Healthy Feet: How Nutrition Can Affect Your Feet

February 23, 2024 7:21 pm Published by

It’s common to adjust your daily nutrition for goals such as weight loss, but what about healthy food and your feet? Just like the rest of your body, what you eat can impact the overall health of your feet. This is especially true if you have pre-existing foot conditions or are reaching the golden years of your life. Today, we’ll talk about the relationship between food and your feet and what you can do to keep your healthy feet dancing.

How Healthy Eating Equals Healthy Feet

If your feet are in good condition, the bones in your feet are strong, there is no swelling or pain in your ankles or feet, and there is proper nerve function.

Some foods with high nutritional value can help promote healthy feet and may even assist with reducing foot problems and conditions. If you’re pregnant, certain foods can help relieve common foot challenges during this wonderful time.

Foods That Reduce Swelling in Feet and Ankles

Carotenoids can be found in certain plants. Considered an antioxidant, they have been known to help reduce swelling in feet and ankles (and the rest of your body, too). 

Foods that can reduce swelling in your feet because they contain antioxidants include:

  • Yams
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Bell peppers
  • And many more fruits and vegetables 

People with psoriatic arthritis and other conditions that cause swelling may find some relief by including foods high in carotenoids. Some types of carotenoids can also help maintain eye health, making them a win/win if added to your diet. 

Foods That Cause Swelling in Feet and Ankles

Even if you have a relatively healthy diet, you’ll still want to look out for foods that cause swelling in your feet and ankles. Typically, foods high in saturated fats, like fried chicken, can exacerbate issues such as shin splints or arthritis. One way to lessen your intake of inflammatory foods is by changing your cooking methods. For example, baking is a great way to avoid fatty oils commonly found with deep-frying. 

Foods for Increased Blood Circulation

Proper blood circulation is necessary for essential body functions. If your blood vessels are narrow or become hardened, you could experience dangerous effects such as blood clots. People with diabetes are more likely to develop symptoms of poor blood circulation. However, anyone can have reduced blood circulation, especially if they are sitting for long periods of time.

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium can help improve blood circulation if consumed regularly. 

Some foods high in nutrients that help with circulation include:

  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Certain fish
  • Garlic

Our bodies can use these foods to help the blood vessels relax and loosen for increased blood flow. This can help maintain feeling and warmth in your legs and feet as well as maintain optimal blood pressure. However, exercising your feet and ankles in tandem with a healthy diet is important for maximum effect.

Foods for Nerve Health

Nerve pain or numbness can be very uncomfortable and may be caused by serious conditions such as neuropathy. Nutrients such as vitamin B contain compounds that help protect and may even help to repair nerve damage. 

Foods for happy nerves include:

  • Many fruits
  • Sweet potato
  • Green vegetables
  • Quinoa

A healthy diet that includes these foods may be especially beneficial for people with diabetic foot symptoms but remember, no food can replace or prevent the need for a podiatrist. 

Foods for Bone Health

For bone density and proper development, calcium and vitamin D should be part of a nutritious diet. As we age, the bones in our feet may wear down after years of faithful service, especially with poor foot posture

While it’s widely accepted that many dairy products contain calcium and added vitamin D, other lesser-known foods can also provide an excellent source of these nutrients. 

These foods include:

  • Almonds
  • White beans (navy, lima, etc.)
  • Tofu
  • Salmon

Should you be experiencing any type of bone loss or are recovering from a broken bone, your doctor may suggest calcium supplements to further assist with the health of your bones. 

Maintain Healthy Feet With Help

If you make sure your body receives proper nutrition, your feet will thank you! If you need any help with foot conditions, pain, or other unhappy feet symptoms, our experienced podiatrists are here to help. Schedule an appointment with Foot & Ankle Group today.

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