt to eat organic produce and for good reason (read more about organic and ADHD here), and some family’s choosing to go gluten or grain free. All which can be justifiable decisions, based on your individual family’s needs and health concerns.

Often what isn’t thought of though is the folate requirements of the family, particularly women of childbearing age and young children. Aside from fortified grain products, beef liver, spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus and brussels sprouts are among some of the richest naturally source of folate. What’s that? Slim chance your fussy child will eat any of those. I get it!

That’s why I added follinic acid, an activated form of folic acid into I’M CALM + FOCUSED. The recommend daily intake of folate in children is; 150 mcg for children aged 1-3 years, 200 mcg for 4-9-year old’s and 300 mcg for 9-13-year old’s. One delicious chewable of I’M CALM + FOCUSED contains 50 mcg of follinic acid.  The suggested dose for 3-9-year old’s is 2 chewable’s daily and 9+, 3 daily. This can give you peace of mind that your child’s folate requirements are being met each day.

 

 

 

 

ADHD and Dietary Triggers

It is safe to say that poor nutrition negatively impacts everyone's health. However, the specific relationship between nutrition and ADHD is still unclear in terms of the scientific literature. While each child with ADHD is unique in their health and symptoms, what can’t be argued with though is the benefits that a nutritious, healthy diet what have on your child’s life. It is important to understand that ADHD requires a multi-modality approach and nutrition alone won't be the only factor that you need to consider to support your child, but it is a very big part of the picture and a great place to start. Here’s what you need to know about supporting your child’s ADHD through dietary interventions.

 

Foods to Avoid

 

The research has demonstrated that nutrition and eating habits alone do not cause ADHD. However, that being said, there is evidence to show that children with ADHD may benefit from more targeted dietary approaches that exclude certain foods. The items most commonly discussed in regards to worsened ADHD behaviours are sugar, additives, preservatives, food colourings and flavour enhancer, which are all prominent factors in the typical western diet. These items have all been highlighted due to their excitatory effects in the brain, which may contribute to heightened ADHD behaviours in children such as overactivity and restlessness.

Sugar

  • Avoid pre-packaged and processed foods containing added sugars such as lollies, cakes, sauces, pastries, cereals, soft drinks, juices, yoghurts, ice creams and ready meals
  • The World Health Organisation recommend no more than 25g per day for those 2 years and older. 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon, so 25 grams of sugar is therefore equivalent to 6 teaspoons.

Refined Carbohydrates

  • Refined or simple carbohydrates include sugars and refined grains that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients.
  • These include white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, sweet desserts, and many breakfast cereals

Additives and Preservatives

  • Additives - E102, E104, E107, E110, E112, E123, E124, E127, E128, E129, E132, E133, E142, E151, E155, E160b (annatto)
  • Preservatives - Benzoates (E210-213) mainly in drinks and sauces; Sulphites (E220-228) mainly in sausages, soft drinks and dried fruit; Nitrates (E249-252) mainly processed meat - especially bacon ham

Flavour Enhancers

  • MSG - found in take away food, pre packaged meals, stocks, pre-made sauces, processed meats and fish, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extracts, crisps and chips
  • Hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP) - added to savoury processed meats

 

…. Basically, if it comes in a packet and contains a long list of ingredients, an ingredient you find difficult to pronounce, a number or added sugar it is probably best you avoid it.

 

 

Allergies and Intolerances

 

Despite anecdotal reports of an increased prevalence of food allergies among ADHD patients systematic reviews examining the association between ADHD have been inconclusive. However, many children with ADHD may be at risk of potential allergies and intolerances being overlooked due to the cross over between some of the symptoms of intolerances and ADHD behaviour. Unmanaged allergies and intolerances may not only affect a child’s ADHD but may also impact their long term health. For this reason, it is advised that parents closely monitor their children for the intake of certain foods that correlate with worsened behaviour.

 

Allergies and intolerances that have been detected in children with ADHD include gluten, wheat, dairy and salicylates. It is important to note that allergies, intolerances and elimination diets should always be discussed and investigated under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

 

Foods to Include

 

When you remove added sugars, preservatives and additives what are you left with? Whole foods. And that is exactly want you want your child to be eating, especially if they have ADHD. You should be focusing on making sure your child diet is made up of the following foods.

 

Vegetables

  • As many different varieties as possible
  • A mix of raw and cooked vegetables
  • Legumes and beans also count as vegetables

Fruit

  • Whole fruit
  • Note: children with diagnosed salicylate intolerances may need to remove some fruits

Proteins

  • A combination of protein from animal and plan-based proteins
  • Animal proteins from pasture-fed and free-range animals
  • Plant proteins from beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and non-GMO soy products

Wholegrains

  • Spelt, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, barley, bulgar, millet, whole wheat bread, pasta or crackers

Healthy Fats

  • Oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, dairy products from pasture-raised animals

 

The great thing about transitioning to a healthier way of eating is that when you start focusing on filling the diet with nutritious, delicious food, there is less room for other things to sneak in that may aggravate their symptoms. This is important as children on heavily processed and refined diets are missing out on essential nutrients needed for healthy growth and development. Additionally, research suggests that children with ADHD may be more likely to have certain nutritional deficiencies and may require greater amounts of certain nutrients such as zinc, iron, B6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

In conclusion, a diet full of too much sugar, too many refined foods, artificial foods and food substances, too few fruits and vegetables and a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, have all been suggested as potential factors that can aggravate ADHD. While it won't be possible to ensure your child eats perfectly all the time, the basis of their diet should always be whole-food-based, and specific attention may need to be paid to certain nutrients and food groups in some cases of ADHD.