When it comes to the subject of eating right, we are usually given information about how to
eat for brain, eye, liver health…and the list goes on. But what about eating for better foot and
lower limb health? Not many of us think about our legs and feet but for most of us, we rely
every day on our lower limbs to transport us to where we need to be! So let’s talk
about how we can maintain good foot care through our diet so that we can continue to hop,
skip, jump and run to our heart’s content!
Our lower limbs are primarily made up of bone, muscle, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
These structures rely greatly on Vitamin D, Vitamin B or B complexes, Iron and Sillica
in order to function at their best!
“Eating the correct diet for your body, whilst taking appropriate supplementation and vitamins ensures your joints, muscles and bones are given the sustenance to keep them strong and flexible”.
What you can take to keep your lower limbs healthy and strong:
Vitamin D – Not only greatly aids in the absorption of calcium from the intestinal tract, but it can relieve and treat conditions such as: osteoporosis as well as bone and muscle pain.
Vitamin B Complex – Has many benefits as outlined in the video below, but let’s focus on its direct effects on bone and joint health. Vitamin B complexes can lower stress levels, regulates hormonal imbalances which in turn reduces the inflammatory response.
“Inflammation is a major contributing factor to all pathologies within the body. Inflammation perpetuates existing joints bone and muscle pathologies”.
As well as this, the B vitamins are excellent at promoting overall cell growth and muscle tone.
Below illustrate how tendons and ligaments support our musculoskeletal system:
Silica – Helps to strengthen collagen. Collagen is a protein structure known as being the building blocks for bone, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Silica supports all connective tissues within the body. There are various foods containing silica, these include but are not limited to: carrots, brown rice, cereals, dark leafy green vegetables and lentils (lentil soup).
Iron – Important for oxygen intake which aids all vital functions of the body to
continue to work at their best. Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells which need iron in order to do their job in transporting oxygen around the body. Iron greatly supports the body in recovery from musculoskeletal (muscle and bone related) injury. Other than supplementation, sources of iron include: lentils (lentil soup), dark leafy greens, beans, red meat and many more.
Magnesium – Helps cartilage to stay as a strong protective cushion between bones and relieves muscle pain. Magnesium is a relaxant, so it can be utilised in times of stress as well. In order to repair itself, rest and relaxation is a key component in supporting the body’s healing process. Apart from supplementation, additional sources of magnesium include but are not limited to: dark chocolate (60%+), salmon, nuts and seeds, wholegrain foods and fortified breakfast cereals.
If you are looking into incorporating any of the above vitamins and supplementation into your diet, always consult your podiatrist and qualified medical practitioner first so that you have the best chance of giving your muscles and bones the love they deserve!
By Nadia Anand – Foot & Ankle Experts Podiatry