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The Role of Nutrition in Preventing and Treating Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most frequently encountered foot problems is plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by pain in the heel caused by repetitive stress and strain on the foot. This condition often affects individuals who engage in activities that place immense pressure on the feet, such as long-distance running or standing for extended periods. The plantar fascia, a band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed and irritated, leading to discomfort and limited mobility. Plantar fasciitis can be quite debilitating, but there are various treatment options available to alleviate symptoms and promote healing.

Certain individuals are at a higher risk for developing this condition. People who have a higher body mass index (BMI), tight calf muscles, or flat feet are more prone to experiencing it. Furthermore, older individuals tend to have a higher frequency of developing this condition.

1. Reduce Inflammation

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot, becomes damaged due to pressure or strain. This can result in heel pain and inflammation, which is particularly common among individuals who tend to stand for long periods or participate in high-impact activities like running.

If rest, icing and wearing shoes that provide adequate support don’t alleviate your symptoms, your doctor may suggest injecting anti-inflammatory drugs.

Physical therapy and stretching exercises are two effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. Stretching can reduce the tension that’s causing you pain and eventually help improve your condition.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by an accumulation of inflammation in the connective tissue of your feet. Eating healthier can help reduce pain and swelling in these sensitive areas.

A nutritious diet should include plenty of green, leafy vegetables, fish and low-fat dairy products. These foods contain anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Avoid high-sugar and processed foods, as these will raise blood sugar levels and cause inflammation in your body. Furthermore, steer clear of items with saturated fat – like junk food, sweets, and processed meats like hot dogs and pepperoni.

3. Get Enough Calcium

Calcium is essential for bone and joint health. A diet that includes plenty of dairy, dark green veggies (kale, turnip greens, white beans and black-eyed peas) will provide you with the essential nutrients.

The body requires calcium for proper repair of ligaments and tendons. As such, a high intake of calcium can significantly accelerate the healing time for plantar fasciitis.

4. Supplement with Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for good health, and getting enough from a balanced diet is key. It supports heart and bone strength, muscle function, as well as controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It’s even fortified in milk and yogurt.

5. Avoid Refined Oils

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the plantar fascia, an elastic tissue running along the bottom of your foot from your heel bone to your toes. This tissue absorbs shock while you walk and supports your arch with added support.

Inflammation of this tissue can cause heel pain, arch pain, morning discomfort and tenderness in the Achilles tendon. Risk factors for developing this condition include repeated stress, weight-bearing activities and wearing high heels.

Refined oils like corn oil, soya oil and canola oil have been known to exacerbate plantar fasciitis due to their high omega-6 fats content as well as saturated fats.

6. Eliminate Gluten

Many are surprised to know that eliminating gluten from one’s diet can be highly beneficial for plantar fasciitis. In fact, some studies suggest it may even reduce inflammation associated with this condition.

Eliminating gluten from your diet helps you steer clear of the inflammatory food groups such as wheat, barley and rye.

Additionally, cutting gluten from your diet helps you steer clear of inflammatory foods like sugars, refined carbohydrates and animal products such as meat. Furthermore, studies have suggested that those on a gluten-free diet may experience weight loss due to the healthier choices made.


You might also like to read:

Plantar Fasciitis
Foot Strengthening Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis: Building a Strong Foundation
The Impact of Plantar Fasciitis on Athletic Performance: Strategies for Coping and Recovery

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