While you likely know that good nutrition is critical to overall health, did you know that good nutrition is also vital for your feet? That’s right, not consuming the correct foods and/or nutrients can lead to the development of several medical conditions that can negatively impact your foot health. Read on to learn more about how nutrition and foot health go hand-in-hand.
Inflammation and Foot Pain
There are several conditions that can be worsened or caused by inflammation. For example, one painful foot condition, plantar fasciitis, which causes inflammation of the plantar fascia is caused by excessive inflammation in the body. Plantar fasciitis causes shooting pain in the heel and is often caused by strain and/or overuse. However, a diet that triggers inflammation in the body can make this already unpleasant condition even worse.
Foods That Promote Inflammation
While the foods listed below aren’t necessarily bad all the time if you're dealing with plantar fasciitis or other conditions that are affected by inflammation, like heel spurs or painful arches, then you'll want to avoid the following types of foods as they tend to enhance inflammation levels:
- Any prepared foods that contain trans-fats, sugar and/or refined grains.
- Vegetable oils with lots of omega-6 fats: this includes sunflower, soybean and corn oil.
- White flour, which is most often found in processed foods like desserts, snacks and pasta.
- Foods with animal protein sources and excessive saturated fat, like red meat.
How to Eat Right For Optimal Foot Health
Now that you know the types of foods listed above can lead to problems affecting the feet, you likely want to know what food choices you should be making instead. In general, you want to aim for a healthy, balanced diet that can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body and reduce your risk of developing other serious conditions like diabetes or osteoporosis that can negatively impact your foot health. The following are some great suggestions to add to your diet:
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
- Citrus foods, which can reduce swelling and are also anti-inflammatory. Foods like broccoli, berries and citrus fruits are good ways to increase your vitamin C intake.
- Fish that is high in Omega-3 like salmon and tuna.
- Foods high in vitamin B reduce the risk of neuropathy (pain, tingling & numbness in the feet). Foods rich in vitamin B are believed to promote good nerve health: cottage cheese, tuna, beef, beef liver, sardines, eggs and salmon are all good examples of foods high in vitamin B.
- Seeds and nuts
- Foods high in calcium and vitamin D to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone breakage: foods like yogurt, cheese, milk, collard greens and broccoli.
Nutrition Matters for Good Foot Health
While it’s okay to occasionally have a treat, like a dessert or biscuit, the goal should be to transform your diet into one that promotes overall foot health. At Sweeney Foot & Ankle Specialists we are happy to talk with you about your current diet and how it could be affecting your foot health. Contact us today to learn more about how to promote overall wellness and foot health through proper nutrition.