By Alex Sherman of The SNSPost & The Green Life Pages
Eating healthy is a priority for most people, but the cost of healthy, and organic, food is sometimes unbearable. The price continues to climb when you’re trying to feed more than yourself, which is usually the case for most people. So what is the solution?
Healthy foods are actually more attainable that most would think. Be sure you’ve checked out your local farmer’s market to ensure your local options have been explored. Eating local is affordable, green, and helps to boost your local economy.
When it comes to the essential superfoods, the ones that give you more bang for your buck, are also some of the most affordable foods. You just don’t know it.
At just over a dollar a bunch, kale is a member of the dark, leafy greens group. It’s loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B as well as calcium. Want to relieve depression? Eat kale.
This low cost cruciferous vegetable has it all. Cruciferous vegetables are known for a compound that neutralizes toxins in the liver and helps cleanse the system.
3. Winter Squash
Winter squash is only a few dollars a pound and when compared to the summer squash variety, it’s much better for you. They’re a good source of vitamin B6, which is important for the nervous and immune system, as well as folate for heart and pregnancy health. (See 10 ways to use gourds & winter squash.)
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet, savory, and downright delicious, nothing beats this winter staple. Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Roger Doiron says, “what cabbage lacks in sex appeal and trendiness it makes up for in dependability and productivity.” He’s right. Cabbage is cheap and just like broccoli, it’s a cruciferous super veggie.
Apples are our best foodie friends. Sweet, tangy, crunchy, and low in calories, apples have fiber and tons of phytochemicals or antioxidants that serve to fight free radicals in the body that cause disease and aging.
At $3-5 a pound quinoa is cheap and nutrient dense. Quinoa is a complete protein and can substitute for less sustainable proteins. Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc.
8. Brown Basmati Rice
Talk about cheap, rice is one of the least expensive foods in the world. At just a few dollars a pound, a little goes a long way. I also love brown basmati rice, It’s an excellent source of manganese and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium.
Barley is one of my favorite grains. The little bubbles burst in your mouth, full of flavor. Barley is rich in manganese, selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. (Check out 6 more grains to add to your diet.)
10. Adzuki Beans
Beans are one of the least expensive protein sources. In fact, these little guys contain some of the highest levels of protein and the lowest levels of fat of any variety of beans. They also contain high levels of potassium, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and manganese. (See 21 vegetarian protein sources.)
11. Black Beans
This is an obvious one, but no less important. Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, manganese, protein, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), phosphorus, and iron.
Omega 3 fatty acids are an ever important building block nutrient that like B12, the body cannot produce on its own. Don’t worry because you can get the nutrient without fatty fish. Instead, get it from flaxseed.
13. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are one of the least expensive seeds that you can buy in bulk and if you buy the raw variety, they’re quite good for you as well. Sunflower seeds have 76 percent of the RDA for vitamin E.
14. Sesame Seeds
Great for sprinkling on all your favorite Asian dishes, who knew that they were so good for you? Again, a little goes a long way with this one. You don’t need a whole lot to absorb the benefits. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium and magnesium. Who knew?
I saved the best for last. If you’re not eating almonds, it’s time to start. Almonds are good for heart health and loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that keeps you from aging.
Alex Sherman is a young entrepreneur with a passion for the environment and blogging. He spent his youth in the North Georgia mountains exploring the woods and learning about the wilderness. This passion and respect for our environment motivated him to join local environmental organizations, such as S.E.A.T. He used the tools and experience motivated him to create the Green Life Pages. He’s a very strong believer in the power of networking and education, through both he believes we can achieve a greener, healthier, and more informed planet.