What is causing RLS is difficult to pinpoint, but there have been many discoveries in recent years. For example, it was discovered that an iron deficiency can explain a full 20% of all cases. Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies also appear to play a role, such as folate and magnesium deficiencies.
Those looking to reduce their RLS symptoms will likely want to carefully evaluate their diet and look to consume foods that are rich in iron, magnesium and folate. A blood test to determine one's iron levels is seen as a must for those suffering from RLS symptoms. Iron supplements may be in order for many suffering RLS; however, this should be done under doctor supervision, as there are problems associated with having iron levels that are too high.
There also appears to be a link between certain diseases and conditions and RLS. Those suffering from sleep apnea, thyroid diseases, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease may be at an increased risk of RLS. Rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease have inflammatory components, which means that those suffering from RLS may want to consider consuming more foods that can fight inflammation.
Here are a few inflammation-fighting foods to consider:
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, wild Alaskan salmon, chia seeds, flax seed oil, ground flax seeds and walnuts.
- Pomegranates and pomegranate juice
- The spices turmeric and ginger, which are generally viewed as being very safe and well tolerated
- Fruits and vegetables can help fight inflammation, and cherries are seen as a very good anti-inflammatory
- Olive oil
- Spinach can help fight inflammation, and it is high in iron and folate making it a must for those suffering from RLS
- Studies have shown that vitamin C and E supplements can help with RLS. It is thus logical to conclude that foods rich in vitamins C and E could be of use as well in helping reduce RLS symptoms
- Drinking enough water is essential, so make sure you consume at least 64 oz per day
Taking steps to remove inflammation in the body may prove to be helpful in addressing RLS. Fast food, junk food and processed foods are full of a wide array of inflammation causing ingredients including pesticides, artificial colors and sweeteners and more. Try eliminating processed foods and replacing them with whole, natural foods as a means of reducing RLS symptoms. Even just avoiding inflammation-causing foods like dairy and gluten can help.
There are many possible reasons for RLS and it is not yet completely understood. Yet, it only makes sense to mitigate the symptoms through consuming these powerful foods and supplements.