Eat for Your Feet During the Holidays
Tis the season for feasting and festivities and at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM while we want our patients to enjoy the holidays we also want to remind everyone that what you eat can have a significant impact on the health of your feet.
Below are some food issues to consider:
Preventing Gout—this form of arthritis occurs when there is an excess of amount of uric acid that accumulates in the body. Uric acid is affected by temperature and in cooler areas of the body like your toes, the acid can crystallize in the joints causing extreme pain. The big toe is one of the most commonly affected areas. One trigger for gout attacks is foods high in a chemical known as purines. Unfortunately many of the foods on the list to avoid feature prominently in holiday fare: red meat, rich sauces, red wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages, shell fish, organ meats, sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates. If you have suffered gout attacks in the past you should be seen by our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco. The foot doctor can prescribe medication for gout and give you specific guidelines to follow to avoid this painful condition.
Fighting Inflammation—the foods we eat can increase or decrease an inflammatory response in our body. This can play a significant part in the amount of pain and stiffness we experience in our joints. Patients with chronic conditions, arthritis or injuries need to be particularly vigilant about inflammation. Foods to avoid include: sugars, fried foods, refined flour (found in white bread, crackers, pretzels), dairy products, artificial sweeteners, saturated fats and that second round of alcoholic drinks (some studies have shown that one drink a day can lower inflammation but more than that can actually increase it). Conversely, there are foods that can reduce inflammation. Look for the following as you graze the holiday buffet: fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or smoked trout, nuts, dark leafy greens, peppers and berries.
Maintaining Weight—being overweight is a factor in several foot disorders and chronic conditions. Excess weight can make stress fractures more likely and increase the severity of plantar fasciitis, flat feet, sesamoiditis and many other foot problems. It’s best for your feet (and the rest of your body) that you eat the high calorie treats the holiday brings in moderation and add a few extra hours of exercise to your weekly routine as well.
If you have any questions about how food can affect your feet contact our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.