It’s been said that true health care reform isn’t going to come from Washington; it starts in your own kitchen. That’s probably a gross oversimplification of the health care debates being bandied about our government these days! But the choices you make in your own kitchen certainly do affect your individual health, so it’s a great place to start.

Feed your whole body

The foods you eat provide nutrition for your entire body, and that includes your feet. There are certain conditions of the feet that are directly influenced by what you eat – or don’t eat. Two essential ingredients should come to mind immediately:

  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Together, these two nutrients play a huge role in building up bones and keeping them strong. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so it’s important to get enough of both.

Without sufficient levels of Vitamin D and calcium, bones anywhere in the body can become brittle and easily fractured. That’s a condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis often shows up first in the bones of our feet, since they bear the weight of our entire body.

Start early

Building strong bones begins when we’re young. A poor diet in childhood will very likely lead to weaker bones in adulthood. So it’s important that kids get a head start on strong bones by getting enough calcium and Vitamin D in their diets. Good sources of these nutrients can be found in milk, cheese, yogurt, fortified cereals, swordfish, salmon, egg yolks, cod liver oil (which can be purchased in more palatable flavorings than in the past such as mint or fruit), vegetables and canned fish such as tuna and sardines.

Turn to the sun

It’s very difficult to get all the Vitamin D you need from food alone. The sun plays a role in helping our body produce Vitamin D, so try to spend some time outside. In the upcoming colder weather, you may choose to sit by a window and enjoy the sun’s warmth and healing rays that way, too.

Ask you primary care doctor or board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM to help you figure out if your time in the kitchen is generating enough Vitamin D and calcium in your diets. Contact Clifton Foot & Ankle Center online or call us at our Centreville, VA office in Fairfax County at (703) 996-3000.

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