Foods that help fight muscle cramps

Foods that help fight muscle cramps

Muscle cramps: how they manifest themselves

When the body signals that the muscles are tired and there is a lack of certain important minerals, there is often the appearance of muscle cramps or spasms . These are involuntary and sudden contractions of the striated muscles, which occur accompanied by very intense painful twinges, causing temporary immobility of the affected part. The muscle affected by a cramp feels hard to the touch, but does not have  swelling  or  bruising .

Cramps occur most frequently in the thigh,  calf , and foot . Sometimes, however, they can also occur in the rectum .

These contractions are transient and usually last a few minutes. They occur mostly during the night and cause frequent awakenings, disturbing  sleep .

Cramps: causes

Usually the causes of muscle cramps are due to excessive load on the muscles, especially during exercise , running or walking, but low blood flow also causes these muscle contractions .

They can occur in physically trained subjects who sweat profusely and do not reintegrate mineral salts . This causes, in fact, an imbalance between  hydration and electrolyte concentration. Similarly, even subjects suffering from hyperhidrosis can suffer from cramps in the lower limbs. If cramps occur frequently, they may be due, in particular, to a deficiency or imbalance of  sodium ,  potassium ,  magnesium ,  calcium  and  vitamin D .

Cramps are also a symptom of circulatory problems, more or less serious, which hinder the normal  blood flow  of the body (e.g.  peripheral atherosclerosis ,  venous thrombosis ,  varicose veins  and  phlebitis ).

Best foods for cramps

Water intake is very important to cure muscle cramps. In addition to this, eating foods rich in nutrients is also essential to counteract annoying and painful contractions. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium prevent muscle cramps, as they act as electrolytes . This ensures proper muscle function and maintains muscle health.

The diet must never lack these seven foods capable of providing a considerable amount of minerals useful for combating the onset of cramps:

  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Milk
  • Legumes
  • Papaya


Bananas are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium that help maintain electrolyte balance essential for preventing muscle cramps. Potassium  is to be considered the most important mineral, and the banana is considered a real “mine” of this nutrient . For this reason it is often recommended in the diet of those who sweat a lot – such as sportsmen, since potassium and sodium are  the two minerals most lost through  sweating  – and of the hypertensive – potassium has  hypotensive properties .


Potassium ,  magnesium ,  zinc ,  manganese  and  phosphorus  are present in abundant quantities in the avocado. The level of vitamin B5  (pantothenic acid),  vitamin B6  (pyridoxine), folate, vitamin K , vitamin E (alpha tocopherol ) and vitamin C ( ascorbic acid ) is also excellent  . Potassium and magnesium act as electrolytes, preventing muscle cramps.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beneficial substances for our body and boast numerous properties. The presence of fibers  means that the sweet potato (another name by which it is known) is useful in the presence of various conditions. The presence of vitamins A, B6 and C should also be considered, as well as mineral salts such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese and phosphorus. Sweet potatoes are antioxidants , have a lower glycemic index than common potatoes and are therefore also indicated in the diet of diabetics . The peel also helps in the reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides .


Being rich in potassium , watermelon is recommended for people who complain of muscle cramps, but also summer ailments related to alteration of the osmotic pressure ,  water retention , neuromuscular excitability and slight alterations in the rhythm of the  heart .


Milk is a product that boasts a good source of high  biological value proteins ,   specific vitamins and minerals . As far as the  vitamin profile is concerned , milk is particularly rich in riboflavin ( vit B2 ) and, above all whole milk, in  vitamin A  (retinol and equivalent); there is no lack of interesting levels of many other components of  group B. With regard to mineral salts, considerable quantities of calcium and phosphorus are appreciated  ; the various microelements  ( zinc ,  selenium  , etc.) should not be ignored  .


The legumes to be consumed to counteract the onset of muscle cramps are above all dried peas and beans . They contain iron , phosphorus, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B1 , vitamin C, vitamin PP . Dried peas mainly contain iron, magnesium and zinc.


Papaya is a fruit with  very interesting nutritional values .  In addition to being very rich in water, it contains vitamin A , folic acid ( vitamin B9 ), vitamin E, vitamin K and above all vitamin C. Among the mineral salts, potassium , calcium, phosphorus and magnesium stand out  , precious for counteracting the onset of muscle tension and cramps.


For abdominal cramps, however, there are breathing exercises for abdominal cramps



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