One of the most difficult things about managing plantar fasciitis is that it often seems like there are few tangible ways to manage the problem. Sure, there are plenty of exercises and stretches, and you can take ibuprofen to reduce inflammation, but what do you do when all of that has been exhausted?
Well, one thing that many people overlook is diet. That’s right—you can actually help treat plantar fasciitis by avoiding certain foods and eating others. Diet is sometimes the forgotten factor in treating Plantar Fasciitis. Many people are currently suffering from plantar fasciitis and, many of them continue to eat poorly or have poor diet habits.
Unfortunately, what we eat can have a direct effect on our overall health—and especially the health of our feet. So, if you’ve been eating foods that are bad for plantar fasciitis, it’s time to cut them out of your diet and find better alternatives.
If you want to know what are the 10 worst & best foods for plantar fasciitis, what food items will help you, and which foods you should avoid to prevent any worsening of your condition and pain, then continue reading because we have some good information that will be of great use to you.
10 worst & best foods for plantar fasciitis
The foods we eat can affect our bodies in many ways, and this includes the ligaments that run from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. In fact, people suffering from plantar fasciitis are often advised to stay away from certain foods because they can make inflammation worse. But what are these magical 10 worst & best foods for plantar fasciitis? First lets discuss the 10 best foods for plantar fasciitis:
10 Best Foods for plantar fasciitis
If you happen to be suffering from plantar fasciitis and want to get rid of it quickly, there are foods that you should include in your diet. Here’s a list of the 10 best foods for plantar fasciitis:
1. Omega-3 rich foods
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of your diet because they can’t be made by your body, yet they play a crucial role in many bodily functions. They’re used to build cell membranes, support brain development and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. These fatty acids also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain in joints and muscles.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that may help reduce inflammation and improve health. Essential fatty acids like omega-3s have been linked to decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in certain foods such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, avocados, and eggs. They may help reduce inflammation and support heart health, among other benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are found in fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna.
- Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), is found in eggs and fatty fish.
As a result, including foods rich in omega-3s in your diet may help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis and they’re also good for your skin and hair.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which is a mineral that helps with nerve and muscle functioning. Bananas can help prevent the cramping of muscles in the feet and legs—and, as anyone who has been through plantar fasciitis knows, this can be extremely painful.
In addition to the general leg and foot cramps caused by plantar fasciitis, bananas are also an effective way to prevent cramps caused by extreme physical activity. This means they can help you avoid pain while working out or playing sports, or walking around if you spend a lot of time on your feet.
Bananas also contain vitamin B-6, which is essential for carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis, both of which are important for the growth and development of the body’s tissues. They’re also a great source of manganese, which helps produce collagen—an important component of all connective tissues.
Additionally, bananas are full of carbohydrates—which are essential for providing energy to cells throughout your body—and vitamin B6, which aids in carbohydrate metabolism and keeps your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Including bananas in your diet will not only help you avoid these types of cramps, but they may also improve your overall health.
You might have heard that you should eat more pineapples for their anti-inflammatory properties, but why? The answer lies in the fact that pineapples contain a powerful enzyme called bromelain which is great for inflammation. This compound is also found in other foods like kiwi and papaya, however, pineapples contain the highest concentrations of bromelain.
In addition, pineapple also contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a role in collagen production. Collagen is a protein that is essential to maintaining healthy tendons, ligaments, and bones. And because vitamin C aids in white blood cell production and helps strengthen the immune system, it may help protect against infection during treatment for plantar fasciitis.
So for people struggling with plantar fasciitis, adding pineapples to their diet can bring relief in two ways: they can reduce the swelling that causes pain, and they boost your immune system so it can more effectively repair your damaged tissues.
4. Dark Chocolate
Is there anything chocolate can’t do? A recent study found that dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation, while improving memory, immunity and mood.
Chocolate is a superfood with numerous health benefits—and it can be especially beneficial for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. The inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis can be painful and even debilitating, and the antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Dark chocolate, which has a higher percentage of cacao, provides a greater concentration of antioxidants than milk chocolate, so it’s recommended to choose dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate has been shown to be useful for several ailments. It’s full of antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols which work together to reduce inflammation through a process called vasodilation. Flavanols are naturally-occurring compounds that improve blood flow and reduce inflammation—both benefits for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
When we eat foods with antioxidants, they dilate blood vessels throughout our bodies, allowing blood and nutrients to flow more easily. This helps bring down inflammation in areas that are swollen or painful and allows nutrient-rich blood to reach the affected areas so they can heal quickly.
