Restless leg syndrome is a frustrating disorder that causes you to experience irresistible urges to move your legs when you are resting or relaxing. The good news is that in most cases it can be treated naturally. In this article I’m going to be focusing on one natural solution – diet and discussing which foods you should be eating and which foods you should be avoiding if you want to prevent and treat restless leg syndrome.
Diet & Restless Leg Syndrome
Diet affects restless leg syndrome in two ways. First, consuming alcohol and caffeine often makes the symptoms of restless leg syndrome worse. Secondly, failing to get enough iron, magnesium or vitamin B9 in your diet can aggravate restless leg syndrome. This means that by adjusting your consumption of these two substances, you can help minimize the severity of your restless leg syndrome and in many cases treat it altogether.
Foods That Benefit Restless Leg Syndrome
As discussed above, iron, magnesium and vitamin B9 deficiency can all contribute to restless leg syndrome. Therefore, by ensuring that your diet contains adequate amounts of these three nutrients, you can eliminate this risk factor. The list below contains three of the richest food sources of iron, magnesium and vitamin B9:
1) Almonds: Almonds are a top source of magnesium (98.7mg per 34.5g serving) and also provide you with plenty of manganese and vitamin E. They’re brilliant as a snack food and a great healthy alternative to cookies, chips and chocolate.
2) Soybeans: Soybeans are a top source of all three of these restless leg syndrome fighting nutrients with a single cup serving giving you 8.9mg of iron, 147.9mg of magnesium and 92.9mcg of vitamin B9. They’re also packed full of other health boosting nutrients and have a thick, crunchy texture which complements almost any meal.
3) Spinach: Spinach is another food which is loaded with iron (6.4mg per cup), magnesium (156.6mg per cup) and vitamin B9 (262.8mcg per cup). It’s a fantastic addition to salads but can also be boiled up and used as part of a hot meal.
Foods That Aggravate Restless Leg Syndrome
Alcohol and caffeine can stimulate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and make them more severe. Ideally, if you suffer from restless leg syndrome, you should cut these two substances out of your diet completely. However, if you aren’t ready to give up on either one, the list below contains some top tips for minimizing the effect they have on your restless leg syndrome:
1) Avoid Consuming Alcohol & Caffeine At Night: The effects of alcohol and caffeine on restless leg syndrome are much more prominent at night. By simply avoiding these substances a few hours before you go to bed, you can significantly reduce the impact they have on your restless leg syndrome.
2) Monitor Your Alcohol Intake Closely: Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, you may enjoy a couple of glasses of wine or a couple of beers in the evening. If so, start to monitor exactly how much you alcohol you consume each week and then make a plan to reduce it. If you drink every night, try drinking every other night instead. If you drink more than one alcoholic beverage at a time, try stopping at just one. Doing this will not only improve your health but it will also minimize the severity of your restless leg syndrome.
3) Try Decaffeinated Beverages: If you’re a huge fan of tea or coffee, decaffeinated beverages are a great way to carry on enjoying your favorite hot drink while reducing your intake of caffeine. Many of the decaffeinated teas or coffees taste just as good as the caffeinated version and by consuming more of them, you won’t aggravate your restless leg syndrome.
While restless leg syndrome may seem like a physical disorder, diet still has a huge role to play when it comes to preventing and treating it. By following the recommendations in this article you can minimize the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and seriously improve the quality of your life. So put down that glass of wine, fill up on some of the nutrient packed foods above and start taking control of your restless leg syndrome today.