One cold-pressed, organic, raw smoothie to go? That'll be $8. Juice detoxes and vitamin-packed cleanses might be all the rage, but they're something else– incredibly pricey. As celebs replace their coffee cups with colorful juices, it's official. Healthy eating is officially "in." For all the trending crazes out there, healthy eating is one of the less ridiculous ones. Provided you do it right, stay balanced, and check in with a doctor to make sure you're okay, taking on a superfood diet can be a good thing. The average American isn't earning $20 million a year, though. Those goji berries don't come cheap, and the superfood salad order can be off-putting when you see the $18 price tag.
Superfoods don't have to be pricey, though. Amazingly, you can get an amazing nutritional profile without the spirulina (and its $30-a-jar pricing). A tub of organic matcha powder might sound healthy, but it comes at a cost. Instead of turning away from all superfoods just because a select few are pricey, check these out. They offer more for the money, just as much of the "good stuff," and no, no one needs to stack their pantry with bee pollen to be healthy. Here are 25 superfoods that are budget-friendly. Many of them are less than $1 per serving.
25 FROZEN BERRIES
Many might be surprised to hear that frozen berries are actually healthier than fresh ones. That's because they're frozen within two hours of being picked – that seals the nutrition in. Berries are a superfood thanks to their cancer-fighting and immune-boosting properties. They're high in vitamin C and fiber, and low in calories. Studies have also shown berries to reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol. Plus, by freezing them, you don't waste. Try them blended into smoothies, sprinkled on oats, or in no-bake bars.
No, you're not flaking out. Oats are literally too cheap to ignore. At 10 cents for 1/3 cup serving, they're way cheaper than packaged breakfast cereals. They also have none of the added sugar. Oats are actually used to lower cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood sugars.
At 10 cents for 1/3 cup serving, super-healthy oats are literally too cheap to ignore.
Steel-cut or whole groats are both good for you. They're packed with fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Make hot oatmeal your winter breakfast and for summer, try yogurt-soaked overnight oats.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Heard that before? We're so busy ditching regular fruit for exotic and Instagrammable varieties, we've forgotten how good the humble apple is. One medium apple contains 3g of fiber, plus a decent dose of potassium and phosphorus. They're easy to eat on-the-go, don't need any preparation, and are a great kid-friendly option. The average US price per lb is $1.31. That's less than a cheeseburger for a whole lot of apples (and a whole lot more health).
22 PEANUT BUTTER
Yes, you can go fancy with almond or cashew butters. That doesn't mean that peanut butter isn't healthy. Athletes use peanut butter as a "fuel food" and with good reason. Peanut butter delivers healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. It's also a great source of vitamin E and zinc. Just watch out for big-name brands– they can be loaded with salt and preservatives. Natural peanut butter can be as cheap as 21 cents for a 2 tablespoon serving.
Eggs spent most of the 2000s getting a pretty bad rep. Concerns over the fat and cholesterol in the yolk have been disproven, though– USA Today posted "one [egg] a day may cut heart disease risk" in 2018.
Dwayne Johnson relies on eggs for a natural source of protein.
One egg provides 6 grams of quality protein, 22% of your daily recommended selenium, and 15% of your daily recommended Vitamin B12. Egg white omelets are a lower calorie option, but a regular scramble won't hurt. The average egg costs 17 cents.
Smashed avocado on toast has been the "it" brunch item of 2018. The good news? Avocados are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. MedicalNewsToday posted the 12 benefits of avocados, and they cover everything from skin to heart health. Avocados are packed with over 20 vitamins and they even help with bone density. Avocados are also a great pregnancy food and can prevent birth defects. One avocado will cost you around $1.27. Since you don't have to eat a whole one, that works out pretty cheap. Plus, they're just delicious.
19 DARK CHOCOLATE
There isn't a huge amount of wiggle room for eating cheat foods on a superfood diet, so hang onto what you've got. With more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, dark chocolate has been shown to improve blood flow and heart health.
Dark chocolate was hailed "the new superfood" by The Telegraph in 2017.
The antioxidants and polyphenols in it also prevent cancer. The experts aren't telling you to stuff yourself silly with it, but a little bit of dark chocolate isn't bad– it's good. Before you question the cost, think about how much you're willing to spend on candy in general... It's affordable.
