When it comes to improving the health of your feet, nutrition makes a huge difference. Fuelling your body with the right food builds healthy bones and muscles, encourages proper blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and limits lower limb complications. To ensure that your feet get the nutrients they need, it’s important to increase your intake of foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals. We’ve compiled a list of foods to add to your diet as well as some to avoid to keep your feet happy and healthy all year long.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is a critical component of maintaining optimal skeletal health. People who don’t get an adequate amount of calcium in their diet are much more likely to have thin and brittle bones that break easily and are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
To keep your bones healthy and strong, make sure that you eat foods that contain high amounts of calcium. Calcium is commonly found in dairy products like milk and yogurt as well as leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens. In order for your body to absorb calcium, though, it needs vitamin D. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), mushrooms, and eggs are all great natural sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin C and Omega-3
Foods that are rich in vitamin C help reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of painful foot issues like plantar fasciitis. Our bodies also need vitamin C to produce collagen, the main structural protein found in skin and connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. People who have a low vitamin C intake can experience slow wound healing, as they don’t produce sufficient amounts of collagen. This is particularly dangerous for diabetics, who are at increased risk for foot complications resulting from infected wounds.
Vitamin C is often found in citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and snow peas. In addition to vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce inflammation. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include cold-water fish (sardines, salmon, and herring), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
B Complex Vitamins
B vitamins promote healthy nerve functioning, which is important for diabetics who are at risk for developing peripheral neuropathy. Foods that are high in B complex vitamins include whole grains, eggs, liver, fish, poultry, legumes, leafy greens, and avocados.
Foods to Avoid
No particular type of food causes foot issues. However, a poor diet does make you more likely to experience improper blood circulation, nerve damage, and inflammation—all of which can lead to severe foot pain and complications. In order to promote bodily functions and keep your feet healthy, we recommend eating the following foods in moderation.
- Red meats
- Salty snacks
- Sugary sweets
- Refined grains
Stick to whole foods as much as possible. Foods that have an excessive amount of sugar are particularly dangerous for diabetics, who must carefully monitor their glucose levels in order to avoid nerve degeneration.
The food that you put into your body directly impacts your health—from head to toe! Rather than consistently indulging in foods that negatively affect your health, aim to increase your intake of vitamin and mineral-rich foods.
If you would like to speak with a doctor regarding your foot health, fill out our contact form or call us at (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment!