Superfoods: It’s an ubiquitous term that gets thrown around a lot these days in recipes, on health shows, and in articles (just like this one). While many see the term itself as nothing more than a marketing ploy, the bottom line is that any foods which get the rightful accreditation of “superfood” all have one thing in common: they are all packed with health benefits.
The overlying issue is that, unfortunately, the majority of these foods are overpriced to the point of being borderline unaffordable. I’ll never forget the day I was walking down the aisles of my local health food store hoping to buy some goji berries, only to be stunned and appalled at the $10 price tag on an organic 275 gram bag.
As much as I wanted their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, I’d rather keep my bacteria where it is than pay $10 for a handful of dried fruit.
Thankfully, not all Superfoods fall into this ridiculous category — and I’m sure even goji berries can be found for cheaper elsewhere — so here are 5 superfoods we can all actually afford and reap the health benefits from:
Blueberries are certainly the poster boy for superfoods and for good reason, as they contain plenty of cancer-fighting antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, and copper.(1)
While organic blueberries when not in season can be somewhat expensive, they also tend to be very affordable during their peak. And if you want to pack them into your diet all year round, simply buy them in bulk at their cheapest and freeze them for the rest of the year. This makes throwing them into smoothies or adding them to baked goods incredibly convenient and cost effective.
We all know that kale is king when it comes to the greens you need to ingest, but I can’t be alone in finding it difficult to eat kale day in and day out. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and rotating your greens ensures your meals maintain a broad nutritional profile. Thankfully, there is another green superfood option that, in my opinion, not only tastes better, but is often found at a lower price point than its dinosaur-looking buddy.
Collards contain B1, B2, B3, B6, and the all-important Vitamin K, all while helping with brain health and improving digestion.(1) I personally love them either steamed or lightly pan fried in some coconut oil with onion. (Bonus: Tired of Kale? Check out these 11 Hearty Salads That Aren’t Kale)
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3. Sesame Seeds
While I do admit to regularly biting the bullet when overpaying for both chia and hemp seeds, due to their known superfood powers, there thankfully is a much cheaper seed on the market. Yes, I’m talking about sesame seeds, the simple little seed that many of us most regularly consume on the top of a white bun at our local fast food restaurant.
Believe it or not, sesame seeds are a great source of fiber, selenium, iron, and magnesium.(1) They are also incredibly simple to make a part of your regular diet. They are great sprinkled on top of a salad, can be used as part of a seasoning on any meat or fish, and can even be added to any cooked vegetables without significantly altering the taste.
Many consider it the poor man’s quinoa, and even though, in my opinion, quinoa isn’t that expensive, having a more affordable alternative for anything is always a good thing.
Millet is a great source of magnesium, copper, phosphorous, and manganese, all while lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes.(1) It works great as a substitute for oatmeal, and is a warming and nutritious way to start off any day, especially when combined with some frozen blueberries! (See what I did there?)
5. Sweet Potatoes
Thanks to the rise in popularity of sweet potato fries, the sweet potato is starting to get more of the attention it deserves as a superfood in this world. The key now is to make sure we aren’t only consuming it after it’s been deep fried in crappy oil and dipped in a creamy mayo.
Much like red, white, and russet potatoes, sweet potatoes tend to be very affordable for regular consumption and can be cooked a dozen different ways deliciously. The orange tater earns its classification as a superfood due to the magic they work on digestion with their high fiber content, as well as being a good source of Vitamin A, C, and manganese, amongst others.(1)