You don’t need a magic potion if you want to shift some weight, fight colds, boost your endurance, defend yourself against major illnesses or run faster and better. All you need is food. Over the years, we’ve brought you some great nuggets of nutritional know-how - some weird, some wonderful - that’ll help make you healthier, fitter and even happier. And now is the perfect time to put those new eating plans into practice. We’ve pulled out 49 of our best food fixes to help you eat smarter and run better. If you're a Runner's World UK magazine subscriber, you can see all 49 here. Otherwise, enjoy these 15 as a preview - and if you want to subscribe, you can save 30% right here.
Feel The Burn
Eating spicy foods will make you eat more slowly, fill you up more quickly and slightly increase your metabolism so you burn more calories – three strong reasons to sprinkle some cayenne on your chicken.
Don’t Get Stoned On Beer
Drinking one beer a day has been associated with a 40 per cent lower risk of developing kidney stones. One explanation is that the hops in beer help to keep calcium from leaching out of bones and taking up residence in your kidneys.
Love The Egg McMuffin
Hard to believe, but you can eat two McDonald’s Egg McMuffins and swallow fewer calories than you would from a bagel with two tablespoons of cream cheese. The McMuffins have 580 calories, 24g fat and 34g protein. The bagel delivers 643kcal, 28g fat and 20g protein.
Drink Ginger Ale Instead Of Cola
Besides packing too many empty calories, colas (including the diet kind) are high in phosphorous, a mineral that can prevent the absorption of calcium. Ginger ale is a better carbonated sugar. It has no phosphorous and as many as 30 fewer calories per glass.
Blot Your Pizza
By blotting the grease on top of a pizza with a kitchen towel you’ll eliminate at least a teaspoon (4.5g) of fat per slice.
Sterilise Your Oysters
The next time you order oysters it may help to add a dash of Tabasco sauce before you gulp them down. Researchers found that spicy sauce kills dangerous bacteria found in raw oysters. Infection is rare but it can be fatal, especially in people with impaired immunity. Tabasco killed the bacteria in less than five minutes.
Drink Cow Juice After Eating Cow
Make that occasional juicy steak even better by washing it down with a glass of skimmed milk. According to research, calcium may help reduce the amount of saturated fat your body absorbs. Like fibre, calcium binds with fat molecules and helps flush them out through the intestines.
Instead Of Seconds, Chew
When sanity dictates that you stop shoving food into your face at the buffet or dinner table, pop mint-flavoured gum into your mouth. It changes the flavour of everything, and it makes that third helping of lasagne almost impossible to swallow.
Press Your Luck
The fact that your beef is brown doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to eat. Meat that’s old or has been exposed to too much air can brown prematurely, making it appear properly cooked. Press down on your burger and note what colour liquid emerges. If the juice is nearly yellow, with no trace of red, it’s safe. If not, send it back.
Freeze Some Melon Balls
Substitute frozen melon balls for ice cubes in fruit drinks; 110g of honeydew melon has 230mg of potassium and 20g of vitamin C.