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Superfoods for a healthy living

The purpose of multivitamins between doctor’s visits might be a thing of the past with the growing trend of superfoods.

There is no true definition of what constitutes a food as “superfood.” However, there are certain foods that have such high quality nutrients that should definitely be incorporated into your daily nutrition.

Superfoods, mostly plant-based but also some dairy and fish, are foods that are nutritionally dense in antioxidants, said Jason Good, an athletic trainer for the Department of Athletics.

“Superfoods are typically high in antioxidants, which help in healing processes with anti-inflammatory responses to antioxidants. So that will be beneficial to someone who is injured or have muscles that are tired or overworked,” he said.

These foods are also dense with vitamins, minerals and other powerful nutrients that play a part in helping the body fight disease and maintain a healthy weight.

“Research shows that these nutrients are most powerful when eaten in the form of a whole food rather than in a supplement capsule because other nutrients contained within a whole food work synergistically to absorb at a higher rate,” said Nicole Jontony, a sports dietician at Ohio State.

These foods can easily be incorporated into your diet without breaking the bank or searching all over to find them. Many vegetables and berries, such as green leaves and blueberries commonly found in your local grocery store, will provide many of the same benefits found in the premium-priced superfoods.

Whole grains — oats, quinoa and whole wheat — are very high in fiber, which make you feel fuller after eating, controlling weight management.

This non-soluble fiber is also a natural prebiotic, which keeps gut probiotics healthy, as fiber scrubs out your digestive tract like an internal cleanser, Jontony said.

Red and orange fruits and vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos and tomatoes, are great foods for their high content in the powerful carotenoids like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, as well as lycopene. Carotenoids play an important part in keeping the body healthy by playing a role in cancer prevention.

Jontony said Greek yogurt and kefir are rich in probiotics which are beneficial bacteria that lay a healthy foundation of bacteria working in your gut. This works to keep your entire digestive system healthy by fermenting probiotic foods and creating vitamin K, that is essential to preventing excessive bleeding.

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