At First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic, we know that the health of your entire body has an effect on the health of your feet. March is National Nutrition Month and a good time to make the connection between your diet and your podiatric health. Below are some do’s and don’ts for good nutrition which will benefit your feet and the rest of your body as well.
Do: aim for a balanced diet that is nutrient dense and helps you attain or stay at an appropriate weight. Obesity is a risk factor for several podiatric disorders including: plantar fasciitis, flat feet and sesamoiditis. Being overweight puts a huge strain on your lower extremities. If you have knee problems, for example, every extra pound you gain puts 4 pounds of pressure on your knees.
Don’t: forget to check labels for hidden sugars. Anything that ends in “ose” such as fructose, sucralose, etc. is another form of sugar. Even products that you wouldn’t think of as having sugar, such as spaghetti sauce, can have anywhere from 6 -16 grams depending on the brand. A steady diet of too much sugar can be a contributing factor in developing diabetes, a disease that can lead to neuropathy and circulation problems for your feet.
Do: eat to reduce inflammation. There are several foods (blueberries, olive oil, salmon, and more) that have been shown to help suppress an inflammatory response in the body. If you have a condition such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis or tendinitis, ask our podiatrists, Dr. Vimal A. Reddy and Dr. Jeffrey Brimmer if anti-inflammatory foods can help you reduce pain.
Do: energize your body with food. Being active is an essential component of good podiatric and general health. Choosing lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and those high in trans and saturated fats will give your body the maximum amount of energy to stay active.
Don’t: choose sodas and sugary sports drinks for hydration. Plain old water does the job best and without any unwanted calories.