Thankfully, the old saying “you are what you eat” isn’t completely literal. We can only imagine how many pizzas, donuts, and French fries we would see at the store and other destinations in our Carmichael community if it was! Now, the saying is not likely intended to be taken in such a literal fashion. Instead, it is a reminder that the foods we put into our body are used to, well, make us who we are. This highlights the importance of making smart food choices.
There are many different reasons to give some thought to your dietary habits, but one that is often overlooked is how food affects your feet.
Feet are remarkably complex structures. Given their functions—supporting the entire body, keeping us mobile—and the amount of physical force and stress they endure, feet have to be! Every normal pair of feet (and ankles) contain 52 bones, 66 different joints, and over 200 ligaments, tendons, and muscles. All of these tissues need the right nutrients for optimal functionality.
Those 52 bones in your feet and ankles constitute over twenty-five percent of all the bones in your body. It’s important to keep them strong and healthy to reduce your risk of common overuse injuries like stress fractures. You can do this by ensuring you include foods rich in calcium and vitamin D into your diet.
Diabetes is becoming increasingly more common in society, but you can take measures to reduce your risk of this serious disease by limiting the amount of sugar you consume. Doing so will keep your feet safe from dangerous diabetic ulcers and the risk of Charcot foot.
Beyond diabetes prevention, restricting the amounts of sweets you eat is key for both preventing and managing gout – an arthritic condition caused by uric acid (a byproduct of food breakdown). A gout-friendly diet based on whole grains, veggies, fresh fruit, low-fat dairy and limited quantities of lean meat will lower your risk of the condition that can cause tremendous pain at the base of your big toe. If you are familiar with the book Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health, you will likely already adhere to such a diet!
The food you eat can affect the health of your entire body, including your lower limbs. If you have any questions or would like recommendations on a dietary plan to keep your feet healthy and strong, simply contact McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group by calling (916) 961-3434.