Are you one of the 10% of adults that suffers from restless leg syndrome? If you are, we don’t have to tell you that Restless legs syndrome (RLS), or Willis-Ekbom Disease can range from irritating to downright life-disturbing. The feeling of crampy, achy, or itchy legs can keep you from sleeping, resting, or relaxing. Officially, it’s a sleep disorder because those achy legs can lead to sleep-deprivation, exhaustion, or even depression.
Many of us have experience mild restless legs while taking long flights on planes or remaining stationary for too many hours. But for some of us, it’s a daily occurrence.
Although it’s officially known as Restless Leg Syndrome, people can suffer from the same restless feeling in their arms or even chest and head. It’s a frustrating condition that tends to effect people in their middle and senior ages and usually worsens with age.
Yes, you can see your health professional for medication but there are holistic options available too. So if you suffer from RLS, why not give some of these foods a try?
Restless Leg Syndrome can be attributed to an iron deficiency in some cases. So it might be a good idea to have your iron levels tested. If you are low, stock up on iron-rich foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, red meat, legumes, quinoa, broccoli, or tofu. And while you’re sitting down to munch on some deep leafy greens, try sipping some lemonade with it since Vitamin C is shown to increase iron absorption.
Ok, this one isn’t so much about what to eat but what to avoid. Alcohol and coffee have been shown to make Restless Leg Syndrome worse. We’ve written about cutting out coffee before and the benefit of green tea and when it comes to RLS, it’s the same. Grab some decaf green tea and sip on tonic water rather than wine and coffee.
Sometimes achy or crampy legs can be made worse by food intolerances or allergies. Speak with your health professional about trying an elimination diet to see if specific foods worsen or alleviate your restless legs.
The symptoms of inflammation are pretty much endless. So much so that sometimes it’s hard to diagnose inflammation. Therefore eating anti-inflammatory foods is always a good idea (unless you have a pre-existing allergy). Turmeric, almonds, kale, fish, tomatoes, oranges, and green tea are all fantastic anti-inflammatory foods. Find a great list of foods to eat to fight inflammation here.
If you have been eating healthy amounts of these foods, getting regular exercise, and staying hydrated but are still tossing and turning at night because of Restless Legs, don’t stress. There are medications available so make an appointment with your health professional.
Want to read more about healthy living and superfoods? Check out our blog post on the health benefits of dark chocolate!