Have you ever had a nasty wake-up call in the middle of the night, courtesy of horrible pain in your foot or leg? In that case, you’re probably aware of what a muscle cramp is like. Although leg cramps aren’t indicative of any serious issues in most cases, and they’re quite harmless in the long run; they’re really painful nonetheless.
While they only hurt for less than a minute for some people; others find themselves in pain for an excruciating ten minutes. And in extreme cases, the muscles in question may be tender and sore to the touch for a whole day after a cramp.
Sure, for younger people this may be nothing more than a mild nuisance. But as you reach a certain age, you’ll start to deal with pesky muscle cramps far more often. That’s why you need to know all of the tricks you can use to prevent and treat muscle cramps – and we’re here to teach you how!
What is a muscle cramp?
So, before we get into the details of how you can use many methods and treatments to prevent muscle cramps, including avocado oil; we need to examine what these are in the first place. A muscle cramp is actually nothing more than an incredibly painful and strong muscle contraction that happens suddenly and lasts for a couple of seconds or minutes. Most often, it happens in leg muscles.
What’s the cause?
Muscle cramps are usually an acute problem. Their causes aren’t always that clear. There is a plethora of activities or conditions that could induce muscle cramps, such as:
- Muscle overuse due to exercise, or a specific injury;
- A mineral deficiency, often occurring late in a woman’s pregnancy;
- Being exposed to cold water, and colder temperatures in general;
- Serious medical conditions (thyroid disease, kidney disease, etc.)
- Sleeping in awkward positions, or being seated in one place for a long time
- A general calcium, potassium or another type of mineral deficiency
- Not being hydrated enough, in cases where your body has lost a lot of fluids
- Certain kinds of medications, like steroids, birth control, diuretics, etc.
Dealing with muscle cramps
Once a muscle cramp does happen, if you haven’t worked on preventing it, there are a couple of ways you can alleviate the pain. First of all, try massaging and stretching the muscle in question – that should be your go-to move. And if that doesn’t work, you should take a warm bath and soak the muscle as much as possible.
If you have a heating pad, that will also go a long way toward making the pain go away. Alternatively, you may also find that an ice pack suits you well and numbs the pain if it becomes too much.
But while all of these are ways of treating the issue once it occurs – can you work on lowering the risk from chronic muscle cramps in the long run? The answer is yes – so prepare to work on your diet!
Preventing muscle cramps with proper dieting
Indeed, the trick to having as few muscle cramps as possible lies in your diet. And we’re not just talking about stuff like intermittent fasting, though having a cleanse every now and again will definitely be beneficial. Instead, you need to take a look at the diet-related causes of muscle cramps that we’ve described above. First of all, you need to take care to consume as much water as you can; dehydration is a frequent cause of cramps in hot weather. And that goes double if you’re doing any exercise!
Also, you need to make sure that you’re not suffering from an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, etc, and not having enough of these may cause muscle cramps. Such deficiencies make the nerves which control your muscles less responsive, giving way to tightening we register as cramps.
If you eat a varied and healthy diet, you will definitely have all the nutrients needed to ward off nasty cramps. Therapists who specialize in nutrition recommend you eat enough avocados, sardines, and bananas to prevent cramping.
For those suffering from chronic leg cramps – know that your body may be lacking potassium. And bananas are a great source of this nutrient, though you may find avocados to be more practical because of the existence of avocado oil.
Fish that have a soft bone structure, like sardines, are a perfect source of calcium. And if you’re not a fan of fish, there’s always figs, broccoli, yogurt, and kale.
Finally, we arrive at the probably most useful ingredient for the prevention of muscle cramps – the avocado! This green, creamy fruit has almost a gram of potassium in each berry; making it twice as efficient as a banana or sweet potato.
Potassium does wonders for your heart and the wellbeing of your muscles. So, if you’re making a sandwich, you might want to switch from mayo to avocado cream; you’ll find yourself battling muscle cramps far less often. Or, if you do a lot of cooking – you can do so with avocado oil! This will give you a good dose of fatty acids in each and every meal.