Help tame leg cramps by adding these foods to your diet.
Leg cramps, while not usually dangerous, can be extremely painful. Stretching the cramping muscle may provide some relief, according to the Harvard Medical School. You can also add certain foods to your diet that may help alleviate the pain of leg cramps. Leg cramps should not be confused with leg pain, which may be a sign of poor circulation. Discuss any pains you have with your doctor before changing your diet or exercise routine.
In addition to these foods and supplements, drinking enough water can also help alleviate leg cramps. Keep a reusable water bottle with you to ensure you’re sipping throughout the day.
Wheat Germ Oil
A teaspoon of wheat germ oil taken daily may help stop leg cramps, according to MedicineNet. Wheat germ oil is high in Vitamin E, which may help alleviate leg cramps and other cramps in some people. Wheat germ oil is often available in health food stores, but if you cannot find it or do not like the taste, you can try taking a 400 IU Vitamin E supplement daily, according to MedicineNet. Since taking too much Vitamin E may cause health problems, discuss a wheat germ oil or Vitamin E supplement with your doctor before taking them.
Dairy products are a good source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. All three nutrients are necessary to keep muscles in good working order and prevent cramps, according to MedicineNet. Adding low-fat cheese, yogurt or milk to your bedtime routine may help prevent leg cramps during the night. If you cannot tolerate dairy products, or if consuming dairy alone does not stop your leg cramps, you may also consider taking a calcium, magnesium or vitamin D supplement. Consult your doctor before starting a supplement so you know whether or not it will interfere with your current medications.
Beans, Nuts and Seeds
Beans, nuts and seeds provide potassium, which is also key in preventing cramps and muscle weakness, according to MayoClinic.com. Mixing beans with nuts, seeds or whole grains can also create a complete protein, allowing your body to receive all the amino acids it needs for healthy muscle growth. If you are on a low-potassium diet for heart or kidney trouble, do not add potassium to your diet until you discuss your leg cramps with your doctor. He or she may have an alternative recommendation for stopping your cramps.