Superfoods are just what their name implies: Ultra-healthy foods that help us get the most nutritional bang out of each and every bite we take. With an exceptionally high nutrient density that includes concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, consuming superfoods on a regular basis promotes everything from improved immunity and mental performance, to faster healing and increased energy. And while the abundance of benefits makes superfoods arguably worth their weight in gold … that doesn’t mean every superfood needs to break the bank.
Many superfoods are surprisingly affordable and encouragingly easy to find. As supermarkets continue to expand their health-focused sections, bags of heirloom grains or pouches of “super seeds” are becoming ubiquitous pantry staples. And in produce departments and farmers markets, you can find an impressive array things like ripe berries and fresh greens—unassuming, “everyday” foods that are actually superfoods in disguise.
Whether local or exotic, all superfoods share one common trait: they promote long-term health, which is perhaps the best investment of all. Read on for some of the best superfoods that are both good for you, and easy on your wallet.
While we tend to think of herbs as garnishes or optional flavor additions for cooking, herbs are some of the most medicinal superfoods on the planet—and unlike taking vitamins, herbs come in their own ready-to-digest natural package. Every herb has its own unique set of benefits: For example, parsley is very high in vitamin C and a great detoxifier, oregano is strongly anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and rosemary increases circulation. To enjoy maximum nutrition, lean on fresh varieties of herbs as opposed to dried, which usually only cost a dollar or two per bunch. Better still, keep a potted herb plant on a windowsill or in your yard, and enjoy the health advantages of herbs virtually for free!
A tiny seed that’s a nutritional powerhouse, chia is an excellent plant-based source of essential fatty acids (EFAs)—important fats which support heart health and tissue function. Chia is also high in fiber, contains easily digestible protein, and has a wealth of minerals (most notably calcium and iron). A little goes a long way—an average serving of chia is 1½ tablespoons—making this superfood very affordable per serving. Energizing, easy-to-digest, and neutral in flavor, using chia is as simple as sprinkling on salads, cereal, smoothies … or just about anything.
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