We all make choices about what to eat every day. Some days we make better choices than others! These days, we’re approaching the end of March – National Nutrition Month. Therefore, it’s a great time to focus on choosing foods that nourish our feet and ankles. Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland want to help you understand the benefits of eating foods containing two nutritional powerhouses: calcium and vitamin D.
Bones can’t live without ‘em
Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for good bone health. When we’re young, they help bones grow. When we’re older, they continue to nourish bones, keep them strong, and prevent fractures. What’s more, it’s important that you get enough of both, since these two nutrients work together.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. That means that even if you were to eat twice the recommended daily amount of calcium, your body won’t benefit from it unless you’re also taking in enough vitamin D.
How to get them into your diet
Get your vitamin D from egg yolks, fatty fish, liver, and cheese. In addition, you can look for foods that are fortified with vitamin D such as cereal, milk, soy milk, and orange juice. A “diet” of sunlight can help, too. Our skin absorbs vitamin D through the sun’s rays, so spend some time outside on sunny days.
Foods rich in calcium include cheese, milk, leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, and kale, as well as fortified foods like almond milk, cereal, and frozen waffles.
Vitamin D or calcium supplements are an option for those with special diets – such as vegans – or anyone who’s already been diagnosed with low bone density.
Our feet and ankles can thrive down to their very bones if we choose to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Exactly how much you need per day depends on your age, activity level, gender, and family history of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Discuss your specific needs with your primary care physician or our podiatric physicians Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann. Feel free to contact us online or give us a call at our office in Solon, Ohio. The number is (440) 903-1041.