Have you turned over a new leaf for 2016 and resolved to eat better? That’s a goal that all of should work toward to look and feel better.
Eating right benefits your entire body – and your brain – but did you know that it helps your feet too? Diet and nutrition affect our feet just as much as the rest of our bodies.
Inflammation Can Cause Foot Pain
Tissue inflammation can produce many foot diseases and conditions. One of the most common causes of heel pain is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that stretches on the bottom of the foot from the heel to toes. This tissue is important in supporting the body’s weight and stabilizing the arch of the foot. The resulting plantar fasciitis, along with other inflammatory conditions like arthritis, painful arches and heel spurs are aggravated by eating certain foods:
- Red meat and other animal protein sources that are heavy in saturated fat
- Prepared foods with too much trans-fats, sugar and refined grains
- Certain vegetable oils including corn, soybean and sunflower that have high levels of omega-6 fats
- Foods made with white flour like desserts, snacks and pasta
Other Causes of Foot Inflammation
Blood sugar levels that are too high lead to high insulin levels. When insulin levels are too high, blood vessels constrict causing inflammation because the blood can’t reach the extremities. The result is often foot pain and swelling.
Even food allergies can cause foot inflammation. And if you are carrying too many pounds, foot pain and inflammation can be the result.
Opt for a Healthy, Common-Sense Diet To Benefit Foot Health
Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM recommends eating a balanced diet that provides all the essential nutrients that your body needs – and your feet too. Here is a general list of foods to eat in moderation each day:
- Green vegetables and fresh fruits
- Lean meats
- Fish like salmon and tuna that are rich in omega-3 fats, or instead use fish oil supplements
- Other protein sources like beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
Here are foods to avoid: refined grain foods and sugary snacks. In addition to triggering inflammation, when eaten in excess these foods can cause diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in neuropathy with foot numbness, pain, weakness and tingling.
Healthy Eating Is Good for All of You – Including Your Feet!
If you experience any foot or ankle pain due to arthritis or any other problem, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist. Our Heel Pain Center can resolve your pain and get you back to your normal activities. You can request an appointment via the website or call our Chicago office at 773-561-8100. Eat right in 2016 – your feet will thank you for it!