We love that “superfoods” are multi-taskers—foods brimming with various disease-fighting nutrients, usually without providing too many calories and delivered in a delicious form.
What we dislike about some foods deemed “super” is that they are exotic or something that you’d only have once in a while. Healthy? Yes. Would you eat them every day? Probably not.
For most people, food bill is the biggest bill they’ve got already before we add healthy into the equation. Many people spend half of the money they earn monthly on food alone, so there is no surprise it’s such a sensitive subject. However, it doesn’t have to be. There is a way to eat healthily and well and still keep the food bill low. Here is our list of 10 of the healthiest & cheapest foods to eat each day.
It turns out Popeye was onto something, downing cans of spinach for power. This sweet leafy green is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid and calcium. (Spinach has plenty of iron, too, though not as much as the cartoon creators initially believed in 1870.) Extremely versatile, spinach can be eaten fresh, steamed, boiled, sautéed or baked into any number of dishes. We love using spinach as a base for a salad, and you'll reap the greatest nutritional benefits when it's raw.
Like beans, lentils are high in fiber and protein (8 grams and 9 grams per half cup, respectively), which makes them great for your heart. They have the edge over beans, though, when it comes to preparation. Lentils cook up in only 15 to 30 minutes and don’t need to be presoaked.
3. Sweet Potatoes
The best thing about sweet potatoes is that they're naturally sweet. Simply steaming the tubers readies them for eating while preserving maximum nutritional value, but they're delicious when baked, boiled or even stir-fried. Excellent sources of vitamin B-6 and dietary fiber, sweet potatoes top the charts in vitamin A concentration, offering up to 90 percent of one's daily recommended intake in one serving. Vitamin A and beta-carotene are essential for both eye and skin health.
Apples don’t have megadoses of any one vitamin or mineral to boast about (although they have some vitamin C), but several research studies suggest that apples have tangible benefits for your heart. The latest one showed that people who ate the equivalent of 2 apples daily for a year improved these markers. Researchers think it’s a combination of the pectin (a type of fiber) and polyphenols that make apples so good for you.
Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids—fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers. As well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis— but none are as easy to prepare, or have as low a caloric density, as carrots.
This juicy citrus fruit is a cross between an orange and a pomelo and is extremely high in vitamins A and C, making it an excellent immunity booster. Segmented and tossed into a dish, or simply scooped out of its skin with a spoon, grapefruit is a bright addition to winter plates, and we particularly enjoy pairing the tart-sweet fruit with fish and savory salad ingredients.
Kale, the hot new star of the cruciferous vegetable group, boasts similar high-nutrient content to broccoli and cabbage (vitamins K, C, A and B-6, fiber and potassium), but it also contains three times more lutein and zeaxanthin than spinach. Steaming the mildly peppery greens yields the greatest nutritional benefits, but it may also be sautéed or boiled. It is widely believed that consuming kale lowers one's risk of cancer and aids in the body's detoxification system.
All berries are great sources of fiber—a nutrient that most Americans don’t get enough of and one that is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fiber may help to promote weight loss. Raspberries boast the most at 8 grams per cup—and also contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties. The same amount of blueberries has half the fiber (4 grams) but is packed with anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help keep memory sharp as you age. A cup of strawberries contains 3 grams of fiber, but more than a full day’s recommended dose of skin-firming vitamin C.
Why eggs are so good for you: For such a small and inexpensive food, eggs pack in a lot of nutrition. The whites are brimming with protein (4 grams per egg), while the yolks deliver some vitamin D plus a lutein and xeanthanin, which lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration (a disease that affects one in eight Americans with vision loss and sometimes blindness).
Oats, often consumed in the form of oatmeal, bars, and cookies, are low in calories and high in both fiber and protein, which makes them an energizing and filling breakfast or snack food. They've also been widely revered for their ability to lower cholesterol, which promotes heart health.
Eating healthy doesn't need to be expensive. There are lots of healthy and cheap foods in the market that are full of nutrients. In this post, I shared with you 10 of the healthiest & cheapest foods to eat each day.
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