What’s the Connection Between Feet and Food?
When choosing what to eat, your feet may not be one of your primary considerations, but at NY Foot Health we want patients to know that your feet are affected by what you eat. March is National Nutrition Month and a good time to see how your diet impacts the health of your lower extremities. Below are some podiatric conditions where food can play an important role in prevention or relief.
Diabetes—this systemic disease can severely threaten the health of your feet. Neuropathy, a decrease or loss of sensation, frequently associated with this disease leaves your feet vulnerable to injury and infection. Decreased circulation, another side effect of diabetes, makes healing foot and ankle wounds difficult and may lead to infection and even amputation. Consuming high amounts of sugar can increase your risk of developing diabetes. If you are a diabetic, the foods you choose can go a long way toward keeping your blood sugar under control. Your podiatrist will work with your other physicians to help you devise and maintain a treatment plan that will prevent diabetes from harming your feet. If you don’t have a podiatrist, use our online directory to find a qualified one in your community.
Plantar Fasciitis—this painful heel problem occurs when the plantar fascia—a long ligament that stretches from your heel to your toes along the underside of your feet—becomes inflamed. Studies show that fried foods and those high in sugar can increase inflammation. Other foods, like oranges, almonds and olive oil may work to suppress an inflammatory response. Other foot conditions that have inflammation as a symptom include Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis and metatarsalgia.
Stress Fracture—over one-quarter of all the bones in your body are found in your feet. Getting sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D through the foods you eat can help to keep these bones strong and reduce the risk of stress fractures. In addition to dairy products, calcium can also be found in dark, leafy greens, sardines and fortified juices and cereals.