Eat This, Heal That
When you're hurt, these fat-fighting foods can do more than just help keep you lean. They'll also give your body the nutrients it needs to get on the mend quickly.
Ailment One: A pulled hamstring
You Need: Protein and potassium for muscle repair; plus anthocyanins (plant compounds) and omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation.
Eat: Grilled salmon over wild rice, 1-2 cups cooked broccoli, or plain or vanilla yogurt topped with blueberries.
Ailment Two: A bruise
You Need: Vitamin C to shore up blood vessels; Vitamin K for blood clotting; plus oleocanthal, a natural substance in olive oil that mimics over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
Eat: Raw spinach and sliced strawberries. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and top off the salad with sunflower seeds or pine nuts.
Ailment Three: A wound
You Need: Protein to produce skin cells; vitamin C and zinc for collagen production; iron to oxygenate blood; plus whole grains to calm inflamed tissue.
Eat: A burger made from 95% lean beef (leaner meat has more protein and iron) on a whole-grain bun, plus kiwi for dessert.
Ailment Four: Muscle cramps
You Need: Fluid; plus electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride to maintain balance in your muscles.
Eat: Lots of melon. Try a quick salad made with 1 cup of chopped watermelon mixed with 1 cup of chopped cantaloupe.
Ailment Five: Shin splints
You Need: Bromelain (from pineapple), anthocyanins, and omega-3 fats to fight inflammation.
Eat: A tuna sandwich on whole wheat, a bowl of cherries, and 8 ounces of pineapple juice.
Ailment Six: A broken bone
You Need: Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus to help bone rebuild itself.
Eat: A fruit smoothie made with 1 cup calcium- and vitamin-D-fortified orange juice, ¾ cup plain nonfat yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, and ½ cup chopped or slivered almonds.