When you prepare a meal or get a snack, you probably don’t think about your feet. But it’s true that nutrition and diet affect our feet as much as the rest of our body.
Many foot diseases and conditions are caused by tissue inflammation. Often an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot that stabilizes the arch and supports the body’s weight, causes heel pain. Plantar fasciitis as well as other inflammatory conditions like heel spurs, painful arches and arthritis can be aggravated by eating certain foods that cause inflammation. Some examples are:
- Prepared foods with excessive sugar, trans-fat and refined grains
- Foods made of white flour like pasta and sweets that influence blood levels
- Certain vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that contain high levels of Omega-6 fats
- Red meat and other proteins rich in saturated fat
Foot swelling and pain may also be caused by high blood sugar levels. High sugar levels lead to high insulin levels that cause constriction of the blood vessels. When blood cannot reach the extremities, inflammation may be the result. Foot inflammation may even be caused by food allergies! Also, if you are overweight you can be suffering from foot inflammation and pain too.
A Healthy Diet Can Benefit Foot Health and Overall Health Too
Eat a balanced diet that provides essential nutrients to your feet and your whole body. Be sure to eat these foods in moderation every day:
- Fresh fruits and green vegetables
- Fish like tuna and salmon that are rich in omega-3 fats – choose fish oil supplements instead if you choose
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
It’s important to avoid sugary snacks and refined grain foods. These foods trigger inflammation and also can cause diabetes when eaten in excess. If diabetes is uncontrolled, neuropathy can cause foot pain, weakness, numbness and tingling.
Eat Right To Feel Good from Head to Toe
If you have any foot pain or suffer from neuropathy, call Your Next Step for a complete foot health assessment. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified and qualified podiatrists will examine your feet and diagnose any problems they see. We’ll discuss all treatment options with you. You can find contact information on our website for our Ardmore, Paoli and Downingtown offices.