Unless you’ve been living without television, internet access, newspapers, or general contact with health experts for several decades, you know that what you eat matters. Unhealthy foods contribute to obesity, stress your heart, and generally harm your body’s normal functions. Healthy foods build up strong bones and muscles, improve your mood, boost your energy, and much more for your body. Whether you realize it or not, your feet also feel the positive or negative effects of the food you eat.
Your feet are connected to the rest of your body. They have bones, muscles, and soft tissues that need nutrients and oxygen just like the rest of you, so what you eat can make a significant difference for their health. The right foods keep your feet strong, healthy, and less susceptible to pain. A poor diet increases your risk for painful problems like peripheral arterial disease and diabetes, as well as contributes to flare-ups of conditions like gout.
So what you eat does make a difference for your lower limbs. Here’s how the food choices you make can impact foot pain, or a lack thereof:
- Stronger bones – Calcium and vitamin D are used to make your bones thicker, denser, and harder to break.
- Stronger muscles – Protein and plenty of vitamins build up muscles so your feet are better able to support you.
- Pressure and foot stress – The heavier you are, the harder your feet have to work to stand and walk. Eating healthier decreases your risk for obesity.
- General inflammation – Some foods, like sugars, refined grains, and trans fats increase inflammation in your body and may contribute to pain in your feet.
- Diabetes trouble – When you have diabetes, consuming foods that spike your blood sugars damages your blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to a whole host of problems.
- Gout trouble – Foods high in purines increase your risk for painful gout flare-ups and joint damage.