Tens of millions of Americans live with the challenges of diabetes. Managing the disease can take a lot of work, but failing to be vigilant can lead to tragic consequences. Among the many other health issues that can be triggered by diabetes are serious medical problems with feet.
Diabetes reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, which makes it harder for the body to heal after any foot injuries. Even more troubling, nerve damage caused by diabetes can lead to the inability to feel pain, which can cause a diabetic to not realize they have a foot problem or seek treatment until after it becomes extremely severe.
In fact, diabetes can cause foot problems so severe that amputation is the only effective treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 73,000 adult diabetics had a leg or foot amputated in 2010 alone. About 60% of the amputations of legs and feet not resulting from an injury involved diabetes, and diabetics 45 years-old and older are 10 times more likely to have a leg or foot amputated than people without diabetes.
One of the most important ways to keep diabetes in check is through a healthy diet.
Several foods are particularly effective at reducing the likelihood of complications from diabetes and keeping your feet healthy. If you have diabetes, consider adding these five diabetes superfoods to your regular diet:
- Acai berries. Like many berries, acai berries are rich in antioxidants which stimulate and encourage healthy cell production by fighting biological byproducts known as free radicals which can damage our cells. What distinguishes acai from other berries is that they contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin which can help control the body’s insulin level in a human body. As an added bonus, acai berries have a lower sugar content than most other berries.
- Goji Berries. Cultivated in the Himalayas, goji berries look and feel like raisins. Some studies on animals have suggested that goji berries can be effective at reducing blood-sugar levels.
- Chia Seeds. These small seeds (yes, the same ones that are used on “Chia Pets”) can be added to soups, salads, smoothies and other foods and may have significant benefits for diabetics. A study of 20 diabetics found that one variety of chia seed called Salba helped participants control their blood glucose levels.
- Pumpkin Seeds. A good substitute for sugary snacks, pumpkin seeds were shown in one study study to control certain enzyme levels produced during diabetes and keep diabetes from getting worse.
- Mixed Nuts. Research suggests that that consuming tree nuts can improve blood sugar levels in people with with non-insulin dependent, or type 2, diabetes.
JAWS podiatry: Hollywood, Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists
The experienced and skilled podiatrists at JAWS podiatry in Hollywood, Florida can help you keep your feet healthy, and help you get back on your feet when problems arise. We are a growing group of exceptional professionals who offer the highest degree of care in a welcoming, comfortable environment. Please contact us today at (954) 922-7333 to schedule a consultation.