How to Soothe Your Inflamed, Aching Feet

Try It—Three Weeks to Happier Feet
If you want to have less foot pain, follow these steps for the next three weeks and see how much better you feel:

Remove all sugar, processed carbohydrates and refined oils from your diet.
Eat meals that consist of meat, vegetables and a good fat. For example, start your day with Turkey Breakfast Sausages and half a sweet potato with butter on it. For lunch, eat Wild Rice Meatballs and a salad topped with olive oil. For dinner, have a Chicken Patty and steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil or coconut oil. Any combination will do. Just make sure you have a meat, vegetable and fat at every meal.
Up your intake of omega-3 EPA. Eat more salmon and consider supplementing with a quality omega-3 product.
Did you know…each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments? This means there is a lot of room for error and helps explain why 75 percent of adults have experienced foot pain such as Plantar Fasciitis or other painful conditions. Yet, only a very small percentage of people are actually born with abnormalities affecting their feet. With so many people experiencing foot pain, we have to wonder, did Mother Nature mess up when she designed our feet or is there something we are doing, wearing, or eating that is causing all this foot pain?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common type of foot pain is Plantar Fasciitis (PF); where the plantar fascia ligament, which runs from the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed. Ligaments are similar to rubber bands, they stretch and contract. By attaching bones to bones, they limit the movements of joints and provide stabilization. The plantar fascia aids in the stabilization of the arch and helps support the weight of the body. PF accounts for 80 percent of the heel pain seen by physicians. It typically occurs as a result of overuse such as standing for long periods of time, high impact physical activities including running or jumping, and wearing the wrong shoes. Women frequently experience PF as a result of wearing high-heeled shoes.

Is Your Diet Causing Your Foot Pain?
Now you might be asking yourself, “So how does my diet impact my foot pain?” It comes back to inflammation. For some, the inflammation manifests in foot pain. To reduce inflammation, you have to help your body stop producing it. The two food groups that increase inflammation the most are sugar and refined oils.

Sugar means the obvious sources such as leftover Easter candy, soda, sport drinks, cookies, ice cream and donuts. Not-so-obvious sources of sugar include bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips. These foods are high in carbohydrates, meaning they will turn into sugar after being digested and spike your blood sugar. High blood sugars lead to high insulin levels which cause blood vessel constriction. Narrow blood vessels will not allow blood to flow well to injured body parts and inflammation will persist. Maybe you changed your running shoes, but you also need to change your post run hydration from sugary Gatorade to water.

In addition to sugar, oils made from corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed are inflammatory in your body. They contain the inflammatory omega-6 fat, arachidonic acid. Oils from these sources are heavily refined and therefore damaged. When you consume these oils they send a signal in your body to produce prostaglandins. These chemical messengers send signals within the cell to respond with typical inflammatory responses such as swelling, pain and increased temperature. When you stop eating damaged oils, your body stops producing as many inflammatory prostaglandins. Unfortunately, food manufacturers like to use refined oils because they are cheap and extend the shelf life of products. Even so called “healthy” foods often use these fats. Look for them in the ingredient list on salad dressings, whole grain breads, roasted nuts and protein bars.

Anti-Inflammatory Fats Your Feet Will Love
Cutting out the processed carbohydrates and refined oils is the first step toward pain-free feet. The next step is to fill your plate with colorful vegetable carbohydrates and 1-2 tablespoons of healing fats every time you eat. Fats nourish your tissues, even the tendons and ligaments in your feet. Two amazing and flavorful fats are butter and coconut oil. Yes they are saturated fats, but just think of them as saturating your tissues with moisture.

Many people know that fish oil is anti-inflammatory and that salmon is high in the omega-3 fat EPA, which has been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation. Wondering how to get more salmon in your diet?

Breakfast: Try eating Salmon Salad Supreme—it’s a great way to start your day; and one batch will give you enough for two meals.
For an easy grab-n-go lunch, make and freeze some Salmon Cakes. All you have to do is thaw one out and pair it with fresh or frozen vegetables for a delicious meal.
A healthy snack: You could whip up some Salmon Deviled Eggs to bring to your next book club meeting or to have as a mid-afternoon snack.
Not a fish eater? Supplemental EPA can be taken in the form of fish oil.

