Avoid Buying These Foods That Can Cause Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are caused by an involuntary contraction of the leg muscles. This can happen at any time during the day or at evening when one or of your muscles is affected. You may feel a tingling sensation in your leg or sharp pain. They are generally caused when there is not enough blood flow into the legs, nerve compression or mineral depletion.

These type of cramps rarely require medical attention and many times can be treated at home. When you get a leg cramp, you can stretch the muscle or use a heating pad to increase circulation. You should also make sure you are drinking enough fluids that contain electrolytes to ensure you get the proper minerals needed to stave off cramping. You should also watch your diet because certain foods can exacerbate symptoms. These are 5 foods you should avoid buying because they cause leg cramps.

1 - Red Meat and Beef

Since red meats have high levels of saturated fats, when eaten they can raise blood cholesterol and affect blood circulation. Besides increasing the chance of developing heart disease, it can clog the arteries throughout your body. Since red meat is difficult to digest, the cholesterol that it contains can remain in the walls of arteries. This can lead to the development of fatty deposits and plaque in your arteries that restrict blood flow.

The blood in your body needs to flow through your body freely without being prohibited. Because red meat can harden the walls of your arteries it prevents blood from flowing to your organs and limbs effectively. This can cause leg cramps and exacerbate your symptoms. Healthier replacements to red meat are salmon, tuna, sardines and herring.

2 - Dairy Products

When you drink milk or eat yogurt and cheese the chance for developing leg cramps increases. These dairy products contain calcium that can make your muscles contract. It also makes your muscles harden when you age and does not allow muscles to relax. Instead of eating dairy it is recommended that you consume plant-based products. Drinking milk made from almond, rice, hemp or soy are better alternatives.

If you are taking a calcium supplement, it must be absorbed properly into your bloodstream to stave off leg cramps. The excess calcium in the body is absorbed into the arteries where it forms plaque and stiffens blood vessels. To avoid muscle pain make sure you get enough vitamin D to ensure the proper metabolization of calcium in your body.

3 - Salty Snacks

We need salt to maintain our bodily functions, manage fluid balance and transmit nerve impulses. It is also needed to control the contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers. Even though salt is necessary to maintain homeostasis, too much of it can cause health problems. Too much salt can bring on high blood pressure and affect your heart, arteries and kidneys.

An excessive amount of salt intake can also disturb muscle contraction and be the reason for leg cramps. If you are eating too much salt you may experience frequent urination, swelling in your extremities and headaches. Instead of buying foods high in sodium, you can add fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary and thyme to your dishes.

4 - Sugary Treats

When you eat a diet high in sugar, your body loses important minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. These minerals are necessary to maintain muscle contraction and control neurotransmission. Eating an excessive amount of sugar can cause the nerves in your muscles to become overstimulated and bring on leg cramps.

Sugar causes glycation a condition that affects your joints and weakens bones and cartilage. To keep leg cramps at bay avoid buying foods that are high in sugar such as ice cream, candy and desserts. Consuming fruit with natural sugar also contains the minerals that your muscles need to function properly. When you crave something sweet, eat fresh fruits such as bananas, figs and raspberries.

5 - Processed Foods

Processed foods contain an unhealthy amount of sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats. They can cause many conditions that are harmful to your health. There are many types of processed foods that include microwave dinners, energy bars, canned meats and frozen fruits and vegetables. These foods can bring on cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Each of which affects the body’s ability to circulate blood properly.

The high levels of sugar and sodium found in these products are directly linked to causing muscle and leg cramps. Besides buying processed foods, consume dried fruits, prepare your own meals and do not eat canned meats.