Here are 7 delicious and inexpensive superfoods to incorporate in your meals and snacks. Healthy ideas for your next shopping list...
Bananas are a fantastic superfood and they're also really affordable, a bunch of bananas normally costs just over a dollar. Bananas are a natural source of pectin, a soluble fibre that aids your digestive system and helps to keep your cholesterol levels low.
Bananas are also quite famous for their potassium content, which helps maintain your body's electrolyte balance and lowers blood pressure.
Bananas are even easier to digest when they're left out for a few days to ripen - they'll be naturally sweeter too. Sliced banana is great for throwing in yoghurt, with berries and other fruit, as partially depicted in the above picture. They taste amazing in smoothies too...
Lentils are a great superfood to stock up on. Lentils are high in plant-based proteins. In fact, they contain more protein per ounce than steak. Lentils are also a rich source of fibre, magnesium and iron. Lentils contribute to cardiovascular health and regulate insulin levels. One great thing about lentils as supposed to beans is that lentils don't need to be pre-soaked and they cook in about 15-30 minutes.
There are many varieties of lentils, and it's really up to you to decide which type you like best. Brown, green and black lentils retain more texture than red lentils. However, red lentils are smaller and are creamier than the other lentil varieties when cooked so they're a good option if you have trouble digesting lots of beans.
Avocado is an incredibly nutritious fruit. It is full of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin c, vitamin k, and potassium. Avocado has become really popular today (I'm sure you've seen lifestyle bloggers heavily promoting avocado toast and the like), but it makes sense considering its rich texture, taste and the fact that it's a superfood.
Did you know? The avocado you're most likely familiar with is known as the Hass avocado, it's shaped like a pear, and has bumpy alligator-like skin (it's also known as an alligator pear).
Something I find interesting is that avocado is high fat food, and one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. The fat in avocado is oleic acid, and its a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid that is very beneficial to the body and is known to reduce inflammation.
Oats are a great way to get soluble fibre in your diet, and they're quite inexpensive too. Oats are rich in protective beta-glucan fibres that have been shown to help lower cholesterol and protect the body from high-cholesterol levels. Oats are also a great source of plant-based iron, potassium, calcium, and protein. Quick-cooking oats are just as healthy as steel-cut oats, just be careful of oatmeal packets that are loaded with added sugars.
Broccoli is an all-star food, and a great tasting one (depending on your opinion I guess). Broccoli is rich in essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, a cup of cooked broccoli offers as much vitamin C as an orange. Broccoli is also high in detoxifying compounds that keep your liver and digestive system healthy.
The way you cook broccoli will determine the amount of its nutrients you are able to access. Steaming is more preferable than boiling broccoli, since boiling can leach up to 90% of the valuable nutrients it contains. Buying frozen broccoli is often a good way to ensure that you've got this delicious superfood on hand - not only is frozen broccoli easier to cook than fresh broccoli, it's also more nutrient-dense because it's frozen at peak harvest.
Chia seeds are another amazing and affordable superfood. Chia seeds are rich in calcium and loaded with plant-based iron. Chia seeds are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that help to protect against heart attack and stroke by raising "good" cholesterol.
Chia seeds are available in most grocery stores and can easily be incorporated into meals, one tablespoon at a time. A delicious and popular way to enjoy chia seeds is to make chia pudding, which turns out to be a nutritious on-the-go breakfast or snack.
Last but not least, ginger is a root which has many benefits for your digestive track, as it is able to fight stomach discomfort and helps to fight colon cancer. Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment. Ginger is also known to have pain-reduction properties - it has been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, which is severe menstrual pain.
You can include more ginger in your diet by adding fresh ginger to a smoothie or juice for a spicy kick. You could also make ginger tea at home by slicing 20-40 grams of fresh ginger and steeping it in a cup of hot water. Fresh or dried ginger can also be used to spice up any fish recipe.
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