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16 Superfoods On A Budget

By Dr. Michael Richardson
Updated November 24, 2016

Eating the right food is important for your health as well as well-being, but doing so can also be expensive. Not only is it often time-consuming to find certain healthy foods that are not stocked by regular supermarkets, but their price tags also serve as a big deterrent.

In fact, cost is often one of the main reasons why people say that they do not eat healthier. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health and eat fast food just because it is a seemingly cheaper option. There are actually some superfoods that are not only great for your health, but can also be bought without breaking your budget.

Add the following superfoods to your shopping list and you’ll notice the benefits not only for your health, but also your wallet.

1. Apples

If you want to lower your risk of cancer and heart disease, apples are a good choice on a budget. This is because apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin that has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Of course, apples are also rich in soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol in the body.

2. Garlic

Thanks to its low cost and high amount of active phytochemicals garlic is a great addition to your shopping basket even when money is tight. Stick to the locally grown varieties of garlic to ensure that they are organic, and you’ll help safeguard your body against colorectal, ovarian and other forms of cancer.

3. Oats

Get your day off to a good start with rolled oats, which are not only healthy, but also a very cheap breakfast choice. Oats are a superfood because of their rich beta-glucan content, which is a type of soluble fiber. What makes them so healthy is the fact that they can help to lower LDL cholesterol, which is the bad type. In addition to their fiber content oats are also packed with folic acid, vitamin B, magnesium, manganese and protein.

4. Dried Herbs

To experience the health benefits of herbs, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on buying whole bunches of fresh herbs. Dried herbs are a lot cheaper, but still come with plenty of nutrition. For example, if you want to ensure that you get enough vitamin K and iron, opt for dried thyme, mint, marjoram and parsley. In addition, dried herbs can add flavor to any meal without the need for unhealthy additives.

5. Tuna Fish

Although salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids it can be a bit on the expensive side, so if you are on a tight budget the next best thing is tuna. The high omega-3 fatty acid content can help ease the inflammation associated with arthritis and also decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease.

6. Black Beans

Black beans are affordable and contain the same phytochemicals and anthocyanins as blueberries, making them good for your heart too. With nearly 50% of the recommended daily fiber value in a single cup, it is hard to beat black beans, and they have a low glycemic index to boot. Furthermore, you can also get up to 20% of your recommended daily iron from a cup of black beans, along with much needed folate and magnesium.

7. Eggs

Even free-range eggs, which cost slightly more than the conventional ones, are still an affordable option for healthy eating on a tight budget. Eggs are packed with essential nutrients, such as protein, which helps with maintaining muscle mass and staving off food cravings. Furthermore, eggs are also a great source of antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin and lutein.

8. Plain Yogurt

Improve your immunity, ensure that your gut stays healthy and lower the risk of colon cancer with the probiotics in affordable plain yogurt. Each serving of yogurt also comes with other benefits, such as the protein, potassium and calcium content it contains. Yogurt can even help to keep your nervous system working as it should, thanks to its B12 content, which assists with maintaining red blood cells.

9. Oranges

Oranges are cheap and can be found in any produce section, but are definitely worthy of the title, superfood. A single serving of oranges can provide you with 100% of your recommended daily vitamin C, making it great for the skin and heart. Oranges also come packed with calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, flavonoids, dietary fiber and more.

10. Peanuts

It is usually the more expensive almonds and walnuts that steal the limelight, but peanuts are a great alternative that won’t stretch your budget too far. Peanuts are not only packed with protein, but also filling fiber along with heart-healthy fats. Just make sure you avoid sodium by opting for the dry-roasted, unsalted variety.

11. Bananas

There is a good reason why bananas are known as a natural “Powerbar” and that is thanks to the high potassium content that they contain. Potassium is essential for the organs, tissues and cells in the body to function properly. Despite being very cheap, bananas are also a great source of vitamin C and B6 and will even help to ward off cravings due to its high fiber content.

12. Cabbage

Cabbage is another cheap and plentiful vegetable that isn’t always recognized for all the health benefits it offers. Along with being an excellent source of fiber and glucosinolates, cabbage can also lower cholesterol in the body. Thanks to the different varieties of cabbages available it is easy to make it a regular part of your diet.

13. Coffee

Coffee can become expensive, not to mention unhealthy when loaded with all the extras. However, a cup of black coffee is still affordable and good for you. This is because of the potassium and antioxidants that can be found in brewed coffee, which decreases the risk of strokes, dementia and even diabetes.

16-superfoods-on-a-budget-pin 14. Millet

Quinoa can be quite expensive, so why not try the equally tasty, but much cheaper alternative, millet. This hulled grain comes packed with manganese, copper, phosphorous and magnesium. It is also lighter and much more soothing for the stomach than oatmeal, which makes it even more versatile when it comes to cooking options.

15. Russet Potatoes

The body needs potassium as it is vital for all of the cells in the body to function in a proper manner, but unfortunately we lose a lot of it when sweating. One of the cheapest, and most natural, ways to replenish this potassium is via the russet potato.

16. Celery

Celery, even the organic kind, is affordable enough that there is no reason to miss out on all the health benefits that it offers. Celery is rich in phytochemicals called phtalides, which are beneficial to heart health. By consuming just four sticks of celery a day you can experience a moderate reduction in your blood pressure.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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