Affordable everyday ‘superfoods’

Superfoods are hailed as having extraordinary health benefits, but the same benefits, or better, can be obtained by eating everyday foods that cost a lot less. Here are 10 superfood swaps.

1. Swap almonds for Brazil nuts
Almonds contain mono-saturated fats, and are known for their ability to lower cholesterol and rates of heart disease, but Brazil nuts are also packed with the same good fats, and acids such as palmitoleic acid and oleic acids, which have a similar effect on cholesterol. Brazil nuts also contain 153 times the amount of selenium, which is important for the protection of cells. Oh, and they’ll cost you $1 less per kilo, too.

2. Swap kale for broccoli
Kale is possibly the most hyped superfood around, but does it live up to its fanfare? When you consider that the humble broccoli contains more vitamin C and potassium, and similar levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and fibre – at about $6 less per kilo – well, you decide …

3. Swap salmon for sardines
As one of the more expensive fish on the market, you’d hope that salmon would be far superior to one of the least expensive. But sardines contain similar amounts of omega-3 and three times more vitamin B12 and, at around $7 less per kilo, give you far more bang for your buck health wise.

4. Swap chia seeds for sesame seeds
Chia seeds are another highly regarded superfood because they’re rich in omega-3, making them a great replacement for those who don’t like fish but are looking to include good fats in their diet. And although chia seeds are packed with calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium, sesame seeds contain higher amounts, are more easily digestible, and are about 80 per cent cheaper than chia seeds.

5. Swap cauliflower for cabbage
Cauliflower has been added to the superfood shortlist, but it’s not a vegetable that many people like to eat. Its cruciferous cousin cabbage is just as good at bolstering your immune system, is an effective detoxifier and a powerful preventer of heart disease and cancer.

6. Swap goji berries for raspberries
Popularised for their high level of antioxidants and ability to enhance immunity, goji berries have their drawbacks too. They can be a little bitter and, because they’re from the nightshade family, they can create inflammatory symptoms in some people. On the other hand, raspberries are packed with fantastic nutrients and, although 90 per cent lower in sugar, taste sweeter, are readily available either fresh or frozen, and they’re about $12 per kilo cheaper.

7. Swap quinoa for lentils
Quinoa and lentils contain similar amounts of calories and carbs, but lentils are higher in fibre and have almost double the amount of protein than quinoa, as well as more vitamin B and iron. Plus lentils are also around one third of the price of quinoa.

8. Swap wheatgrass for spinach
Wheatgrass is quite possibly the most ballyhooed superfood. But at almost $50 per kilo, compared to spinach, which is around $5 per kilo, it doesn’t live up to the hype. Spinach is packed with potassium, folate and iron and is a lot easier to include in an everyday diet.

9. Swap coconut water for water
Coconut water is touted as the ideal re-hydrating workout beverage, but unless you exercise a lot or are always on the go, nothing beats plain old water to quench your thirst. And considering coconut water costs around $6 per litre compared to free tap water (well, relatively free), there’s little reason to incorporate it into your diet. Besides, if it’s an electrolyte drink that you’re after, just add a pinch of salt and a little fruit juice to plain water.

10. Swap blueberries for blackberries
Many claim that blueberries can help prevent cancer and improve memory, but others disagree. Although blackberries cost around the same as blueberries, they contain more than double the amount of vitamin C than their blue buddies, so you’ll get more value for your money.

Do you have a favourite superfood? Do you even buy into the whole superfood scene?

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