The Magic of Mustard

This year has been an interesting journey with me now being 36 weeks pregnant and getting anxious to meet our daughter. Quite to my surprise and joy, pregnancy has been relatively easy and we have been very fortunate with the whole process. Of course, some minor issues have happened and a pretty annoying one has been leg cramps. It’s a horrible feeling to be asleep and wake up to an intense pain in your calf that you cannot do anything to relieve. Throughout the pregnancy, I have striven to take an all-natural approach simply because I know that for centuries women have been pregnant and had babies without needing blood work, genetic tests or sonograms. Naturally, my first step in relieving leg cramps was stretching and that worked OK but it didn’t prevent them from happening. So I decided to search for what alternatives other moms have found.

Just a little research led me to my answer – simple yellow mustard.

Apparently, no one agrees 100 percent why mustard relieves leg cramps and many do not believe in its effectiveness. Some theories suggest that the acetic acid from the vinegar used in the preparation of the condiment helps the body in producing acetylcholine which in a molecule that aids in transmitting information throughout the nervous system, hence improving muscle function. Others suggest mustard helps because it contains magnesium which when deficient in the body could cause leg cramps. Some believe that it’s the turmeric, used by manufacturers to turn mustard yellow, with its anti inflammatory properties that helps relax stiff muscles.

None of these hypothesis have been proven, but I know the condiment works for me. Also, I have noticed that I enjoy certain foods more when my body needs them and while I do not dislike mustard normally, while pregnant, I can eat it with a spoon.

So, next time you get a cramp, give it a shot and let me know if yellow mustard works for you.

 

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