Q: What can I take naturally for leg cramps? – E. Skinner
A: Leg cramps can be due to several different factors. Some of the causes of leg cramps are muscle fatigue, overexertion, rigorous exercises, dehydration, excess weight, hormonal or fluid imbalances, and host of others. If your leg cramps usually occur at night the cause may be due to an electrolyte imbalance. This imbalance can be due to low levels of potassium. Mix 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey in a glass of warm water and drink it. If this remedy works then you need to increase your potassium by eating potassium-rich foods: apples, bananas, dried fruits, avocado, mushrooms, yogurt, kefir, spinach, tomatoes, baked potatoes and cantaloupe.
Increasing your calcium and magnesium can also help alleviate leg cramps. Raw chocolate (raw cacao) is known to be high in both calcium and magnesium. Eat more vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like broccoli and kale, almonds, all of which are high in both calcium and magnesium. One quick and easy way to get a lot of all these ingredients in your diet is to have a green smoothie daily. You can make it with almond milk as the base, add dark leafy greens, and raw cacao powder.
Other calcium-rich food sources include: salmon, sardines (with bones), green beans, turnip greens. Additional magnesium-rich foods include: raw chocolate (raw cacao, the #1 source of magnesium), nuts and pumpkin seeds, molasses, spinach, baked potatoes, bananas, wheat germ and seafood.
Acupressure or massage may help to ease the cramping once it’s started. Sit and bend the knee of your cramped leg, bringing your leg up toward your chest. There is an acupressure point in your calf muscle on the back of your leg. It’s about halfway between the back of your knee and your heel, at the bottom of your calf muscle bulge. Press and hold there for about a minute or until you feel the cramp release – remember to keep breathing while you do. You can also try gently massaging the back of your leg with long strokes upwards, from your heel to the back of your knee using the palm of your hand.