Admit it– the biggest downside of purchasing watermelon is carrying it home. Watermelon is up there on the superfoods list. This mouth-watering fruit is bursting with antioxidants and vitamins. The Journal Of Nutrition published extra benefits– watermelon helps burn 13% more body fat, plus it aids muscle growth and repair by 9%. Athletes are turning to watermelon as a recovery food, but you don't need to be an Olympian to eat it. To save money, steer clear of the pre-packaged fruit pots. Watermelon costs around 35 cents for 1lb.
17 CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are the nutritional powerhouse that's surprisingly cheap. At $3-4 per lb, the actual sprinkle you'll use works out at just a few cents per serving. You probably associate the word "chia" with healthy smoothies. That's because they are healthy. Loaded with plant-based iron and rich in calcium, they're also a good protein source. Chia seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids (this fights inflammation and keeps the brain healthy). Chia seed pudding is a great family recipe, plus you can always throw chia seeds into smoothies.
What's more refreshing in the summer heat than a juicy orange? Oranges are the superfood you never knew about. You can get your entire daily dose of vitamin C from a single orange. That's without the 3 grams of fiber and vision-boosting beta-carotene. One orange will cost you around 34 cents. That's way cheaper than orange soda (which, trust us, doesn't come with the natural goodness). Recipes for orange popsicles are super easy, and they're just as popular with kids as adults.
Sometimes, a superfood needs to be put into cookies to get your attention. Gingerbread men are definitely a treat food, but what we're looking at here is the ginger itself. Ginger has been used for centuries to treat everything from nausea to the common cold, and it's a great spice to add to teas or cooking ingredients. Gingerol is the natural oil in ginger, and it fights both inflammation and cell aging. A 2015 study also showed ginger as lowering rates of Type 2 Diabetes. The amount you'll use when baking or cooking will work out in the cents.
Don't deny it– no way were you expecting to see watercress on this list. Watercress has been called a "superfood" for years. It even overtook kale in Shape's "Top Powerhouse Foods." One cup of watercress has virtually no calories, but unlike cucumber (which is mostly water), watercress is packed with calcium, fiber, and potassium. It's also high in vitamin C and studies have shown it to lower blood pressure. A serving works out in cents. Try it in your next sandwich or salad. You can even grow your own.
Lentils are so cheap, you'll be doing a double take. 1 cup of lentils costs 20 cents, but you're getting a warrior load of nutrition in just one cup. Lentils have more protein per ounce than steak, and they're way higher in fiber.
Lentils are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. 1 cup costs 20 cents.
Whether you eat red, brown, black, or green varieties, you'll still be getting an enviable amount of potassium, trace minerals, and B vitamins– the body's building blocks. Lentils make for great summer salads or cozy winter stews. Seriously, give them a go.
A happy kid, right? Happy kids are healthy kids. Broccoli is something kids learn to love (although getting children to eat it young is something most parents wish they had done). Super-healthy, this green vegetable isn't fancy, and it certainly isn't expensive. With TechTimes reporting the anti-aging benefits of broccoli, it isn't just for little ones. The vitamin C in broccoli helps iron absorption, plus the fiber in it is excellent for digestive health. One serving clocks in at around 27 cents– even less if you buy the (just as healthy) frozen variety.
Wake up, sleepy head. Coffee is the latest superfood trend to be backed by scientific evidence. Self reported that the cocoa beans in coffee have cancer-fighting properties, alongside flavonoids (which protect the body from wear and tear). You won't find veg-like nutrients in coffee, but your morning brew has more health benefits than you'd think. Studies have linked coffee consumption to lower heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes rates. The cheapest option is to make your own cup– although you probably know that.
You've officially found the cheapest food on earth (and one of the healthiest). Bananas have reached "superfood" status thanks to their high potassium and fiber content. Bananas are also a natural antacid, helping gastric reflux. Want a gut-boosting prebiotic that doesn't cost $3 a pop? You've found one. Bananas are always in season, super cheap, and very kid-friendly. Chop them up with chocolate sauce, freeze them for the best "ice-cream" ever, or just eat one whole. They're higher in sugar than other fruits, but bananas are still a nutritional wonder.
