Your Food & Your Feet

What you eat constitutes what you are. Right type of foods goes a long way in keeping you healthy. Surprisingly, your feet also demand the right intake to stay fit and fine.

Inflammation: Many foods can cause muscle and tissue inflammation in various parts of the body. In the feet, it often appears in the form of plantar fasciitis. This is a severe burning pain that is felt along the soles of the feet. It is caused by the thick band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot becoming inflamed. Your diet could be one of the major reasons for this ailment. Refined grains, junk foods, transfats in many baked foods, saturated fats found in red meats, the omega-6 fats present in many vegetable oils are some examples. Over consumption of sweets can increase blood sugar levels thus increasing the possibility of pain and inflammation. In addition, severe allergies to even common and otherwise healthy foods like wheat can trigger symptoms of pain and inflammation.

Prevention: There is no guarantee that inflammation of the feet, or other parts of the body will not occur. But controlling the intake of these foods can help to reduce the likelihood of it happening. In addition, an increase in the amount omega-3 fats can be effective. Fatty fish like salmon and fish oil supplements are excellent sources of omega-3. In addition to correcting the omega-3 and omega-6 imbalance, a general diet makeover can also help to reduce the problem of foot inflammation.  The basis of a balanced diet should be minimal intake of sugar and refined grains; and an increased intake of green vegetables.

Diabetes and Peripheral Artery Disease: Diabetes and peripheral artery disease can affect all parts of the body, but the feet are among the most vulnerable. Both these conditions affect the flow of the blood to the feet resulting in slow healing of injuries. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a diet low in saturated fats, trans fats and sodium can help in reducing the risk of peripheral artery disease. Again, an increased intake of omega-3 can also help to lower the risk levels. In the case of diabetes, the NIH recommends a diet rich in whole grains, beans, lean meats, vegetables and fruits with a limited amount of fats and sweets.

Though diet control can prevent inflamed and /or painful feet, the best thing to do is to go to a podiatrist.


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