Happy Feet, Healthy You: How Your Diet Can Affect The Balance
Let’s face it, our diets as humans affect so much of who we are and how we live, but did you ever stop to think about how the food that you’re putting in your mouth affects the exact opposite end of your body – your feet?
Yes, believe it or not, your nutrition can have a massive impact on the health of your feet. Here are some things you may not know about your health and the health of your feet, and some ways to help improve both.
Think about your body weight. You’re constantly adjusting your diet as you see your weight go up and down, but have you ever considered how your weight affects your feet?
The feet often get forgotten about because they’re so far down the body, but carrying around too much body weight can put excessive amounts of pressure on those little guys. And when you rely on them for so much throughout your day (think about it – your feet are your only source of support for your entire body), the excess weight and pressure could really be holding you down, literally.
Extra weight on your feet can eventually lead to osteoarthritis, and an additional 25 pounds carried can cause even more problems in your feet and ankles, so eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is essential to both weight loss and foot health.
Diets that are high in sugar only tend to do bad things to the human body, including increasing levels of certain chemicals in your body that lead to inflammation. And it’s not at all uncommon for that inflammation to develop in the feet.
Inflammation in the feet can be incredibly painful and can even potentially cause plantar fasciitis, an injury that affects the large band of tissue that runs through the arch of your foot.
Baked goods and junk foods contain tons of sugar and tons of trans fats, and the trans fats also promote inflammation in the body. Sweets and candies cause your blood sugar to raise quickly and dramatically, which, again, can essentially cause the feet to swell.
Inflammation in the feet can be incredibly painful and difficult to bring down, so your best bet is to lower the amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis and pay close attention to any foods that you think may cause your feet to swell.
A diet too sweet can cause inflammation in the feet, but so can a diet too rich in sodium. Sodium is an electrolyte that your body uses to convey electrical impulse throughout your body to insure its proper functioning, and usually pools around your extremities when consumed in extreme amounts.
When you consume too much sodium, you’ll feel thirsty, and therefore end up drinking more water to try to rid yourself of the feeling. The water immediately enters your body and travels to the places where there are the highest levels of sodium (namely your feet, ankles and hands).
Your extremities then hold onto the water to combat the high levels of sodium concentrated in them, causing the extremities to swell. And again, swelling only leads to problems.
Try restricting the amount of sodium in your diet – while small amounts of it are necessary for survival and water retention, too much of it causes your body to retain too much water and begin to swell.
When it’s your feet and ankles that are swelling, your circulation can be decreased and as a result, you’ll experience numbness and tingling, neither of which are very pleasant feelings.
Overall, pain in the feet causes pain throughout the rest of the body, as well. The feet are the support system of the human body, and when everything on top crumbles, the support will eventually crumble, too. Treat your feet well by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight and you may never have to experience foot pain.
And by taking care of your feet, you, in turn, will also feel better. You’ll feel healthier, happier and able to be more active with a healthy pair of feet attached to your body.
Liz Granger is a freelance writer who puts a lot of stress on her feet both recreationally and at work. Therefore, she knows the importance of wearing comfortable shoes and taking care of herself to keep herself standing.