Eat This, Heal That


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.

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