Best Eating for Optimal Foot Health

You simply must do a couple of things for optimal health, and you know what they are – exercise, get enough sleep, and eat right. Sure, you can go above and beyond, but doing those three things will put you far ahead in the game. Bowls of fruits and vegetables

When it comes to eating right, you can likely think of a couple of reasons this is so important for your body as a whole. For your feet, proper nutrition makes a big difference in the following ways:

  • Strong bones. With a total of 52 bones in your feet, your lower limbs are designed to carry the weight of your body. Help them stay strong by consuming plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet.
  • Strong muscles. When people think about strong muscles, they might be quick to picture bulging biceps or broad shoulders, but the ones in the lower body are important too! In addition to enabling movement and mobility, they also take some of the burden off of the bones in your lower body. If you keep them strong by eating enough protein, they can stay strong and provide additional help.
  • Fewer pounds. As is the running theme here, it is easy to take feet for granted. This means we don’t often consider how much force we place upon them. You can help lighten their load, literally, by using your dietary choices to shed pounds. (Of course, you’re also bound to like seeing the results in the mirror as well!)
  • Improved circulation. The feet and toes are farther from the heart than any other point on your body, so oxygenated blood from the heart already has to make quite the trip to deliver essential nutrients to your lower extremities. You can make it easier by choosing foods that do not clog up blood vessels, like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and veggies.
  • Diabetes prevention. Diabetes can put feet at risk for serious medical issues like Charcot foot and dangerous foot ulcers. The disease is a growing threat, but you can take measures to reduce your diabetes risk by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

A proper diet for healthy feet and ankles has several key components:

  • Lean proteins. Fish and poultry are the all-stars when it comes to lean meats. Having red meat periodically, in moderate amounts, is generally okay (although, you may wish to refrain from this if you have gout).
  • Fresh fruits and veggies. Natural foods you can pick from a tree or out of the ground are loaded with essential nutrients. Even better, they can fill you up so you don’t eat too much sugary, processed foods!
  • Whole grains. The complex carbohydrates from sources like oatmeal and “real” whole grain breads are instrumental in keeping your cholesterol levels down, which means blood can flow more easily down to your lower limbs.
  • Nuts and legumes. Whereas nuts are full of nutrients and protein, they do have lots of calories and are best consumed in moderation. Beans are a variety of legumes rich in fiber (important for keeping you and your feet healthy).
  • Low-fat dairy. The protein and nutrients in low-fat dairy products contribute to both muscular and bone strength in your feet and ankles. Be sure to pay attention to the “low-fat” part, though!

Making the right dietary choices is a key pillar for foot health. So too is knowing when to come see us here at Houston Foot & Ankle Specialists. If you have pain, discomfort, loss of function, or anything out of the ordinary in a foot or ankle, it might be time to receive professional treatment.

We provide expert podiatric services for the Houston community – and we will do the same for you! Contact us online or call our office at (713) 493-7372 for more information or to request your appointment .
Categories: General