Healthy eating on a budget: Top 10 affordable superfoods
06/12/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Healthy eating on a budget: Top 10 affordable superfoods

If you’re on a tight budget but you want to eat healthily, don’t worry. You don’t have to spend most of your hard-earned money on groceries if you know which superfoods are the most affordable.

Improve your eating habits without breaking the bank by buying budget-friendly superfoods.

Quinoa, a gluten-free pseudo-grain

Quinoa is an ancient pseudo-grain that’s naturally full of protein, with twice as much fiber as other grains. It also contains all the essential amino acids, which makes it a rare complete vegetable protein source.

This means it provides all the essential amino acids your body needs, unlike other grains that have to be consumed with other foods to be considered complete protein sources.

If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, you can safely consume quinoa since it’s a gluten-free superfood. Quinoa is full of dietary fiber which studies say can help lower your risk of certain cancers, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Quinoa is full of manganese. It also contains nutrients like folate, magnesium and phosphorous that have a role in new cell formation.

Quinoa contains antioxidants, B vitamins, fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, zinc and other trace minerals that help protect cells from damage linked to diseases. Studies have also shown that the health-promoting properties of quinoa can boost your brain health and help prevent the development of heart disease.

Quinoa is cooked similarly to rice. This superfood is easy to prepare and you can eat it alone or use it to make salads and cooked dishes.

Watercress, an antioxidant-rich leafy green

Watercress is a leafy green veggie that’s chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants. Consume watercress raw to reap its many health benefits.

The vegetable is in season during summer. Watercress is rich in minerals and nutrients like beta-carotene, iron and vitamin C.

Did you know that watercress’ high vitamin C content helps enhance iron absorption? You can add watercress to salads or sandwiches.

Apples, a fiber-rich superfruit

Apples are nutritious and affordable, averaging $1.60 a pound.

One medium apple contains three grams of dietary fiber. Studies suggest that the fiber in apples is mostly responsible for the positive effects that these fruits have on weight loss and blood sugar control.

Apples also contain vitamin C, B vitamins and trace minerals, along with beneficial antioxidants. Research has found that consuming apples regularly can help lower inflammation, a major risk factor for different kinds of chronic diseases.

Unlike other foods that you have to cook, you can easily snack on a fresh apple. You can also add chopped apples to a tasty salad.

Chia, small but full of nutrients

Chia seeds may be very tiny, but they’re also very good for you. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and they help boost your brain health.

Consuming chia seeds also helps improve your digestive health.

Green tea, a heart-health boosting beverage

Green tea contains flavonoids like catechins that are mostly responsible for many of the health advantages the superfood offers. The beverage contains the highest concentration of catechins compared to other teas.

According to research, catechins can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent certain cancers and prevent infections.

The antioxidants in green tea help strengthen your immune system and boost heart health. One study suggests that consuming 12 ounces or more of tea a day can help lower your risk of having a heart attack compared to non-tea drinkers.

Eggs, a protein-rich source of choline

Eggs are one of the most nutrient-rich superfoods on the planet, with an average price of $2 a dozen.

One medium egg contains six grams of protein and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. These nutrients also protect eye health.

Eggs are one of the few dietary sources of choline, a nutrient with a crucial role in brain function. Eggs also provide some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need for your overall well-being.

Eggs are easy to prepare and you can add them to almost any meal, from salads to soups or sandwiches.

Chicken breast, a natural source of high-quality protein

Chicken breast costs $3-4 a pound on average, making it an affordable source of high-quality protein for anyone who wants to improve their eating habits.

Half a chicken breast contains 27 grams of protein and all of the essential amino acids that you need to stay healthy. Additionally, chicken breast contains high amounts of essential vitamins and minerals like niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and vitamin B6.

Studies show that incorporating chicken breast into a balanced diet can help lower your risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes and heart disease. Consuming chicken breast can also help lower cancer risk.

Black beans, a superfood full of fiber and protein

Black beans and other members of the legume family are rich in dietary fiber and protein.

A half-cup serving of cooked black beans contains more than eight grams of dietary fiber or more than 30 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). The black outer coating of the beans is full of anthocyanin pigments or powerful antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Use black beans to make rice dishes, salads, soups, stews, or burritos.

Kiwi fruits, a superfruit full of vitamin C

On average, kiwi fruits cost only $2 a pound. A medium kiwi contains 117 percent of the RDI for vitamin C and consuming them helps support immune function.

Kiwi fruits are also rich in antioxidants, fiber and nutrients like potassium and vitamin K, all of which work together to prevent cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

According to research, kiwi fruits can also help improve heart health. Eating the fruit regularly helps increase “good” HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, lower levels of fats in the blood and decrease blood pressure.

Use kiwi fruits to make a refreshing fruit salad or make nutritious smoothies.

Dried lentils, a superfood that boosts heart health

On average, dried lentils cost $1.39 a pound. Stock up on dried lentils if you need an affordable superfood that’s also good for your overall health.

A cup (198 grams) serving of lentils contains various nutrients like 25 percent of the RDI for copper, 90 percent of the RDI for folate, 37 percent of the RDI for iron and 49 percent of the RDI for manganese.

Dried lentils are chock-full of protein and dietary fiber. If you’re on a diet, consuming dried lentils will help you feel full longer.

Additionally, lentils contain antioxidants that protect cells from inflammation, which can help lower your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Studies have also determined that consuming lentils helps improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, meaning the superfood can help lower yoru risk of developing heart disease. Dried lentils are prepared similarly to beans and you can add them to hearty salads and soups.

Instead of wasting money on junk food, stock up on affordable superfoods like apples, black beans, chicken breast, eggs and watercress.


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