Many people are aware of the important role super foods play in a healthy balanced diet. However, many people also find the cost of these foods to be prohibitive. Research has supported this perspective, healthier options are generally more expensive than processed or junk foods. This opinion can encourage people into believing that these nutritionally dense super foods, are not readily available in their budget. However, there are many excellent super foods which are perfect for a more modest budget.
Most people overlook the wonderful nutrition offered by the humble banana. Bananas are readily available in most grocery stores and are usually fairly inexpensive. Considered nature’s ready made snack, the banana is perfectly suited to carry in your bag and packs a great nutritional punch. On average bananas contain significant levels of potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Research has highlighted that a banana can provide a boost of energy when you need a lift in mood and are sweet enough to satisfy sugar cravings.
While the potato is commonly considered a junk food, this is not really accurate. Unless it is served with added fats or deep fried, the potato is actually a healthy food option. The potato contains potassium, fiber, Vitamin B and Vitamin C. They are one of the most readily available and cheapest staples in the grocery store. Eating the potato skin increases the fiber intake, so the best potato options are new boiled in their skins or baked. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of nutrition.
There are a wide variety of beans available and most provide similar amounts of nutrients including protein and fiber. Beans are an excellent dietary option to increase overall health and well being, including cardiovascular health. Dried beans are relatively inexpensive and easy to store long term. Only half a cup of beans contains the equivalent amount of protein as a single ounce of meat. The maximum amount of nutritional benefit from beans is to combine them with some type of grain. When consumed together, this creates complete proteins, from non animal sources. These proteins contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for health and well being.
Cabbage is often one of people’s least favorite vegetables. This is usually due to it being over cooked or served day after day as part of a school lunch. However, cabbage is actually a very nutritious vegetable. It contains potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants. For optimum nutritional benefit, cabbage should be lightly cooked, by steaming or stir-frying.
An oat based breakfast is probably the best way to start the day. Oats are filling and contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamin. Oats have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and improve digestive health. Oats can be easily made into granola or oatmeal as an inexpensive and healthy breakfast, additionally fresh or dried fruit can be added to boost the vitamin levels and taste.
Trying to maintain a healthy diet on a restrictive budget can be challenging. However, it is not impossible. There are many lower cost healthy foods, including these super cheap superfoods, which can boost the nutrition content of your diet without straining your budget. Adopting a few dietary changes to incorporate these foods will not only provide more energy, but should allow you to feel fitter and healthier.