Usually, discussion about nutrition centres on heart health or a shrinking waistline. However, proper nutrition can also improve the health of your feet. In fact, there are several foot conditions that are affected by nutrition.
Some of these conditions include:
- Diabetes (high blood sugar) - can affect the circulation in your feet, cause a loss of feeling, and trigger diabetic neuropathy.
- Inflammation. Some types of food (including foods with refined sugar and trans fats) can increase inflammation in your feet and even cause plantar fasciitis.
- Obesity. The more you weigh the more force your feet have to bear. Obesity can lead to plantar fasciitis and heel pain. It can also worsen bunions and hammertoes.
- Osteoporosis (weakened bones). Bones weakened by osteoporosis are more susceptible to stress fractures and trauma-related breaks.
- Poor circulation - Circulatory problems caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), smoking, diabetes, and other conditions can create various problems with your feet and legs.
Tips for proper nutrition
Although good nutrition alone may not prevent all of the above medical conditions from forming, it can be a vital part of achieving better health – including improved foot health.
- Control blood sugar levels. If you suffer from diabetes, it is important to monitor and control your blood glucose levels.
- Eat a healthy diet. By eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and rich in fruits and vegetables, you can decrease the risk of PAD, reduce inflammation, and lose weight.
- Exercise regularly. Although exercise is not a form of nutrition in the traditional sense, regular exercise can help "feed" your bones and minimise bone loss.
- Increase intake of calcium and vitamin D. By building stronger bones with daily vitamins and minerals, you can combat the onset of osteoporosis.
In addition to the above tips, you should monitor your foot health and visit your doctor if you begin to notice weakness, pain, numbness, or any other abnormal sensation in your feet. Catching 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.