Additionally, magnesium is a nutrient that many people are deficient in, and magnesium deficiency can lead to leg cramps, tension, and even muscle spasms—all of which are symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Chocolate is full of magnesium—one ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate contains nearly 25% of your daily value!
Cherries are one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Cherries are chock-full of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins which give them their bright red color and also work as anti-inflammatories. The reason for this is the anthocyanins in cherries, which reduce inflammation and pain by stopping pro-inflammatory enzymes from forming in your body.
A study done by Michigan State University showed that cherries reduced inflammation better than ibuprofen and aspirin. They also have anti-inflammatory properties from the natural acids they contain, such as tartaric acid and malic acid.
Cherries are also high in vitamin C, which helps keep your tendons healthy and strong. Add some cherries to your fruit bowl or throw some frozen cherries in a smoothie to start enjoying these benefits today!
Cherry juice has been shown to dramatically reduce pain in people with plantar fasciitis after only a few weeks of consumption. If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, try drinking about 4 ounces of cherry juice every day for three weeks to see if it brings you relief.
If you’re looking for ways to ease plantar fasciitis pain, try adding a few healthy veggies to your diet. Certain vegetables contain chemicals that can reduce inflammation and strengthen the plantar fascia ligament.
In addition to the typical suspects like broccoli, carrots, and spinach, consider adding some onions and mushrooms to your grocery list as well. They have anti-inflammatory qualities due to their high levels of quercetin and other polyphenols, making them great for fighting pain in your feet.
Broccoli, Onions, and Mushrooms are also high in sulfur. Sulfur is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Sulfur also helps the body produce collagen, so it helps strengthen the plantar fascia as well.
However, you choose to eat these veggies, make sure they’re fresh and raw or lightly cooked which will help keep the sulfur intact, which means your body will reap the benefits even more.
Legumes are a healthy source of protein, fiber, and minerals like iron, potassium, and zinc. Many varieties come in dried form so they’re easy to store and prepare at home, but they’re also available canned or frozen for convenience. They are also low in fat and calories, making them an excellent choice for people on a diet who want to lose weight.
Legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and black beans support healthy inflammation levels in the body by providing high amounts of antioxidants called flavonoids that help fight free radicals in the body. These foods also contain high levels of magnesium, which helps relieve pain caused by plantar fasciitis by relaxing muscles and improving blood circulation around the body’s tissues.
8. Yogurt and kefir
Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir can be a great addition to your diet if you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, especially if you have a history of antibiotic use. They help cleanse your body of bad bacteria, which have been linked to autoimmune disorders in some cases.
Both of these contain calcium, which helps promote bone growth, making them great for plantar fasciitis, which affects the bones in your feet. Calcium also prevents muscle cramps and spasms in the feet, which are often a result of poor circulation caused by inflammation related to plantar fasciitis.
They also contain vitamin K2 which promotes blood clotting and blood flow to reduce swelling in the feet and vitamin D, which can help with healing and prevent injury.
9. Nuts such as almonds and peanuts
Nuts are high in protein, vitamin E, and other nutrients that can help prevent inflammation. They’re also rich in monounsaturated fats (omega-9 fatty acids) that help reduce inflammation throughout the body — including in joints affected by arthritis or other medical conditions that cause joint pain.
Nuts such as almonds, cashews, and pecans also contain magnesium, which has been shown to relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis by relaxing muscles in your legs and feet. Magnesium also helps prevent calcium deficiency, which is another common cause of plantar fasciitis.
Apples are full of calcium, which your body uses to repair damaged tissue and restore strength and flexibility. Also, not only are apples an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, but they also contain compounds called bioflavonoids and polyphenols that help strengthen the connective tissues in your body (such as tendons and ligaments).
The antioxidants in apples also help to boost your immune system, keeping you strong and healthy. These antioxidants also include quercetin, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.
The fiber in apples is also good for digestion—an important factor for those who suffer from chronic pain as well as constipation issues that can come with certain medications for plantar fasciitis.
This is why eating a couple of apples per day, particularly when they’re raw and organic can be good for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
10 Worst Foods for plantar fasciitis:
Now that you’ve learned about the 10 best foods for plantar fasciitis, you might be wondering what foods to avoid. Though there are many suggested and not-so-suggested foods that may trigger plantar fasciitis, the following top 10 should be a major no-no:
If you have plantar fasciitis, sugar is your enemy. It’s that simple. Sugar is a substance that suppresses the immune system, which means it will reduce your body’s ability to fight off the bacteria and viruses attacking your foot. But that’s not all; sugar causes spikes in blood sugar levels which leads to inflammation in the body over time which makes it even harder for your body to heal itself.
