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Leg muscle cramps: causes and solution through nutrition

December 03, 2015 Yael Greenberg

Several factors can contribute to leg cramps. According to Mayoclinic, the main factors include:

  • Inadequate blood supply (these cramps are usually resolved by shifting a position or stopping to do the action that caused the cramp, e.g. a certain exercise).
  • Nerve compression - these may be cause by compression of nerves in the spine and need medical attention.
  • Mineral depletion - Too little magnesium, potassium or calcium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps. Blood pressure medication or pregnancy may contribute to depletion of these minerals.

The best foods, superfoods, and superfoods to consume in order to supplement those minerals are as follows:

Magnesium:

One should eat beans, nuts (almonds in particular) dark leafy vegetables and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and squash) to increase intake of magnesium.

Spirulina has a relatively high content of magnesium. 10 grams of Spirulina Crunch will provide 6% of magnesium daily value.

Surprisingly, there aren’t too many superfoods besides Spirulina Crunch that have concentrated amount of magnesium. The best way to get magnesium in your system is to create a trail mix with almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and Spirulina Crunch and munch it throughout the day. 

Potassium: 

The best vegan sources of potassium is bananas, dried fruit, avocados, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds, oranges and beans.

You may need to limit the amount of potassium in your diet if you have hyperkalemia (high potassium levels) or kidney disease. 

The best way to get your potassium in is to munch on dried fruits throughout the day, have a serving of fresh-squeezed orange juice and munch on the trail mix throughout the day. 

Calcium:

There aren’t a lot of calcium supplements over the counter that are efficiently absorbed by the body. The vitamin that helps Calcium to absorb is vitamin D, which is frequently lacking as well as most of us don’t spend enough time outdoors (it gets generated by our bodies after sun exposure). As for dairy products and most greens, although they contain a lot of calcium, it isn’t easy to absorb either. 

I like one particular supplement, called Density, because in it calcium comes in an amorphous form and is much more available for absorption into the bodily process. 

One of the top calcium course among vegetables is brussel sprouts. They can be purchased in the frozen foods section of your supermarket. They are delicious raw, in a salad or lightly cooked in a wok with olive oil and Atlantic salt. Other good vegan sources include tahini, okra, broccoli, molasses and almonds.

Non-vegan sources of calcium include yogurt, sardines and salmon.

It’s important to separate iron and calcium-containing products as the two counteract when consumed together.

 



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