March is National Nutrition Month and here at Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS, we want our patients to be aware that what you eat can have a positive impact on your feet and ankles. Here are 3 ways to improve your foot health through your diet:

Building Bone Strength—your feet contain nearly 25% of all the bones in your body. That’s a good reason to make sure they stay strong. Foods high in calcium and vitamin D can help maintain strong bones. Although most people know to include dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese in their diets for calcium, there are other foods that are also good sources of this bone-friendly nutrient. These include: spinach, kale, soybeans, white beans and certain fish—sardines, salmon, perch and rainbow trout. You can also increase your calcium intake by looking for cereals, orange juice and other products that are calcium fortified.

Fighting Inflammation—many foot conditions have painful inflammation as a primary symptom. You can help lessen inflammation in conditions like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and arthritis by choosing foods that have anti-inflammatory properties such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries, olive oil, leafy green vegetables and certain nuts like almonds and walnuts. Avoiding foods that trigger inflammation—fried foods, sugary drinks and snacks, artificial flavors and colors—can also help improve many foot conditions.

Keeping Weight in Check—being overweight puts an excess amount of pressure on your ankles and feet and is a risk factor for conditions like osteoarthritisplantar fasciitisand flatfeet. Choosing a diet high in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in saturated fats and sugars as well as watching your portion size will help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.

If you have a foot condition and would like to know if your diet can have a positive or negative effect on your symptoms, ask our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, at your next appointment at our Wayne office.