In addition to causing inflammation from excessive glucose, sugar increases levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body which also contribute to inflammation that worsens pain caused by plantar fasciitis. It also creates internal acidity which makes healing more difficult from injuries such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
If you are looking to reduce the pain associated with this foot malady, try limiting your sugar intake as much as possible. You may be surprised by how much better you feel. If you find you are craving something sweet when you have an attack of plantar fasciitis, try choosing some fruit instead.
Alcohol is not good for you. Everyone knows that. And if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis, it’s not good for your feet, either. Alcoholic drinks themselves are full of sugar and calories, which are bad for your body as a whole.
But alcohol also contains ethanol, which has been shown to cause inflammation in the body. Since inflammation is already a major contributor to plantar fasciitis pain and damage, drinking alcohol will only worsen it.
Alcohol is a diuretic as well, which means that it causes the body to lose water. Hence, drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and increased blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for plantar fasciitis.
Plus, the dehydration that results from overindulging in alcohol can leave your body and its connective tissue feeling tight and stiff—not exactly the recipe for softening up those sore plantar fascia.
3. Fried Foods
Fried food should be avoided because it usually contains a lot of trans fat and oils. Trans fats are the bad kind of fat that you should not consume as they can lead to weight gain, and being overweight can worsen heel pain.
Fried foods are also known for being high in cholesterol and sodium, both of which can cause inflammation, which will result in additional pain for people with plantar fasciitis.
That is why it is important to avoid eating fatty foods like fried chicken and French fries. If you cannot resist eating fried food, then at least make sure that the oil used for cooking is healthy.
An example of a healthy oil would be olive oil. This is much better than using vegetable oils or canola oil since they are very high in saturated fat which can cause inflammation in your body.
4. Dairy Products
The dairy products you may eat contain a substance called casein that isn’t good for your body and plantar fasciitis. Casein is a protein found in milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products. The protein may trigger an inflammatory response that can hurt your condition.
Also, cow’s milk contains the protein A1. This type of protein has also been linked to inflammation which as we know is one of the main symptoms of plantar fasciitis. If you have plantar fasciitis, you should avoid consuming foods that contain casein or protein A1 for as long as possible.
Dairy products, be it milk, cheese, or ice cream, also contain lactose. This is a type of carbohydrate that breaks down into sugars when digested by the body. These sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream. In some people, this can cause an inflammatory reaction in their bodies. The inflammation increases the pain in their plantar fascia and worsens their condition.
Dairy products are high in purine as well, a substance that breaks down into uric acid. High levels of uric acid can also lead to an increase in inflammation throughout the body. So it’s best to avoid dairy products if you are prone to this type of foot condition.
5. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
Coffee, tea, chocolate, and other caffeinated beverages are popular for their ability to perk up your brain and body. But if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, that jolt can make your foot hurt even more.
Caffeine can worsen plantar fasciitis symptoms because it constricts blood vessels and temporarily increases blood pressure, this can increase pressure inside your legs — including inside the veins that carry blood back down from your feet — which may make inflammation worse over time.
Caffeine contributes to dehydration and dehydration makes swelling worse in your feet which can exacerbate plantar fasciitis pain. So if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis then you should avoid consuming coffee as it will only make things worse for you.
6. Processed meats
The more processed the meat, the worse it is for you. This includes sausages, bacon, hot dogs, cold cuts, lunch meats, and even burgers made with high-fat ground beef.
Processed meat, can be high in sodium and salt. Too much sodium and salt in your diet can cause fluid retention, which can lead to swelling and pain in your feet which as we already know is a major contributor to the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Furthermore, processed meat is often high in fat and cholesterol. Both fat and cholesterol can clog arteries, which reduces blood flow to your feet and makes it harder for them to heal from plantar fasciitis pain.
7. Refined grains
Refined grains are grains (like wheat) that have been processed to remove their outer coat (the bran) and germ (the embryo). Once processed, they become more shelf-stable and easier to prepare—but as a result of this processing, refined grains have been stripped of their fiber, vitamin, and mineral content, so they do not offer the same nourishing benefits as whole grains. In fact, they can actually be detrimental to your health.
Refined grains cause inflammation in three ways:
A) Refined grains are rapidly digested and can raise blood sugar levels too quickly, which leads to a spike in insulin levels. Insulin stimulates the body to produce pro-inflammatory molecules, which can lead to chronic inflammation throughout the body if it happens too often.
B) Refined grains contain lectins (proteins found in many healthy whole foods), but these lectins tend to be inflammatory when they come from processed foods like refined grains.
