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6 Ways to Instantly Stop the Suffering From Leg Cramps!

6 Ways to Instantly Stop the Suffering From Leg Cramps!

Leg cramps are very common and can affect people of all ages for a variety of reasons. Whether you get leg cramps occasionally or regularly, there are ways in which you can get relief as well as methods to help prevent future cramps.

Why Is It Important To Learn How To Treat Leg Cramps?

When you get leg cramps, you can find yourself facing high levels of discomfort and if you get them during the night they can heavily impact your sleep levels.  It is important to look at ways of treating these cramps, and there are various methods that you can choose from.  It is also important to look at the long term methods that you can use in order to prevent these cramps. While leg cramps are not generally harmful in themselves, they can create hazards depending on what you are doing when the cramp strikes.

What Happens When Leg Cramps Strike?

When you experience leg cramps, you will feel a sudden tightening and spasms of the muscles in the leg.  Most often, this occurs in the calf muscles and it can be quite painful.  In addition, even when the cramp has gone, you still feel tenderness and soreness in the muscle for a while. In many cases, these cramps tend to occur during the night, but this is not always the case. While they are usually harmless, they can put you in danger if you are engaging in a specific activity such as driving when the leg cramp strikes.

These cramps are not harmful in themselves, but the intense and sudden spasms that they cause can put you in danger. When the cramp strikes, you will feel the leg muscle tighten and seize up suddenly. This can come as quite a shock, as there is no gradual onset. The leg cramps can disappear just as suddenly but you will most likely be left with sore, tender leg muscles for a few hours. The leg cramps themselves can last for just a few seconds or for up to ten minutes or so.

Reasons Behind it.. Why Do We Get Leg Cramps?

There are a numerous causes relating to leg cramps. It has become far easier to learn about conditions like this through health news report on CNN news and other media channels. This makes it painless to look at methods of treatment and prevention. So, let’s take a look at some possible causes of this condition:

• Strenuous exercise, where you have put the leg muscles under too much strain

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• Poor leg circulation

• Dehydration [1]

• Certain deficiencies including magnesium, calcium, and potassium

• Not conducting proper warm up and cool down procedures before and after exercise

• Muscle fatigue

• Medication side effects

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• Underlying issues

These are some of the main causes of muscle cramps. Some of the possible underlying causes that could cause leg cramps include liver disease or even pregnancy. Medication such as statins[2], which are used to lower cholesterol levels, can also cause leg cramps.

Quick Relief for Leg Cramps

When leg cramps strike, the one thing you are desperate to do is to make them stop. The intensity with which they can affect you causes a lot of discomfort and comes as a shock to the system. These six solutions can help to quickly alleviate leg cramps so that you can benefit from speedy relief from the discomfort. So, let’s take a look at some fast-working solutions for the treatment of muscle cramps:

1. Stretching: Try to do some stretching when the cramps strike. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated – simply stretch the muscles in the leg through movement such as standing against a wall and stretching the leg behind you.

2. Relaxation: Relaxing the muscle can also help. Many of us instinctively try and fight the cramp, but this can sometimes make it worse. Instead, try letting the leg muscle relax and resist the temptation to try and push through it.

3. Massage: If there is someone with you, try getting them to massage the area where the cramps strike. This can help to alleviate the cramps and can help to combat the soreness that follows.

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4. Heat application: You can also apply heat to the area when leg cramps strike. This can help the cramp to subside more quickly. You can also use a product such as Deep Heat, which will provide you with massage and heat benefits.

5. Flex your toes: A very simple method to help combat leg cramps is to flex your toes upwards as soon as the cramp strikes. Flex and then point your toes, and hold the position for a few seconds.

6. Walk on your heels: You may feel a little silly doing it, but walking around on your heels can help. This can improve the flow of blood to the leg muscles, which means speedier relief for you.

How To Prevent Leg Cramp In Long Term? 

It is also important to look at the long term prevention of leg cramps, particularly if you get them on a regular basis. Preventing leg cramps in the future is dependant on the cause of the cramps. For example, if you are getting cramps as a result of your medication, you may want to speak to your doctor about a change in medication. Some general tips to help with the long terms prevention of leg cramps include:

• Drink more water to stay hydrated

• Combat vitamin deficiencies with supplements and a change in diet [3]

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• Always warm up and cool down when exercising

• Be careful of putting your leg muscles under too much strain too suddenly

• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Of course, if your cramps are in relation to an underlying problem, you should speak to your doctor about more specific methods of long term prevention.

Take The Advice With You!

While leg cramps are often inevitable simply because of our lifestyle and our bodies, making sure you are aware of how to treat them can prove invaluable. Also, ensuring you are aware of ways to prevent future attacks can be very helpful to yourself and people around you. These tips on both treatment and preventing leg cramps can help to reduce the number of attacks you have. They will also help you to alleviate the cramps more quickly if and when they do strike.

Reference

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Brad Shugar

Business Development Consultant

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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