Healthy Eating for Your 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.

Everyone knows nutrition is an important part of living a healthy life. As kids, people are taught about food groups and how they need a balanced diet to grow healthy and strong. Although our understanding of a “balanced” diet has evolved by learning more about food and the human body, the basic truth remains the same: your whole body needs nutritious food. This includes your feet. Believe it or not, choosing the right food for feet helps you maintain strong bones and avoid painful problems.

Foot nutrition means choosing foods that contribute to building healthy tissues in your lower limbs without contributing to diseases or inflammation. This plays out in several ways, including bone-building. You need plenty of nutrients to build strong bones, which is vital for healthy, functional feet. After all, the bones in your feet and legs support your entire body’s weight, as well as the stressful impacts on the ground. Various diseases can weaken your bones over time—one of the most serious is osteoporosis. However, the right foods rich in calcium and vitamin D build stronger, denser bones and combat those diseases.

Poor nutrition also contributes to systemic problems that have a huge impact on your lower limbs, such as artery problems and diabetes. Weak circulation makes your lower limbs more vulnerable to injuries and impairs your immune system. Diabetes not only damages your blood vessels, it also harms your nerves. Both of these are affected either positively or negatively by your diet choices. Stick to foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugary carbs. Bulk up your diet with more vegetables and a small amount of low-sugar citrus fruits instead.

The other issue is inflammation. Excessive sugar and chronic food intolerances, particularly to gluten, can dramatically increase inflammation in your body tissues. A general increase in inflammation can put you at a higher risk for inflammatory conditions like plantar fasciitis. Eating more omega-3 fats, green vegetables, and other fresh plant foods instead of refined grains or sugars cuts down the inflammation.

Food for feet generally means getting the right kind of nutrition. At Parker Foot & Ankle, we are passionate about foot health at every level, including how food makes a difference. Let use help you avoid foot pain, even through managing your diet. Make an appointment at our Houston office by calling (281) 497-2850 today.

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