Change What You Eat for Healthy Feet

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Healthy eatingIf you are serious about eating healthy food and live in the Houston area, you are fortunate to have several places to find fresh, local produce: Canino’s Produce and Farmer’s Market in Houston Heights, the City Hall Farmers Market downtown, Urban Harvest on Richmond, and Houston Farmers Market at Rice Village. You may wonder what this has to do with feet, but realize that they react to what you eat just like the rest of your body does.

With the common American diet so full of harmful foods, you may need to make some food changes for healthier feet as well as for your heart or for weight loss. One of the best ways to head off inflammation and pain in your feet is to watch your sugar intake.

Though sugar is needed for cell activity, too much can damage your tissues and cause inflammation. True, you need a certain amount of fat for a healthy body and healthy feet, but the wrong kinds or too much can damage your circulation. Even though we are taught that wheat, barley, and grains are healthy foods, they have a high glycemic index and convert into sugar when eaten, causing problems (and not only for those who are allergic to them). Refined grains raise your blood sugar level too quickly.

What sort of switches should you make? Substitute water, black coffee with grass-fed butter, or tea for soft drinks and sugary juices that have little or no nutritional value. The “sacred cow” orange juice is great for vitamin C but NOT great for you, as it is straight sugar.  As for sweet desserts, just say no. Develop knowledge of good fats with your cooking habits, and get enough omega-3s from salmon or fish oil. Fill your plate with veggies fresh from the farm!

Make the changes gradually, so you don’t feel deprived at first. It may take a while for your taste buds to make the switch, but don’t give up. Not only will you will come to appreciate the full flavor of good healthy fats and vegetables once you lose the added salt and sugar so common in processed food, but you’ll really appreciate the extra energy, reduced aches and pains, and overall restored health.

One more change: make sure you are eating foods that give you enough calcium—and the vitamin D needed to fully process it—for developing and maintaining strong bones. Your feet are the basis of your movement, and you want to keep this structure strong.

For help in planning a heathy diet for your feet and the rest of you, call Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX at (281) 497-2850 and set up a consultation. We believe in holistic care that does more than just treat problems in your feet.

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