Most people need 3000-6000mg of fish oil per day to reduce their inflammation. Our Nutrikey omega-3 is a great choice since it has been filtered to remove mercury and contains only fish oil—unlike other brands which sometimes dilute their products with inflammatory soybean oil.

Other things to consider
Along with eating an anti-inflammatory diet people can treat acute cases of Plantar Fasciitis by sitting down and elevating their feet, icing the affected area, massaging the foot, and wearing a special brace at night to help stretch the plantar ligament.

Source: Weightandwellness.com | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

How Nutrition Affects Your Feet

When most people think about nutrition and their health, they have no trouble associating the foods they eat with weight loss or heart health, says Sherri Greene, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City who practices holistic foot care. However, your diet affects many other parts of your body, including your feet.

“When I explain to people that your feet are connected to the rest of your body, and what you put into your body is what makes up your body, they’re like, ‘Wow!’ When they feel better after they change their diet, then they get it,” she says.

Feet and Nutrition: Fighting Off Inflammation and Pain

One problem linked to nutrition that can affect your feet is inflammation, Dr. Greene says. Certain foods can increase chemicals in your body that cause tissue inflammation. This inflammation could appear in your foot as plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, in your heel, or elsewhere in your foot.

Many common foods in the American diet encourage inflammation, such as the refined grains, sugar, and trans fats in many baked goods and junk foods; the saturated fat in red meat; and the omega-6 fats found in many commonly used vegetable oils, such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.

In addition, some people may have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies due to chronic allergies to common foods such as wheat, Greene says. Another factor that can contribute to inflammation is eating too many foods that cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, such as sweets, white flour, and pasta.

As a result, the nutritional approaches Greene discusses with patients to reduce inflammation include:

Eating more omega-3 fats. Fatty fish such as salmon, as well as fish oil supplements, are good sources of omega-3s, Greene says. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation, and nutrition studies suggest they should be properly balanced in the diet with omega-6s. Most people’s diets provide far more omega-6s than omega-3s, and a fish-rich diet can address this imbalance.

Doing a general diet makeover. Following an overall healthier diet can provide anti-inflammatory benefits to your feet and your total health. This includes eating more green vegetables and other fresh plant foods, and cutting out refined grain foods and sugary treats, Greene says.

Feet and Nutrition: Other Health Connections

Two common conditions that affect millions of Americans’ feet are peripheral artery disease and diabetes. Each of these conditions can harm your feet by damaging arteries that bring blood to your lower extremities.

Good nutrition can also help protect your feet from these conditions. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium and rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of peripheral artery disease. A 2015 study in the Journal of Vascular Surgery recommends consuming omega-3s as a way to lower the risk of peripheral artery disease.

If you have diabetes, a healthy diet can help protect your feet from complications of that condition, too. In general, the NIH recommends a diet rich in whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and a limited amount of fats and sweets for people with diabetes.

Whether you eat more healthfully to counteract a medical condition or to avoid one, following the NIH’s recommendations will help ensure that your feet, along with the rest of your body, continue to serve you well.

Source: EverydayHealth.com | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Healing Dry, Cracked Heels At Home

Isn’t summer the best? I just love the warm weather, throwing on sandals, heading to the beach and relaxing with friends. However, one of my least favorite parts about sandal season is the dry, cracked heels that often come with frequently wearing sandals or flip-flops. When you look down at your feet and see those white, dry heels full of callouses and cracks, it really decreases the sexy factor of that favorite pair of sexy heels. Luckily, there are some great, easy home remedies you can use to help keep your heels moisturized and smooth this summer.

Cause

So why do our feet get so crusty and dry during the summer? When you are walking barefoot in sandals where your feet is experiencing friction, your foot naturally builds up a thick, callous like layer to protect itself from the friction and the hard surfaces. If you find you are constantly in sandals or barefoot in the summer months, consider switching it up a bit. Try wearing soft, cushioned slippers when you’re in the house, or at least some soft, cushioned socks. Wear sneakers with socks if you plan to go somewhere like an amusement park and do a lot of walking.

Water

Be sure to keep yourself properly hydrated so your skin doesn’t dehydrate. As a rule of thumb, I usually suggest AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces a day, and even more in the summer. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking at least 100 oz. of water every day. If you drink coffee or soda, which are dehydrating, then you need to drink more water to make up for it.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are essential to good skin health. I’m not talking about the kind you find in cheese, chips or burgers. You want to choose HEALTHY fats! Some of my favorites healthy fats that can help improve skin elasticity and moisture are avocado, grass fed butter, grass fed ghee, coconut oil and olive oil. Moisturizing your body from the inside out will help make a difference in avoiding overly dry heels.

