8 Superfoods You Can Buy on a Budget
If your grocery budget doesn’t stretch to include trendy health foods like quinoa, goji berries and spirulina, don’t despair. Many low-cost, everyday supermarket staples provide amazing health benefits. Here are eight affordable superfoods to stock up on.
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1. Canned sardines
Due to the benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids, the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week. Canned sardines are rich in omega-3 and far less expensive than many other sources. Omega-3 boosts cardiovasular health by decreasing triglyceride levels, slowing the growth of arterial plaque, lowering blood pressure and reducing the overall risk of heart attack and stroke. Omega-3 also reduces inflammation and can help to improve or prevent a wide range of inflammatory illnesses including allergies, asthma, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
2. Canned tomatoes
Tomatoes are the best source of a lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene acts to neutralize free radicals that damage cells and cause cancers to develop. Several studies have found that people who eat a diet rich in tomato-based foods have a lower risk for cancers of the lung, stomach and prostate. Lycopene can also help to prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease by reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which leads to arterial plaque. Low-priced canned tomatoes are actually a better dietary source of lycopene than fresh tomatoes. The temperature changes involved in the canning process make the lycopene easier to absorb.
Oats are a cheap and versatile heart-healthy whole grain. They contain a type of soluble fiber called beta glucan which slows down food transit in the intestines. Slower digestion means the body doesn’t absorb sugar as quickly. Blood sugar levels remain stable, reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that the beta glucan in oats lowers LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. Adding oats to the diet can also lower high blood pressure. An oatmeal breakfast can even aid in weight loss. The fiber in oats helps you feel fuller for longer and raises levels of a hormone linked to appetite control.
Yogurts which contain live and active cultures such as Lactobacillus or Bifidobacte are an excellent source of probiotics. These ‘good bacteria’ restore the natural balance of microflora in the intestines, aid digestion and boost the immune system. Yogurt can help to prevent or improve a number of gastrointestinal conditions including constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance and stomach ulcers. In addition, research has shown that the active cultures in yogurt can help to ward off candida yeast infections in women. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium to improve bone mass and help to lower the risk of osteoporosis. You can save money on yogurt by making your own from milk and a starter culture.
Beans are one of the least expensive sources of protein and provide numerous health benefits. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture measured the antioxidant capacities of over 100 common foods. Small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans were among the top four. One cup of cooked beans provides about half the RDA of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Beans are also good sources of potassium, a mineral that seems to have a protective effect against stroke. Beans are low on the glycemic index and can help ward off type 2 diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar. Studies have also found that eating beans and other legumes lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
6. Kale and collard greens
Kale and collard greens are among the cheapest vegetables, yet they share the highest rating on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index which measures vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content in relation to calories. Both kale and collard greens provide several times your RDA of vitamin K which is needed for healthy bones. They are also good sources of vitamins A and C. Like other cruciferous vegetables, they contain compounds called isothiocyanates which can help protect against cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. The fiber in kale and collard greens lowers cholesterol by binding to bile acids in the digestive tract.
Beets are considered a superfood due to their high concentrations of nitrates. Bacteria in the mouth convert nitrates into nitrites which widen blood vessels in the body, improving circulation. A study published in the journal Hypertension found that blood pressure was reduced within 24 hours in people who drank beet juice.
Read More:- The Amazing Health Benefits of Beets
Another study found that drinking beet juice increases blood flow to the brain in older people, which may help to reduce the risk of dementia. Beets can also improve athletic performance by improving oxygen delivery to the muscles. In one study, eating cooked beets before a 5K race gave runners a 41 second advantage.
Onions and other members of the allium family are rich in cancer-fighting organosulfur compounds. Onions are not only cheaper than garlic, shallots and leeks; they also contain more antioxidant polyphenols. Population studies have shown that a high intake of allium vegetables is associated with a decreased risk for prostate, esophageal and stomach cancer. Onions are also a good source of the flavonoid quercetin which helps to protect against heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol, reducing high blood pressure and helping to prevent atherosclerosis.
Jessica Smith has been writing articles for e-business and elance sites for more than 4 years. Her educational background is Masters in English and journalism which gives her a broad platform to write on a variety of topics with ease and efficiency. She is an independent writer especially enjoys writing on fashion, education, career, health, and lifestyle. She is recently obsessed with new education like a Learning Another Language.
uditpatel • 2019 Sep 04