Normally, the subject of nutrition tends to focus on heart health or a losing weight. But you may be surprised to learn that proper nutrition can also be a major factor in improving the health of your feet.
In fact, there are several foot conditions that are directly affected by nutrition. These conditions include:
- Diabetes (high blood sugar) – this can affect the circulation in your feet, causing a loss of feeling and diabetic neuropathy.
- Inflammation. Some types of food (such as foods high in refined sugar and trans fats) can cause inflammation in the feet and even plantar fasciitis.
- Obesity. Obviously, the more you weigh, the more pressure on your feet . This can result in plantar fasciitis and heel pain. It can also exacerbate bunions and hammertoes.
- Osteoporosis (weakened bones) – if you have osteoporosis, you are more susceptible to stress fractures and trauma-related breaks.
- Poor circulation - Circulatory problems caused by smoking, diabetes, and other conditions can create a number of problems in your feet and legs.
Tips for proper nutrition
- Although good nutrition alone may not be enough to prevent all the above, it can nonetheless play a key role in achieving better health – including improved foot health.
- Blood sugar levels. For diabetes sufferers, it’s essential to monitor and control blood glucose levels.
- Healthy diet. By eating a healthy diet, you can decrease the risk of peripheral artery disease (a build up of fatty deposits in the arteries) and reduce problems due to excess pressure on the feet.
- Exercise regularly. Although exercise is not, in itself, a form of nutrition, regular exercise can help keep bones and foot infrastructure healthy, and reduce bone loss.
- Increase intake of calcium and vitamin D. This will help you build stronger bones and combat the onset of osteoporosis.
In addition to the above tips, you should monitor your foot health and visit your doctor if you notice problems with your feet. Identifying and diagnosing foot problems in their early stages can help you reduce the likelihood of long-term adverse effects.
Always talk to your GP before changing your diet.