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When you think about your nutrition and health, the chances are that you will associate what you eat with weight loss, heart health or diabetes. But, what you might fail to recognize is that what you eat will affect way much more than just your weight, heart and blood sugar level.
Your choice of food will affect the health of your feet, and it can determine whether you develop common problems like plantar fasciitis or not. And so if you have foot problems changing your diet into something healthy and balanced will always make a huge difference.
So how exactly does nutrition affect your feet?
Some Foods Can Cause Inflammation
Inflammation is one of the most common foot problems, and in most cases, it causes a lot of pain. Although sometimes inflammation can be as a result of overusing your feet or fatigue, your nutrition also plays a role.
According to portraitists inflammation is a result of excessive intake of particular food types. These foods include red meat as it contains saturated fats, refined grains and sugars, baked and junk foods and the omega-6 fats that you find in most vegetable cooking oils.
Others Can Help With Inflammation
While some foods can cause inflammation and foot pain, there are still many others that can help you deal with these common problems. The idea is always to aim at maintaining an overall healthy diet that is high in vegetables and fruits.
Other foods like nuts, whole grains, and fish also have some anti-inflammatory properties that can be very helpful when dealing with inflammation.
Doing a general diet makeover is vital when dealing with inflammation, but the golden rule should always be to eat foods from all groups to prevent deficiencies. But as much as nutrition helps to deal with inflammation in most cases it is never enough. You will need to combine diet with other things like exercises and wearing proper footwear.
Vitamins and Minerals are Essential for Foot Health
Whether it is mild heel pain or you have plantar fasciitis eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin B5, magnesium and calcium can be very helpful.
Vitamin B5 reduces stress and muscle impairment pain. A low level of B5, on the other hand, can cause muscles and nerve dysfunction. There are also other essential vitamins for plantar fasciitis such as vitamin C, and D. Vitamin C has some anti-inflammatory properties and helps to speed up the natural healing process.
You can get these vitamins by eating vegetables and fruits like broccoli, peppers, avocados and citrus fruits.
Excessive calcium deposits within the feet can lead to conditions like heel spurs. Also, the amalgamation of calcium between the ligament and around the heel bone leads to irritation, inflammation and can also cause an irregular wear of the connecting tissues.
Calcium is vital for bone growth and for keeping them healthy. Taking enough of it can help to reduce the risk of abnormal deposits. You can get the calcium that you need in milk, yoghurt, cheese, nuts, soybeans and green leafy vegetables.
Apart from calcium you also need to take magnesium to maintain the health of your feet. Magnesium prevents the body from absorbing calcium so that there can be enough for bone growth and to reduce unhealthy deposits of calcium.
Even if you have enough calcium, you can still have a deficiency if you do not take magnesium. It is always crucial to make sure that you strike the right balance when it comes to your intake of the two essential minerals.
Nutrition Tips to Improve Foot Health
- Remember to monitor and keep blood sugar level in check to prevent foot problems and ensure existing ones do not worsen.
- Make sure that you get the food portions right (from all groups) to prevent deficiencies.
- The golden rule should always be to minimize your intake of trans fats, saturated fats and sodium while taking as many fruits and vegetables as possible.
- Combine nutrition with regular exercise to strengthen your muscles and bones for healthy feet.
Nutrition is the key to improving foot health. Although diet alone might not be enough to guarantee better foot health it plays a vital role. Just like with the rest of the body a balanced diet full of natural foods and avoiding foods with refined sugar and unhealthy fats is what defines proper nutrition for the feet.
In addition to food, it is also essential to monitor the health of your feet and talk to a podiatrist if you notice any numbness, pain, weakness or any other abnormal feeling in your feet.