Could My Swollen Feet Be Tied To My Diet?
When we think about nutrition, we often associate the foods we eat with things like weight loss or eating low glycemic foods for managing diabetes. What many of us don’t realize is that foods in our diet can create problems in the feet and ankles, and conversely help alleviate symptoms associated with foot pain. The biggest culprit of swollen feet is inflammation, and can often be linked to the foods we eat.
In today’s society, processed, refined, diluted, sweetened, salted and other modified foods have lost their anti-inflammatory components. Processed for longer shelf life and more savory taste, these foods have had bad fats and preservatives added that chemically create inflammation in the joints. The most commons foods to cause inflammation in the body are dairy products, foods with high sugar content (including artificial sugars and sweeteners), refined grains, grain-fed meats and meats with hormones and antibiotics added, tropical fruits, and bad fats like vegetable oil and hydrogenated oils.
Inflammation in the feet can present as gout or even plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel of the foot all the way to the ball of the foot. This inflammation is surprisingly found to be the result of a food allergy, such as a wheat allergy. Foods that cause sharp spikes in glucose in the blood, such as sugary sweets and refined breads and cereals, can cause inflammation as well. Individuals with diabetes should be especially mindful of their nutrition not only for their health but because foot problems are a common side effect of diabetes. Because they are unable to regulate their blood sugar without medication, foot inflammation could quickly get of hand if not managed with diet and medical treatment.
Foods with omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, in conjunction with a balanced omega-6 intake. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish like salmon, as well as fish oil supplements. Eating an overall balanced diet that includes healthful foods will also help reduce inflammation. In addition to consuming more omega-3’s and green leafy vegetables, a diet low in trans fats, sodium and saturated fats can also help reduce your risk of peripheral artery disease, a serious condition affecting the entire lower leg.
Check your feet daily for any swelling, joint pain or infection. If you have any concerns about swollen feet, request an appointment with one of our podiatric specialists today for a comprehensive foot exam by clicking here or call any of our convenient office locations in the Piedmont Triad.
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