Treating Your Heels

So if you already have dry heels, what’s a girl to do? Here is my regimen that I find helpful for getting rid of those nasty white, dry heels when they creep in!

  1. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet using the foot soak recipe below. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  2. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet. Yo can also use a pumice stone. Be sure not to be aggressive when exfoliating, or you can do more harm than good.
  3. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth. If possible do all of this before bed, then put on soft, cotton socks immediately after applying moisturizer.

Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1 cup of Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts
  • 2 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 2 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • Mix oils and store in a dark glass jar

To create the soak: pour boiling water into a large bowl, and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cleansing foot soak mixture, and soak feet for up to 15 minutes.

As with any condition, prevention is always easier than treatment, so be sure to regularly care for your feet to avoid any extreme issues that come from neglect over time.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Flat Tummy Detox Water

If you’ve been having a little too much fun this summer and are finding yourself bloated and sluggish, you need to show your liver some love! Too many fatty foods, too much alcohol and not enough water can leave the liver feeling overloaded. In addition to taking a break from the indulgence, this detox water is a great way to help de-bloat and flatten out that puffy summer belly. It’s easy to make, tastes good, and is a great way to keep yourself hydrated too.

Recipe:

  • 2 L of Water
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Ice

Mix all ingredients, store in refrigerator and drink as needed. The longer it sits, the more flavor will diffuse into the water, so be sure to let it sit AT MINIMUM one hour before you drink it.

What’s Good For Your Feet Is Good For Your Health

An avid exerciser, I love nothing more than an hour of good old-fashioned step aerobics. I say “old-fashioned” because obviously step isn’t now what it was back in the 80s in terms of cutting-edge exercise. However, one of my favorite classes at my gym, highly popular among the 50-plus set, is a mentally if not physically challenging double-step routine, choreographed by a creative and talented instructor. Not only do I love this class, and the friendship and support it provides (given many of us have been doing this class for over a decade) but I am also a huge fan of the Les Mills program called Body Step.

Unfortunately, my passion for step finally caught up with my 50-plus foot joints, and I am on a temporary hiatus while I wait for my aching heel to heal. I’m also being forced to reevaluate my choice of shoe wear. No longer can I throw on a pair of no-support $5.00 Old Navy flats (to which I am addicted), nor can I even wear their upscale counterparts made out of leather but almost equally flimsy. Instead, I’m making the transition to the “comfort” category on the Zappos website, while I adjust to this new shoe identity.

Throughout this process, I refuse to feel sorry for myself because I know there are plenty of people with far more serious joint problems than my achy heel. In fact, I consider myself quite lucky to have held out for so long. Part of the reason, I think, is that I’ve managed to avoid the magnetic pull that so many women feel toward the sky-high stilettos made so popular by Carrie Bradshaw’s character in Sex and the City. Considered by some women to represent the ultimate expression of their femininity, these modern forms of Inquisition-like torture are absolutely lethal to the health of your bones and joints.

Several years ago, I wrote about the problems that “shoe fashion victims“ encounter. In transition to my own new role as wearer of comfort shoes, I thought it would be useful to share with others the importance of maintaining foot health in order to maintain overall physical and mental health.

There is ample research on the links between foot wear and arthritis; the most relevant is a 2005 study by Kerrigan et al (see below). After comparing walking patterns of young and older women in shoes with a mere 1.5 inch heel, the authors concluded that the torque on the knee flexors was significant enough to increase women’s risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee.

Not only do women increase their risk of progressive joint disease by wearing high heels, they also increase their risk of falling. Videos of falling fashion models often go viral. There’s nothing even remotely funny about a woman of any age, but especially 50+, to fall and place herself at risk of bone fractures. Falls are a significant source of disability in older adults, and may begin a precipitous decline in health resulting in premature mortality, as reported by the CDC.

As older women, we should find it easier, not harder, to resist fashion trends in favor of our health. However, because women are pressured to remain youthful-looking in appearance, many eschew the sensible shoes associated with previous generations. If you’re seeking to look young, your best bet is to feel young. The “spring” may not be in your age, but it will be in your step.

Source: Huffington Post | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide