Superfoods are nutrient dense foods that are extremely good for your health, packed with antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Superfoods are often touted as a marketing technique to get health-conscious people to purchase these often expensive and “trendy” foods.
But you don’t need to shop at overpriced grocery stores in order to achieve maximum health. In fact, there are many superfoods you had no idea were that healthy. Check out these 12 superfoods that won’t break the bank.
1. Frozen berries
You don’t need to spend a fortune on regular berries to get your dose of powerful antioxidants. Berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, contain phytochemicals, which help protect our cells from damage. Berries keep you mentally sharp due to flavonoids and boost your heart health. Antioxidants found in berries are also shown to ward off cancer. Frozen berries are cheaper and deliver the same nutritional benefits as refrigerated berries, plus many frozen packs come with a medley of fruits. Put these frozen berries in yogurt, smoothies, or let them thaw out and eat them alone as you would regular berries.
Touted as one of the healthiest spices in the world, cinnamon is one of those unsuspecting foods you have sitting in your spice drawer at home. By sprinkling cinnamon in your coffee, your ice cream, yogurt, or on your fruit, you can help fight diabetes, inflammation, and bacteria.
Cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, you name it. These guys are known for containing lycopene (which not many other foods have), helping lower cholesterol, and having high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Add these to your eggs, sandwiches, and salads for some extra nourishment.
This is one of those foods you likely grew to love as you got older. It seems like such a common food, but broccoli contains phytonutrients that can help slow the growth of tumors and reduce the risk of cancer. This is the perfect snack or side dish for when you feel a cold coming on, due to its high percentage of vitamin C, as well as folic acid. Broccoli is perfect with ranch or in a stir fry.
Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that protect us from heart disease, help treat rheumatoid arthritis, and lower the risk of depression. Salmon is also rich in minerals like iron, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins A, D, and B. This fish can also help regulate metabolism by increasing the influence of insulin and lowering blood sugar levels. Omega-3s also are known to increase brain efficiency and improve memory. This one food can quite frankly cover it all.
6. Red wine
While the verdict is still out on whether one glass of red wine is equivalent to one hour at the gym, it is proven that red wine is packed with healthy antioxidants that can fight disease. Red wine also contains resveratrol, which helps protect against cancer and heart disease. Get yourself to your local grocery store and purchase a bottle of cheap but still-good-for-you wine. If that’s not a reason to drink up, we don’t know what is.
Another spice that probably already in your spice drawer is turmeric. It comes from ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine and is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It helps relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritic, cystic fibrosis, and inflammatory bowel disease, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Sprinkle this spice on chicken or put a little bit in a smoothie to get your inexpensive, daily dose.
8. Swiss chard
Skip the pricey salad greens and reach for a bunch of swiss chard. It’s a great source of chlorophyll, phytonutrients, and lutein, an antioxidant that boosts eye health. The specific phytonutrient in swiss chard is called betalain, responsible for the reddish-purple pigment. Chard ranks second to spinach in terms of the healthiest lettuce. Swiss chard contains a whopping 22 vitamins and minerals per one cup, including 700% of your daily intake of vitamin K.
The reddish-pink hue in beets comes from disease-fighting antioxidants called anthocyanins. They also contain vitamin C and protect against cataracts. They lower your blood pressure, boost your stamina, and help with detoxification support by helping to purify the blood and liver.
10. Olive oil
Sometimes we think it’s a boring salad dressing, other times we use it as a good bread dipping. But olive oil is the MVP of superfoods. Thanks to its monounsaturated fats, good fats that help lower bad cholesterol and nourish our body’s cells, olive oil should be a key component in your diet. But look for the right kind of olive oil, as extra-virgin olive oil is the highest quality you can and should buy.
11. Black beans
Inexpensive and very accessible, black beans are the perfect thing to pair in almost any dish at any time of the day. One study showed that people who ate black beans four times per week had a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who ate them less than once weekly. Cooked black beans have 7.5 grams of fiber per serving and plenty of antioxidants.
Rethinking that second cup of coffee? You shouldn’t. Coffee is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and is linked with a lower risk of developing depression. Forgo the added sugar and milk you order at Starbucks or similar coffee joints, and keep it simple with either black coffee or just a bit of milk.