C) Refined grains, like white bread and pasta, contain a lot of starch, which your body can easily digest into sugar, and sugar as we already know is something you should avoid at any cost if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Foods like white bread, pasta, crackers, and corn flakes are made from refined grains and should be avoided during treatment for plantar fasciitis. Instead, try whole-grain bread and pasta that will contribute less inflammation to your diet.
8. Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
Soda and other sugary drinks are full of empty calories that can lead to weight gain, which can further exacerbate plantar fasciitis symptoms. They don’t contain any nutrients, so you get nothing but excess sugar and calories.
If your diet is already high in sugar, it may be difficult for your body to process this extra sugar intake. This can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which in turn can lead to inflammation throughout your body. This can lead to swelling and pain in your feet and ankles, which is a common symptom of plantar fasciitis.
Additionally, Sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to bone loss, tooth decay, and cavities. They may also lead to kidney stones and osteoporosis because they increase the amount of phosphorus in your urine.
9. Vegetable Oils
Frequent consumption of vegetable oils with a lot of omega-6 fats such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils which are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been linked to inflammation which is one of the major causes of plantar fasciitis.
Vegetable oils contain a lot of omega-6 fats. These fats are essential for our body and we need them to function properly. However, too much of anything is not good. Excess consumption of omega-6 fats can cause inflammation in the body which is bad news for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. It will worsen the condition and make it harder to treat successfully.
Vegetable oils have been shown to increase inflammation in humans by increasing the production of arachidonic acid (AA) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). AA is a precursor to prostaglandins like PGE2, which are produced by cyclooxygenase enzymes. AA is converted into PGE2 by COX-2 enzymes. This conversion occurs more readily in people who suffer from chronic inflammation because their COX-2 enzymes become upregulated.
The best way to avoid this is to limit your intake of corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils and replace them with other options such as olive oil or coconut oil. Olive oil is great because it has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids which help reduce inflammation in the body and make it easier for you to recover from plantar fasciitis.
10. Processed foods
There are many ways in which you can reduce inflammation in your body and make yourself feel better. One of them is by avoiding processed foods and eating healthy instead. Here are some reasons why this is important:
Processed foods contain a lot of preservatives and additives as well as a lot of sugar and fat, all of which contribute to creating inflammation in the body. This is why it is important to avoid processed foods as much as possible if you want to get rid of the pain associated with this condition.
Processed foods also contain a lot of sodium, which can lead to water retention in your body. This will increase your weight and make your feet feel swollen and heavy all the time. Why would you want that when there are so many other things that you can do instead?
You may also experience bloating due to the consumption of processed foods as well as indigestion problems too. These side effects will only make your condition worse rather than improve it in any way whatsoever!
Other home remedies
Home remedies can help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms and allow you to avoid expensive treatments or surgery. Try these simple remedies to relieve plantar fasciitis pain:
Taking supplements like magnesium, which helps relax muscles and reduce swelling, may ease pain from plantar fasciitis. Turmeric contains curcumin, which also reduces inflammation and may help reduce pain from this condition.
Stretching exercises are important for staying limber and keeping your joints flexible, which is important for preventing injuries such as plantar fasciitis in the first place. Stretching exercises like toe-touches, butt kicks and bridges are great choices for improving flexibility in the feet and ankles. Do them every day for 10 minutes each time until you start feeling better.
Hot or cold therapy
You can use either heat or cold therapy to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. Ice packs applied to the heel will reduce swelling, which helps relieve pain and discomfort. To apply an ice pack, wrap it in a towel before placing it on your heel for 15 minutes at a time. Heat therapy involves soaking a towel in hot water and wrapping it around your foot for 20 minutes several times each day until symptoms improve.
Massage therapy is one of the best ways to ease plantar fasciitis pain. Massaging the bottom of your foot can help relieve plantar fasciitis pain by stretching out the tissues around the affected area and increasing blood flow to the area. You can try golf ball massage which has been found really helpful or you can try a massage gun to massage your feet in the comfort of your home.
There are many ways to go about treating plantar fasciitis, but improving your diet may be one of the easiest. By adding healthy foods to your diet and eliminating unhealthy ones, you can give yourself the power to take charge of your health and propel yourself on the path towards pain-free living.
We hope that this blog was able to help you understand what the 10 worst & best foods for plantar fasciitis are. Remember that every person’s body is different and what works for one person may not work for another person. The key is to identify strategies that work for your body, try them out, and make adjustments accordingly.
Besides a healthy diet, physical exercises are another best way to treat plantar fasciitis. Along with that, taking regular breaks from your routine can help you reduce the impact of the condition. Therefore, you should modify your lifestyle and include some treatment methods in your daily routine so that it would not become an obstacle in your life.