Muscle cramps are defined as the sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. Also referred to as a “charley horse”, muscle cramps can cause severe pain. Though muscle cramps are generally harmless, they do make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle.
Muscle cramps occur when your muscles tense up and you are unable to relax them on your own. Though muscle cramps are painful, you can usually treat them yourself. Factors such as dehydration, exercise, health complications, and menstruation are often the common cause.
To learn more about muscle cramps and how they affect the body, read The Lowdown on Muscle Cramps.
However, there are certain foods that we can eat as a preventative measure to reduce or help with the occurrence of muscle cramps. These foods contain key nutrients that can help prepare our bodies to ward off this painful phenomenon. Here is a list of 10 foods that may help with muscle cramps.
10 Foods that May Help With Muscle Cramps
Bananas are a great source of potassium which is important because it helps your muscles work while keeping your heart healthy. However, did you know that bananas also give you calcium and magnesium? That is three of the four nutrients needed to help with muscle cramps all in one fruit. Benefits such as these make the banana a powerhouse and quick choice for muscle cramp relief.
Speaking of powerhouses, this fruit takes the cake! Yes, and avocado is a fruit. A creamy green berry to be exact! Avocados contain about 975 milligrams of potassium which is twice as much as a sweet potato or a banana. With that much potassium, you might as well swap out your mayo and make yourself a sandwich with mashed avocado to help keep those muscle cramps away. But do eat these sparingly as they contain a lot of fat and calories in addition to all that potassium.
Similar to bananas, sweet potatoes give you potassium, calcium, and magnesium. What sets this food apart is the fact that it gives you six times the amount of calcium as a banana. This benefit is not only limited to sweet potatoes. Regular potatoes and pumpkins are also great sources of those three key nutrients. An added bonus is the water content in potatoes and pumpkins. This helps to keep you hydrated to drive off dehydration, which is another cause of muscle cramps.
Beans and Lentils
Legumes such as beans and lentils contain magnesium, which is the other magical nutrient that is known for easing muscle cramps. One cup of cooked lentils averages about 71 milligrams of magnesium, while a cup of cooked black beans has double that amount with 120 milligrams. Beans and lentils are also high in