Thinking about introducing some affordable superfoods into your diet? Packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, superfoods are a great way to get the nutrition your body needs to operate at its peak.
While some can be notoriously expensive, there are a whole variety of healthy superfoods available that won’t break the bank.
Discover our top 10 superfoods to eat when you’re on a budget:
1. Sweet Potato
Baked, mashed or sliced into wedges, sweet potatoes are not only delicious but bursting with health benefits. Containing vitamin C, fibre, iron, beta-carotene and potassium, as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes support gut health and may even have cancer-fighting properties according to research published by the National Library of Medicine.
Loaded with bioactive compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body’s tissue, broccoli may not be exotic but it is one of the most accessible and affordable superfoods in the UK. Its nutritional value varies depending on the way it’s consumed, but according to Healthline, broccoli still remains an excellent source of vitamin C regardless of whether it’s boiled, steamed or eaten raw. It’s also a great plant-based source of calcium, protein and fibre.
There’s a reason the age-old saying of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” still prevails today. Apples are high in vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium, with recent research also showing that apples may help lower cholesterol and even regulate the gut microbiome. Making the humble apple deserving of a place in our top 10 superfoods,
One of the lesser-known cheap superfoods, Lentils are an exceptional source of protein. In fact, one ounce of lentils has almost the same amount of protein as a steak. A vegan superfood rich in folate, potassium, iron and a variety of antioxidants, this slow-burning superfood keeps you fuller for longer, prevents spikes in blood sugar levels and has even been found to reduce inflammation.
One of the most popular fruits in the world, the banana helps fight bloating, lowers blood pressure, supports the heart and keeps you fuller for longer, thanks to its nutritionally-dense make-up. Vitamin B6, fibre, magnesium and potassium are all delivered in one serving, making this an affordable superfood and tasty option for your mid-morning snacks.
From blueberries to blackberries and strawberries, berries are cheapest when eaten in season or frozen. Bursting with antioxidants, they help reduce oxidative stress, which is responsible for ageing and illness, plus they’re packed full of vitamins that are particularly beneficial for heart health, brain health and blood pressure.
Whether whizzed into your smoothies or warmed up into a hearty porridge, oats are incredibly nutritious. Loaded with fibre, protein and carbohydrates, as well as a variety of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, they’re one of the most nutrient-dense, cheap superfoods you can eat. What’s more, oats are one of the very few foods that contain avenanthramides, which helps to lower blood pressure and enhance nitric oxide production, which can lead to better blood flow.
Beetroot is a nutritional powerhouse chock full of iron, nitrates, magnesium and betaine, as well as vitamins Vitamins B1, B2, B3. Historically used to treat fevers, skin conditions and constipation, today this vibrant purple food can help lower blood pressure, with some small studies also showing it has a positive effect on exercise performance.
When money is tight, beans offer a great source of nutrition, are a versatile cooking staple and are ultra-affordable. High in protein, fibre and folate, beans can help reduce inflammation, improve gut health and can aid weight loss. A recent study also identified beans as one of the top antioxidant foods.
Ancient cultures used garlic to reduce fatigue and keep their labourers working for longer. Evidence also shows that Olympic athletes would eat it in Ancient Greece to enhance their athletic performance. A great vegan superfood that’s filled with potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as a host of antioxidants, garlic is known for warding off common colds, reducing blood pressure and even lowering cholesterol.
How can superfoods benefit you?
With their high concentration of vitamins and minerals, superfoods deliver your system with even more nutrition than your average piece of fruit, vegetable or packaged snack.
But are superfoods really super? From fighting off free-radicals – which damage healthy cells causing ageing and illness – to lowering blood pressure, promoting a healthy heart and supporting the nervous system, healthy superfoods have a range of different benefits. However these foods are not miracle workers (despite what marketing teams may say). Instead, superfoods work best when incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Why are superfoods so expensive?
From coconut oil to spirulina and goji berries, healthy superfoods may pack a punch in the nutrition department, but they can cause a dent in your bank balance. This is because they’re often grown overseas and imported or intensively farmed out of season. In contrast, cheap superfoods are often priced lower as they’re more readily available, especially when grown locally and in season.
Pack more superfoods into your diet by creating your own Pikt Fresh box. Featuring only fresh, organic fruit and veg, you can try a variety of affordable superfoods, without any nasties.