The Foods to Eat and Avoid for Healthy Feet

As podiatrists, we are constantly reminding our patients about the importance of proper foot care. However, what many people may not realize is that their diet can also play a crucial role in their foot health. A balanced diet can help prevent foot pain, reduce inflammation, and even lower the risk of conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. In this article, we will be discussing the top foods to include and avoid for optimal foot health, as well as what foods to avoid for different foot conditions.

Top Foods to Include for Healthy Feet

A well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrients is essential for optimal foot health. The following nutrients are particularly important for foot and ankle health:


Calcium is vital for bone strength and health. It is especially important for those who are at risk of osteoporosis or stress fractures. Foods that are high in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as leafy greens such as broccoli.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and maintaining strong bones. It can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as in fortified dairy products and some cereals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce inflammation in the body, including in the feet. They are found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as in flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.


Antioxidants help prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation. They can be found in fruits and vegetables such as berries, cherries, and leafy greens.

Healthy Foods

Foods to Avoid for Different Foot Conditions

In addition to including the right foods in your diet, it's also important to avoid certain foods if you have certain foot conditions. The following are examples of foods to avoid for different foot conditions:


If you have arthritis, you should avoid foods high in purines, such as red meat and shellfish. These foods can increase the level of uric acid in your blood and exacerbate joint pain and inflammation.


If you have gout, you should avoid foods that are high in purines, as well as alcohol and high-fructose corn syrup. These foods can trigger gout attacks and increase inflammation in the joints.

Plantar Fasciitis

If you have plantar fasciitis, you should avoid foods high in inflammatory agents, such as processed foods and fried foods. These foods can increase inflammation in the body and exacerbate foot pain.


If you have diabetes, you should avoid foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, such as candy and white bread. These foods can cause blood sugar spikes and increase the risk of foot complications.

Feet of family in bed

Foods to Avoid for Overall Foot Health

In addition to avoiding certain foods for specific foot conditions, certain foods should be avoided for overall foot health. These include:

Processed Foods

Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, contributing to inflammation and poor overall health.

High-Sugar Snacks and Drinks

High-sugar snacks and drinks can cause blood sugar spikes and contribute to inflammation.


Alcohol can dehydrate the body and increase inflammation.

Excessive Amounts of Caffeine

Excessive amounts of caffeine can dehydrate the body and increase inflammation.

Feet Couple

Alternative Food Choices

If you have certain foot conditions or are looking to improve your foot health, there are plenty of alternative food choices available. For example, if you cannot consume dairy products, you can opt for calcium-fortified plant-based milk or leafy greens such as kale or collard. If you have diabetes, you can opt for whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice instead of white bread. Instead of sugary snacks and drinks, try consuming fruits like berries or apples as snacks, which contain antioxidants and vitamins that benefit your feet. Plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed and chia seeds, can be included in your diet as an alternative to fatty fish.


It is essential to pay attention to what you eat to maintain optimal foot health. A balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants is crucial for healthy bones, joints, and tissues. Additionally, avoiding certain foods that contribute to inflammation can help reduce foot pain and the risk of developing foot conditions such as arthritis and plantar fasciitis. If you have foot conditions or concerns, it's best to consult a podiatrist or healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice tailored to your needs.

Incorporating the top foods to include and avoid for optimal foot health in your diet can help ensure your feet stay healthy and pain-free. Remember, taking care of your feet is essential to overall health and well-being. So, feed your feet the right way and keep them healthy and happy for years to come!

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