Need to know some supercheap superfoods? Why is it that when a new great superfood is identified or you find one you really want to try, it is the most expensive thing on the shelf? Superfoods are great for our health but they might not be so great for our wallets. Our grocery bills are already high enough without adding in what really could be termed luxuries. But I’ve got great news! There are some supercheap superfoods that you can afford to eat every day. They are great for your body and they won’t give your bank manager a heart attack. Read on!
Carrots are one of the cheapest vegetables around. They are always in season and every grocery store has piles of these juicy orange babies all year round. Did you know that carrots used to have purple skins until a Dutchman bred them to be just orange – although purple carrots are becoming quite a hit now. Carrots are one of the supercheap superfoods that are packed with lovely nutrients. For less than $1.00 you can grab yourself a bag of beto-carotene, a nutrient that is great for your heart health. A form of vitamin A, it is also a powerful antioxidant. Carrots are not just good for bunnies!
Firstly, ignore those new-fangled microwave in seconds, instant oatmeals. Not only do they contain sugar, additives and preservatives etc, but you are also paying the price for convenience. Oats are one of the really affordable superfoods. You can buy a huge bag of oats for the same price as a box of 6 instants. Why are oats good for you? They fill you up and have a low GI index, which means they release their energy slowly, keeping those hunger pangs at bay. They are gluten-free, low in calories, low in cholesterol, and high in fiber. The nutrients in oats help maintain blood sugar balance, promote heart health, and have loads of those free-radical fighting antioxidants.
Pay just about 25 cents for a banana and you have yourself a power-packed superfood. Firstly, they are fat and cholesterol free. Then, one banana contains about 155 per cent of your RDA of vitamin C. They have a high potassium content, which is needed to maintain a healthy balance in bodily fluids, and good muscle and nerve functions. There is about 400mg of potassium in one medium size banana and it is this potassium which can also help with the prevention of muscle cramps after exercise. Now you know why tennis players munch on bananas during a game! Bananas also provide you with vitamin B6 (needed for cell growth), manganese (bone health), fiber (digestion) and small amounts of lots of other nutrients.
Eggs are not only one of the supercheap superfoods, but they are also one of the most versatile. If you have a couple of eggs in your fridge you will never be lost for a meal. If you can buy organic, so much the better, although they will be a bit more expensive. Eggs are as filling as carbs, so they can stave off appetite but they are also full of good things. The amino acids in eggs make a protein that is good for muscle repair. The yolks contain two important antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin – which are extremely important to eye health, particularly in preventing macular degeneration. And, one large egg contains 30 per cent of your RDA of choline – known to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Technically, all fruits could be classed as superfoods, it's just that some are more super than others. Fruit is generally expensive because we don’t buy it seasonally. If, however, you stick to seasons, it is cheaper and it is better, because it has been grown naturally and not forced or engineered. When in season, blueberries are one of the cheapest superfoods and are well worth the money nutrition-wise. Out of season, buy frozen – they should be cheaper than fresh ones and still just as good. Blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits. They contain Anthocyanin, vitamins A, B, C and E, copper, iron, zinc and selenium. All of these boost your immune system and fight those nasty free radicals, help with heart and eye health, and also help to reduce belly fat.
Pronounced key-nwah, this is one of nature’s supergrains. Containing all nine essential amino acids, it has more protein than any other grain as well as also being a valuable source of fiber, calcium, potassium and iron. It has a nice nutty texture and taste and can be used instead of potatoes, rice, pasta and couscous. Just some of the benefits of quinoa are: the riboflavin, which can help in the management of migraines; antiseptic saponins; low glycemic index; gluten free; and a calorie count of 172 per quarter cup.
All veggies are good for you, but broccoli is one of the best and also one of the superfoods you can buy cheap. It’s also pretty! Little piles of trees of bright greenness are more attractive than some limp wilted leaves or grayish beans any day. But, more importantly, did you know that just one serving contains more than a whole day’s RDA of vitamin C and vitamin K? I happen to be with George Bush Sr on the fact that I don’t like broccoli but I force myself to eat it because it is soooo good for me. Ready for the list of the health benefits of broccoli? Here goes – cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, bone health, reduction of allergies, prevention of inflammation, heart health, antioxidant properties, detoxification and it’s very low in calories. Hooray for broccoli.
The next time you shop for groceries and are looking for some ways to boost your health, pass by the aisle with the pricey supplements, give the shelves of expensive products like goji and acai berries a miss, and head for the supercheap superfoods, which you’ll find in and among all the everyday products. Foods don’t have to have a hefty price tag to deliver a hefty health boost. What are your favorite everyday foods that are also superfoods?