Sure, we’ve all heard the phrase, “you are what you eat”, but did you ever think food could actually affect your feet?
As much as that sounds like a line from a Dr. Seuss book, it’s true.
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that happens when the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel supporting the arch of your foot, becomes inflamed. It can cause extreme pain in the bottom of the foot and the heel — if you’re reading this because you’ve got plantar fasciitis, you know a little too well about the kind of pain we’re talking about.
The condition can happen for both sedentary and athletic folks, and is caused by either a chronic overload in lifestyle or in exercise. Resting your feet and proper foot support from your shoes is super important if your plantar fascia has been damaged, but preventing it in the first place is where we want to start. Stretching can play a major role in this, but so can diet.
Because this condition’s all about inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet is the first place to start.
So which foods should you stay away from?
The fun ones. We’re talking sugar, processed foods (especially meats!), white flour, and foods with lots of sodium. Stay away from these, and you won’t just be preventing foot pain, but heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well.
Which foods help?
Foods high in antioxidants and polyphenols, protective compounds found in plants, are your new BFF. Foods that are high in calcium, vitamin C, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and omega 3 fats are important too.
Nuts, foods with healthy fats like olive oil and fatty fish, darker fruits such as blueberries and cherries, lots of green leafy vegetables (think spinach, kale, and collards), tomatoes, and oranges are great to incorporate.
Shifting more towards an anti-inflammatory diet like the Mediterrean Diet may prove extremely helpful, not just for that foot pain, but for your body’s entire system — plus, the recipes are delicious too.