Feet are two of the most abused and often used parts of the body, what with all the walking and running that you do everyday. They take the weight of your whole body, so foot problems can quickly lead to discomfort and affect the way you walk and this can in turn cause knee, hip and back pain. Research from The College of Podiatry shows that nine in 10 of us experience some sort of foot problem, with one in five admitting to suffering with foot pain often or constantly. This research shows is that a huge amount of people are willing to put up with sore, aching and painful feet.
Looking after your feet is one of the most important aspects of personal health care, whatever your age. Often the discomfort your are experiencing is usually because you aren’t wearing the right footwear. Always use the correct shoe for the correct sport, as the wrong shoes can lead to injury. These days, there is virtually a type of shoe for every sport but all of them have certain characteristics to cushion your feet. Some will also have ankle support, for sports involving many changes of direction. Always seek expert opinion, the right footwear whilst exercising is important, your personal trainer should be able advise you with regard to this.
Feet and legs need training and looking after and you should always allow enough time to warm up and warm down before and after exercise, too much too soon and your feet and legs will get tired and be predisposed to injury. Your feet are designed for sporting activity, but the demands placed on them are heavy. For each mile you run, your feet will hit the ground about 1,500 times and with each step, your foot will absorb a force several times your body weight. An 11 stone man of average size will process 112 tonnes of weight through each limb per mile. Once again the correct footwear is of the upmost importance.
Our bodies react to uneven balance while wearing heels by bending the hips and spine, and tensing our calf, hip and back muscles. Wearing heels frequently, particularly pairs which are two inches or higher that can cause your feet to slip forward, has been linked to injured leg muscles, osteoarthritis of the knee and lower back pain. High heels can also contribute to the development of feet bunions – a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. Over time the tendon in your Achilles heel can shorten, as well as muscles in your calves and back. By switching to flat shoes or by trying to stretch out these areas again can lead to pain, and plantar fasciitis which is pain in the heel and/or bottom of the foot.
People with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing problems with their feet, due to the damage raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and circulation and are encouraged to keep an eye on their feet and getting a quality foot check from a properly trained person at least once a year. Being active improves blood flow to the feet.
Don’t be tempted to take your feet for granted, a healthy pair of feet are your best friend. Treat them properly, maybe a massage and pedicure now and again and your feet will give you a lifetime of fun filled sport or pain free workout.
I have been asked by clients which vitamins I take on a daily basis. I have listed the following cocktail of vitamins and an explanation of the benefits of each of them.
- Vitamin C in absorbic acid form or natural camu camu powder (2-3000mg)
- Vitamin D in oil base 1-4000iu
- Cod liver oil 3000mg
- Psyllium husk
- Progressive Vege Greens
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and has several important functions:
It is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs
The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal
It improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease
It acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultra violet light from the sun
Camu camu is loaded with vitamin C, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other nutrients. It’s one of the healthiest superfoods available, and has more vitamin C than any other food in the world. One serving of camu camu has 60 times the amount of vitamin C found in a single orange; this translates to 3,575% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for every 100 grams of camu camu. Even just a tablespoon of camu camu powder can give you way more vitamin C you need for the day. Many of the health benefits of camu camu come from this extraordinarily high amount of vitamin C. Strengthening your immune system, fighting ageing, and reducing inflammation are just some of its potential health benefits.
Vitamin D which is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” since it is made by the body after being in the sun and 10-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D for most people. Those who do not live in sunny places may not make enough vitamin D and it is hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is required for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
I take my vitamin D3 in liquid drops in a base of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as a fat soluble vitamin, Vitamin D3 is best absorbed in a natural food oil base.
Probiotics is the name given to living micro-organisms – often referred to as “friendly” bacteria – that may have health benefits in the body. Many probiotic bacteria are similar to those found naturally found in the body, especially in the digestive tract.
Probiotics have become popular in supplements and as food ingredients, mostly used to promote healthy digestion. They are found naturally in fermented foods (such as saurkraut), yoghurt and kefir, fermented soy products, and in probiotic ‘shot’ drinks where their numbers are far, far higher than the levels found in fermented foods. They are also available as freeze-dried powders, capsules, and tablets. All probiotics must contain viable bacteria that are ‘alive’ when consumed.
Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of cod. The oil is commonly taken as a dietary supplement. It is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and contains relatively high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. The exact concentration of nutrients in cod liver oil depends on the species of cod the oil comes from.
Fat is essential for every single cell in your body and by eating the right kinds of fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil, your skin will glow, you will have increased vitamin and mineral absorption and a boost to your immune system. Eating healthy fats with a meal helps slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, which helps to keep blood sugars levels in your blood stable.
The list of benefits of taking cod liver oil are:
- Maintains joint mobility and flexibility
- Could also be beneficial for your heart as they have beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood stickiness, inflammation and are prescribed to lower abnormally high blood fat levels
- Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D3, which is essential for absorbing dietary calcium and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Low intakes increase risk of rickets in children and, in adults, of osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis (brittle bones)
- Omega-3 fish oils, especially DHA, may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration
- DHA plays an important structural role within brain cell membranes, improving their fluidity so that messages are passed on more rapidly from one cell to another. EPA is involved in cell signalling and also improves communication between brain cells
Psyllium is a form of fibre made from the Plantago ovata plant, a native of India and Pakistan, specifically from the husks of the plant’s seed. It’s most commonly known as a laxative. Research shows that psyllium has many benefits to the human body, from your heart to your pancreas.
Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative, which means it soaks up water in your gut and makes bowel movements much easier. Results are still mixed when it comes to psyllium and whether it is beneficial to irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.
Research has also shown that soluble fibre can help manage cholesterol levels.
Psyllium is used in weight control and for general intestinal health. It contains a spongy fibre that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. It can provide the fibre that is missing on low carbohydrate diets. Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium may enhance the sensation of fullness and reduce hunger cravings.
VegeGreens is a comprehensive combination of over 60 land, sea and cruciferous vegetables, as well as super green foods, plant oils, phytonutrients, herbs & extracts and botanicals. With its eight distinctive blends of green foods and plant extracts, it supplies a spectrum of nutrients ranging from the rare trace minerals found in sea vegetables to the health-enhancing compounds exclusive to cruciferous vegetables. It is said to
- Increase energy & renew mental clarity
- Help to cleanse your body, strengthen immunity & balance pH
- Support your heart, liver and digestive health