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9 real superfoods you can actually afford

Posted By Clark.Palmer On 03/03/2014 @ 8:30 am In Science Says | 11 Comments

There’s no getting around it: a healthy diet is more expensive than an unhealthy one. But that doesn’t mean your food choices should be limited to the dollar menu at your favorite fast food joint. Add some cheap superfoods to your diet and you’ll be making healthy choices that also fit within your grocery budget.

“You’ll get more bang for your buck,” says Angela Ginn, registered dietician nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Superfood is just a catchy term that’s being thrown around to refer to foods that are “nutrient-rich” says Ginn.

Here’s are some cheap superfoods to add to that unhealthy diet of refined carbohydrates and processed meats you’ve got there, with average prices and Ginn’s rundown of the nutritional benefits for each.

1. Spinach


(Photo: National Cancer Institute)
Average price: $2.64 per 1 pound package; $0.99 per bunch (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Fruit and Vegetable Retail Report).

Nutritional benefits: This vegetable contains vitamins A and K, folate, and antioxidants. It can help prevent cancer and can help aging women maintain bone health.

 

2. Walnuts


(Photo [3] by DJ_Noddy / CC BY [4])

Average price: $0.83 per serving (1 ounce), with a price range of $0.41 – $0.93 (prices from an informal review of prices on grocery websites).

Nutritional benefits: They contain omega-3 fatty acids that can lower bad cholesterol, thereby lowering your risk of a heart attack.

 

3. Beans (particularly black beans)


(Photo [5] by Paul Goyette / CC BY [4])

Average price: $1.45 per pound (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Nutritional benefits: One cup contains 15 grams of fiber. Beans help you stay fuller longer and better regulate your blood sugar.

 

4. Oranges


(Photo [6] by Atamari / CC BY [4])

Average price: Navel oranges, $4.09 per 4 pound bag; Valencia Oranges, $2.91 per 4 pound bag (USDA).

Nutritional benefits: This fruit is loaded with vitamin C. It supports immune health, lowers cholesterol, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

 

5. Oats (rolled or steel-cut)


(Photo [7] by Markus Hagenlocher / CC BY [4])

Average price: $0.64 per serving (1/2 a cup), with a price range of $0.44 – $0.88 per serving (prices from an informal review of prices on grocery websites).

Nutritional benefits: Consuming just one bowl every morning can lower cholesterol up to 1%. The fiber in oats creates sludge in your gut that attaches to bad fat and carries it out of the body.

 

6. Eggs


(Photo [8] by Gmoose1)

Average price: $2.02 per dozen grade A eggs (BLS).

Nutritional benefits: They are a complete source of protein and B vitamins. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and can be beneficial to pregnant women because they stimulate brain development in the fetus.

 

7. Kale


(Photo [9] by Evan-Amos)

Average price: $ 0.99 per pound; $0.67 per bunch, according to the USDA).

Nutritional benefits: Besides the cardiovascular benefits, Kale helps you detox by removing harmful chemicals from your body. It can help prevent colon and breast cancer.

 

8. Avocados


(Photo [10] by Nikodem Nijaki/ CC BY [4])

Average price: $0.94 apiece, according to the USDA report.

Nutritional benefits: The nutrients in avocadoes can lower homocysteine levels in the body. High homocysteine levels can contribute to inflammation in joints, and conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

 

9. Green tea


(Photo [11] by Sean Winters / CC BY [4])

Average price: $0.15 per bag, with a price range of $0.08 – $0.31. Numbers came from an informal review of prices on various retailers’ websites.

Nutritional benefits: It contains antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Research has shown that green tea consumption can improve blood flow and brain activity and help you stay awake and alert.

(Top photo [12] by Scott Rubin / CC BY [4])


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