Restless Legs Syndrome: Being Cured With Proper Diet

It is common to hear people say that you are what you eat. This common phrase is not true. What you eat affects you in a variety of ways and it’s true especially for individuals with certain medical conditions. Various people are familiar with the relationship between diet and medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. However, not as many people are aware of the relationship between diet and Restless Legs Syndrome. 

Restless Legs Syndrome causes discomfort in the lower legs that creates an overwhelming need to move or stretch. It commonly causes symptoms to begin in the evening and become more severe as the night goes on. People with Restless Legs Syndrome frequently have a hard time sleeping because of the discomfort and constant movement. 

Researchers have determined that people with an iron deficiency are more likely to be affected by Restless Legs Syndrome. It is believed that low iron levels in the brain may be responsible. On the other hand, iron levels in the blood differ from the iron levels in the brain. A blood test only tests the levels of iron in the blood. Also, the only way to test iron levels in the brain is by using specialized brain imaging. As a result, a neurologist might recommend incorporating more sources of iron into your diet as a way of managing the symptoms of your condition. It is mainly important if you have a medical condition that affects iron levels such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Kidney failure
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy

 Moreover, folate and magnesium have also been associated with improving the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome. This is because magnesium and folate help the body with proper muscle contraction and nerve impulse conduction.

Foods Recommended Eating:


  • Beans
  • Iron-fortified cereals
  • Seafood
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Dried fruit
  • Spinach and leafy greens
  • Liver
  • Red meat


  • Avocado
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Asparagus
  • Rice and quinoa
  • Lentils and beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Fortified cereals
  • Spinach and leafy greens
  • Liver


  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Edamame
  • Black beans
  • Soy milk
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Spinach
  • Almonds

Foods to Avoid:

If you have Restless Legs Syndrome, there are also foods that you will want to avoid because they can aggravate the condition and make your symptoms worse. The foods you may want to avoid are:

  • Sugary sodas
  • Fried foods
  • Chocolate

Moreover, you may also want to avoid any beverages or foods that have caffeine. Caffeine can stimulate your nerves and make your symptoms more severe. These include:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Energy drinks

Fattening or too much sugary foods and beverages such as soda and processed foods must also be avoided. There is some evidence that suggests people who are overweight have an increased risk of Restless Legs Syndrome, as well as various other health conditions. Consequently, it is vital to limit your sugar and fat intake, as well as eat a more balanced and healthy diet. 

Although diet alone may not certainly cure Restless Legs Syndrome, eating a diet rich in magnesium, folate, and iron as well as limiting caffeine, sugar, and fat intake can help to decrease the severity of the symptoms. In some cases, this might be sufficient to resolve the symptoms completely, while in other cases additional treatments, such as medication, may be used to ease symptoms. Nonetheless, various health benefits come from healthy eating, so why not give it a chance.

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