March is National Nutrition Month, and a good time for us at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists to talk to our patients about nutrition for their feet. You may not have made a connection between what goes into your mouth and how your feet feel – but getting good nutrition absolutely affects the health of your feet, especially when it comes to ingesting enough of two very specific things.
- Get enough calcium
The National Institutes of Health recommends 1300 milligrams of calcium a day for children and teens ages 9-18 and between 1,000 to 1,200 mg for adults, depending on their exact age and gender. Our bodies don’t produce calcium on their own, so we need to get the proper amount by eating it.
Get to know how much calcium is in your food by reading nutrition labels. For example, one cup of milk (whole, low fat or skim), soy milk, or nonfat milk powder each has about 300 mg. A cup of plain yogurt has about 450 mg. From these numbers, it’s easy to see that if you eat 3-4 healthy servings of these dairy foods every day, you’re getting a good amount of calcium.
Calcium is important to your feet because it keeps bones strong. Without calcium, bones become weak and brittle, a condition known as osteoporosis. A bone fracture in your foot can be the first sign that you have this debilitating disease.
- Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for a couple of reasons: first, it helps you absorb the calcium that you eat. You could be eating enough calcium, but your body won’t actually absorb it if you don’t have enough vitamin D as well. Second, just like calcium, vitamin D plays an important role in keeping your bones strong.
The list of foods that are rich in vitamin D is woefully short but includes salmon, tuna, and fortified foods such as cereal and milk. Many people need to take vitamin D supplements in order to get enough.
Your feet carry around your entire weight every day so they need to remain strong. Strong bones require both calcium and vitamin D, so make sure you’re getting enough. Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts are expert podiatrists in Montgomery who can answer your questions about avoiding bone fractures by eating healthily. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.