Reducing Muscle Cramps

Suffering from muscle cramps? IMG_2827

Dehydration and nutrient deficiencies are common reasons for cramps to develop.  Medical conditions, such as kidney, liver and heart failure, diabetes & hypothyroidism and cortisol deficiency may all contribute.  Eating nutrient meals reduces risk of cramps.

Enjoy our shitake mushroom and ocean trout recipe or legumes served with spinach, tomato & avocado salad toppped with some nuts & seeds.

Magnesium, an important mineral for regulation of muscles including the heart can become depleted unless there is abundant leafy green vegetables and other high fibre foods,  nuts and seeds.  Studies have shown that many people have a low dietary intake.  Magnesium relaxes contraction of muscles.  Another magnesium source is Epsom Salts.  Added to a bath, it’s a great way to soothe tired muscles and your body absorbs some of the magnesium through the skin.

Potassium, an electrolyte involved in muscle contraction can also be reduced when magnesium levels are low.  Certain medications can also reduce potassium levels including diuretics, prednisone and some others  Medical conditions affecting kidney function cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea also reduces levels.  Bananas are a rich and convenient source of both potassium & vitamin B6.  Other potassium rich foods include potato, pumpkin, pineapple, spinach, custard apples, nectarines, almonds, legumes and tomato.

B vitamins may also be useful in reducing cramping.  Vitamin B6 is also abundant in nuts & seeds, fish, pork, chicken, dried fruit, avocado  and spinach.

Ever noticed cramps after a big night or week-end of alcohol consumption?  That’s because alcohol depletes your bodies of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B1 and also magnesium.  B1 rich foods include fish, pork, wholegrains, greenpeas, asparagus and legumes

Stressed?  There goes your reserves of vitamin B5.  Shitake mushrooms, oily fish eggs, pork, chicken, seeds and avocado boost vitamin B5 levels.

High physical activity levels?  Sodium depletion another electrolyte involved in fluid regulation can occur through excessive sweating and drinking excessive fluids without electrolytes, vomiting and diarhhoea. If severe hyponatraemia (low blood sodium) may result causing coma and death. Kidney and congestive heart failure   Symptoms include muscle cramping, headaches, dizziness, vomiting. Exercising for more than an hour in conditions that make you sweat profusely, ensure you replace both water and electrolytes. 

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