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Holistic Healing: Foods To Treat Your Restless Legs

August 27, 2013

Restless Legs Eating Plan

Like many chronic conditions, the signs of restless legs syndrome (RLS) might be minimized by following a healthy diet. So what comprises a diet that can help deal with your restless leg symptoms? Research cites obesity as a contributory risk factor for restless legs. In addition, RLS can be triggered due to insufficiencies in specific minerals and vitamins. Therefore, ensuring you consume a high-fiber, low fat diet rich in the natural sources of specific vitamins and minerals detailed below can reduce your frequency and intensity of restless leg syndrome attacks.

A Diet Plentiful in Anti-Oxidants

Possibly one of the least recognized elements of managing restless leg syndrome via your diet, and one of the most crucial pieces of advice I can give you is that particular foods are more useful to the production and defense of the naturally developing dopamine in your brain than others. Primarily, a diet high in fatty foods will tend to put your body under escalated oxidative stress and have the tendency to damage the naturally occurring dopamine in your brain. You can defend against the breakdown of the dopamine in your brain by eating foods with natural anti-oxidative properties and supplementing with a natural anti-oxidant capable of penetrating your blood-brain-barrier and getting the anti-oxidants where they are required the most.

What To Minimize In Your RLS Diet

High levels of caffeine usage has been linked to an increase in RLS symptoms. Staying clear of this pick-me-up, which is located not only in a cup of coffee and tea but also delicious chocolates and lots of soft drinks, may work to help ease your symptoms. Drinking alcoholic beverages can also increase the intensity of symptoms in lots of people with RLS.

The Link Between RLS and Obesity

If you are fat, you already understand that you are at escalated risk for an extensive assortment of health problems. However, just a short while ago a study published in Neurology found that weight problems are also linked with an increased risk of RLS.

This particular study consisted of 23,119 men and 65,554 women. Research patients that presented with diabetes, pregnant, or arthritis were eliminated from the group in an effort to more precisely concentrate on the effects of weight problems on RLS. What the researchers found was 6 percent of the women and 4 percent of the men had RLS. However, those who were obese were approximately one and a half times more likely to have RLS than patients with average body weight. However, the study was not able to demonstrate a definitive causal link between obesity and RLS.

A Healthy Balanced Diet for RLS

Eating properly not only helps you to maintain a proper weight, it also helps you consume a proper mix of minerals and vitamins which occur naturally in the foods of a well balanced diet. Because nutritional deficiencies have been connected to RLS for years and sometimes can even be the underlying cause of the onset of the disorder.

Folic acid, vitamin B12 , and iron shortages are all related to RLS. In fact, iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which is a significant risk factor for the disease. Once you figure out what type of deficiency a person has, you can deal with the reason for their symptoms. Speak with your physician about the possibility of one of the following dietary deficiencies:

Vitamin B12 and Folate

Reduced levels of folate and vitamin B12 are linked with diabetic neuropathy and is a condition that can trigger symptoms of RLS. Research resulting from the same report that reviewed iron for RLS in the journal of Alternative Medicine Review also discovered that supplements with folate may be effective in reducing RLS symptoms and could contribute in dealing with RLS.

Although folate is located in a variety of foods, those with the highest levels include spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. Folic acid is also often included in enriched and fortified grain foods such as breads, rice, cereals, pastas, rice and flours . Clams beef and liver are among the very best sources of vitamin B12. Other sources of this vitamin include fish, eggs and dairy products.


Research distributed in the journal Alternative Medicine Review reveals that anemia, or a reduced iron level in the blood, is a common core cause of RLS. Iron levels in the blood are also 50 percent to 60 percentage points lower in the evening, which may account for why RLS symptoms have the tendency to flare later in the day.

A report published in Sleep Medicine found that iron for restless leg syndrome treatment produced significant or complete improvement of RLS symptoms in 17 of 25 women without triggering major adverse effects. Supplementing with iron for RLS is a uncomplicated way to help people with an iron deficiency get relief.

Iron-rich meals are generally derived from meat , like beef. Seafood also is normally rich in iron, especiallyoysters and sardines. Vegetarian sources of iron include fortified grains and leafy greens including spinach, collared greens and kale leaf. Eating iron-rich meals together with a form of vitamin C, like citrus fruit like a grapefruit or an orange, can improve the absorption of the iron you consume.


Magnesium helps preserve normal muscle and nerve function. A deficiency in this nutrient is also associated with RLS. Based on a study published in the journal Sleep, magnesium supplements may be a good alternate treatment for people with moderate or mild RLS. The participants involved in the study were treated with oral magnesium for four to six weeks. During the study, their RLS symptoms decreased significantly.

Older adults and people with chronic disorders which affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, such as Crohn’s disease, are at increased risk for magnesium deficit. People with alcoholism and poorly regulated diabetes are also at greater risk. Green vegetables, like spinach, are higher in magnesium. Other magnesium-rich foods include legumes, whole grains and nuts.

In Summary

By consuming a well-thought-out RLS diet and steering clear of caffeine and alcoholic beverages, you may have the ability to help reduce the severity of your condition. Talk to your healthcare provider or dietary consultant regarding your particular diet needs for managing RLS.

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