What Foods Can Help Aching Legs?

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Many activities can cause leg aches: exercise, sports, long periods of standing, even wearing high heels. In addition to rest and stretching, choosing certain foods can help your discomfort. Here is a list of foods that can help alleviate your leg aches.

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Leg aches, when not associated with an injury, are usually a product of a nutritional deficiency. Dehydration is a popular cause of leg aches. Maintaining adequate hydration is essential to preventing leg aches, especially if you are an active person. In addition to dehydration, low levels of electrolytes can cause leg aches and cramps. These mineral deficiencies include magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium. The following sections outline food choices essential to maintaining or replacing the minerals necessary to prevent leg aches.

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The best food sources to prevent or alleviate leg aches by increasing levels of magnesium include: Fruits and vegetables - green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, potatoes (with skin on), avocados, bananas. Nuts and legumes - almonds, cashews, soybeans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils, and pinto beans. Whole grains - Cereal, oatmeal, bran flakes, brown rice, and whole wheat bread. Dairy products - Yogurt, milk, pudding.

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The best food sources to prevent or alleviate leg aches by increasing levels of potassium include: Proteins - meat, poultry, and fish Many fruits and vegetables contain moderate to high levels of potassium, including: Apricots, avocado, bananas, melons, kiwi, potatoes (with skin), oranges and orange juice, prunes, spinach, tomatoes, apple juice, asparagus, beets, blackberries, broccoli, carrots, cherries, corn, eggplant, grapefruit, green peas, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peaches, pears, pineapple, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines. Also, lima beans and winter or summer squash are good sources of potassium which can maintain electrolytes and prevent leg aches.

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Dairy products are by far the best source of calcium, choices include: non-fat or reduced fat milk, low or non-fat yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, pudding, frozen yogurt, and ice cream. There are foods in other food groups that provide calcium as well, including soybeans, spinach, mustard greens, kale, black beans, navy beans, and almonds. Many popular breakfast foods are fortified with calcium, including: cereal, waffles, soy milk, and orange juice.

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Unlike the other minerals necessary for electrolyte stability, sodium deficiencies are largely uncommon. One should not aim to consume high sodium food. Instead, sodium should be monitored and maintained at a moderate amount of less than 2,400 mg per day. Most foods contain sodium. Meats, nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables contain natural sodium. Processed foods contain excess salt and sodium and should be mostly avoided.

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