THERE’S MORE TO injury recovery than Advil and salt baths. Your diet plays a huge part in how quickly you can get back on your feet, especially when it comes to inflammation. Here’s what to eat depending upon which kind of injury you’re suffering from.
1. To heal a pulled hamstring
Protein and potassium for muscle repair; plus anthocyanins (plant compounds) and omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation.
Plain or vanilla yogurt topped with blueberries, grilled salmon over wild rice, or 1-2 cups cooked broccoli.
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2. To heal a bruise
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.
Raw spinach with sliced strawberries. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and top off the salad with sunflower seeds or pine nuts.
3. To heal a wound
Protein to produce skin cells; vitamin C and zinc for collagen protection; iron to oxygenate blood; plus whole grains to calm inflamed tissue.
A burger made from 95% lean beef (leaner meat has more protein and iron) on a whole-grain bun, plus kiwi for dessert.
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4. To heal muscle cramps
Fluid; plus electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride to maintain balance in your muscles.
Lots of melon. Try a quick salad mixed with 1 cup of chopped cantaloupe and 1 cup of chopped watermelon.
5. To heal shin splints
Bromelain (from pineapple), anthocyanins, and omega-3 fats to fight inflammation.
A tuna sandwich on whole wheat, a bowl of cherries, and 8oz of pineapple juice.