It is common for diet to be associated with weight loss. Most people, however, are unaware that the food in their diet can also contribute to foot problems, such as swelling. Furthermore, diet can also relieve several medical symptoms that cause foot pain and swelling. It is possible to reduce swelling in the feet by using a diet in the following ways.
Why are my Feet Swollen?
The presence of swollen feet usually indicates edema, which is a condition in which body tissues retain too much fluid.
Various factors can cause edema, including:
- Being overweight
- Conditions that affect fluid movement in the body
- Diseases that target the heart, kidneys, liver, thyroid, and veins
- Hormonal imbalance
- Shoes that don’t fit properly
- Elevation changes
It is possible to reduce foot edema through dietary changes. Keep in mind, however, any unusual or prolonged swelling in the feet requires medical attention and should be reported to a doctor.
The body uses inflammation to fight off things that harm it, such as infections or injuries. For this reason, inflammation can be seen as the body’s natural method of healing itself. This means inflammation can be a good thing. In fact, it has been shown that suppressing inflammation with medication can lead to more harm than good in some cases. This is due to the fact that removing inflammation with medication treats the symptom, but not the cause.
Managing inflammation with diet is a much better choice for addressing the underlying cause of swelling in the foot. Evidence of this can be seen in a Harvard Health Publishing study that found proper diet is linked to a reduction in inflammation markers, as well as a reduction in cardiovascular disease and diabetes risks. This means that dietary changes can not only reduce inflammation but also address foot swelling’s root cause.
Sitting in one position too long can worsen foot swelling so the use of movement is beneficial. Consider buying orthotics to decrease pain in the foot with movement. Other tools to decrease pain with movement include screening for issues that affect the feet such as, Plantar fasciitis or Morton’s neuroma.
Keep an eye out for swelling, joint pain, and infections in the feet on a daily basis. Get a comprehensive foot exam today by contacting a podiatric specialist for concerns about swollen feet.
Foods that Cause Swelling in Feet
There are many dietary causes of swelling of the feet. The general health of the body can be adversely affected by foods that cause inflammation. Weight gain, which also contributes to inflammation, is another one of the factors impacting dietary choices that lead to foot swelling.
While swelling of the feet can be impacted by a variety of foods they are primarily caused by two, salt and sugar.
A diet high in salt is one of the main causes of edema. Water retention caused by a high sodium diet can cause swelling in the ankles and feet, especially after periods of prolonged standing.
Diabetes and leg swelling are intertwined. An excess of sugar in the body causes insulin to store it as fat, causing fat cells to grow. High levels of glucose can build up in the blood when insulin isn’t used properly. The lining of smaller blood vessels can be damaged by high glucose levels if they are not treated. Poor blood circulation can result from this damage. Poor circulation can cause fluid to accumulate in the feet and ankles, causing swelling.
How to Reduce Swelling in Feet with Diet
An anti-inflammation diet has been shown to reduce foot swelling. Anti-inflammatory Foods such as these can aid in alleviating swelling and removing excess fluid.
Green Leafy Vegetables
There are some vegetables that act as natural diuretics such as leafy greens, onions, asparagus, leeks, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes.
Avoid adding salt to vegetables with bacon bits, dressings, and salted croutons, because salt contributes to water retention in the body. Also, when mixing up prepared fresh vegetable dips or seasoning cooked vegetable dishes, check the sodium content of seasoning mixes.
A magnesium deficiency can cause water retention and swelling. Magnesium-rich foods could be a tasty solution to swelling in the feet in that case. Magnesium-rich foods include dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, milk, yogurt, greens, and legumes.
When omega-3 fatty acids are consumed in conjunction with omega-6 fatty acids, inflammation in the body is reduced. Studies show that consuming fish with these fatty acids improves blood flow and reduces inflammation in blood vessels and nerves. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines as well as fish oil supplements all contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
There is some evidence to suggest that drinking caffeinated beverages can reduce inflammation. Coffee contains polyphenols, organic compounds that naturally occur, and other compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Drinking more fluid can help with fluid retention. This is because hydration helps reduce foot swelling. Whenever the body runs low on fluids, it begins to hold on to fluids, commonly referred to as water retention, which can lead to foot swelling. Maintaining proper hydration with water prevents this and helps flush out excess sodium and other waste from the body.
- Swollen feet can be linked to dietary choices. Though food can cause feet to swell, there are also a number of foods that can also reduce inflammation. Reduce inflammation by eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of healthful foods.
- Processed, refined, diluted, sweetened, salted, and other modified foods in today’s society lack anti-inflammatory properties. In order to extend shelf life and improve flavor, these foods are processed with added fats and preservatives, which, when consumed, can cause inflammation in the feet. This type of inflammation is commonly caused by salt and sugar.
- Replace normally salty foods with low-sodium or reduced-salt varieties, such as soups, sauces, potato chips, crackers, and pretzels. Avoid adding salt to foods during cooking and limit the use of table salt. It is possible to add flavor without increasing sodium or sugar intake by substituting other seasonings, such as honey, lemon, pepper, or cilantro.
Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois
Only a doctor can diagnose your pain. If you are in the Algonquin area and you are having pains in the ball of your foot, the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois have you covered. Our expert doctors offer comprehensive care from sprains to breaks to bunions and calluses. If the problem is your feet or ankles, we can take care of it and get you up and running.