Kale might make you think of celebrity diets and pricey smoothies, but this superfood is surprisingly cheap. Kale is an undisputed superfood, according to EatingWell. 1 cup has ten times the daily recommended intake of vitamin K– you'll be paying attention if blood health means something to you.
At 77 cents per cup, kale isn't all about celebrity prices.
Whack on the triple dose of vitamin A for vision, one serving of kale is working out pretty well. You can cook with it, throw it in salads, or brave it blended into smoothies (surprisingly delish).
Halloween isn't that far off. Pumpkin might have you thinking of pie, but as fillings go, it's one of the healthiest. Pumpkin's superfood powers were listed by The Huffington Post in 2014. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 200% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A (which helps vision). The beta-carotene in pumpkin also helps fight cancer. Pumpkin even helps keep skin wrinkle-free. One cup offers 49 calories of goodness and costs around 79 cents. Just Google "pumpkin recipes" for inspiration.
If you're tired of getting milk-shamed in Starbucks for not choosing plant-based milks, you've got leverage. Oat, soy, coconut, or almond milks have separate health benefits, but there's no reason to abandon dairy milk unless you're intolerant. Dairy milk is a pure source of protein and calcium– really important for growing kids. Cow's milk is also fortified with vitamin D, which is necessary for the calcium to do its good work. Drink it in a glass, pour it over cereal, or treat yourself to milk and cookies. You don't need to be told what milk costs– check your grocery receipt.
"The humble superfood in your salad." That's how The Telegraph described tomatoes in their review of the much-loved red fruit (yes, it's a fruit). Skin, heart, immune, and anti-cancer benefits are all packed into the juicy tomato. One medium-sized tomato gives you 50% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. They're high in fiber, fat-free, and rich in lycopene– that fights cell damage. There are thousands of ways to eat tomatoes– this pic is just one them. The price? 50 cents per cup.
Hummus has been topping dip lists for years. Kendall Jenner has hummus as her "must-have" dressing room dip, according to her Vogue interview. Hummus is a blend of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and garlic. It's packed with fiber and protein, plus enough goodness for The Huffington Post to list 10 reasons to be eating hummus. You can buy it ready-made as a dip, but it's way cheaper (and more fun) to make your own. The ingredients will cost you less than $1 per serving.
Kiwifruits are the superfood you never knew about. One cup of kiwifruit contains more vitamin C than an entire orange. This exotic fruit is a literal A-Z of vitamins, and that's without the fiber and folate benefits. The antioxidants in kiwifruits also fight aging and cancer– probably why Healthline had seven paragraphs of benefits on this cheap superfood. Kiwifruits even fight vision loss. You can easily get three for 99 cents. How you eat them is up to you. They even make for great popsicles.
3 FLAX SEEDS
Flax seeds share some similarities with chia seeds, but they have their own unique benefits. The lignan fibers in them protect the heart by lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol, plus they protect against cancer. Flax seeds can be sprinkled onto foods, but you can also find flax breads and wraps. As a seed, they're actually slightly cheaper than chia seeds. Just make sure to consume ground flax seeds (versus whole). They're easier to digest that way. Also make sure to store them in the fridge or freezer, as they go rancid if left out.
You don't need fancy protein powders to get your daily protein quota. Tuna is an undeniable superfood– even when it's canned. Just like salmon (but cheaper), tuna delivers the essential Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart and skin.
Chunk light tuna is lower in mercury than white albacore tuna. At 50 cents a serving, it's super cheap.
The 2010 US Dietary Guidelines actually recommended tuna as an alternative for cutting back on meat. Provided you're not vegetarian or vegan, tuna is an excellent source of fat-free protein. Chunk light tuna is lower in mercury than white albacore tuna.
Nuts can be roasted, salted, and pretty unhealthy (the packaged type you find at the checkout in 7-11). The superfood kind are the natural kind. Whether they're almonds, pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, or cashews, nuts are an excellent source of protein, zinc, and vitamin E– a nutrient many Americans are lacking. Watch out for serving sizes, since nuts are high in fat. In the right quantity though, they're a palace of nutrition. A serving of almonds will cost you around 75 cents. For the best nutrition, opt for natural trail mixes, which include a variety of nuts.
You wanted 25 superfoods that are easy on the wallet. Now you've got them. Do your friends a favor and hit share– whether they're parents or just trying to eat right for themselves, they'll appreciate this.