15 Superfoods for Under $20

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

You want to eat healthy but it costs too much. Fruits, vegetables, and whole foods in general are pricey and when you’re trying to feed a family of four on the cheap, choosing nutrient dense eats without draining your wallet may seem like an impossible mission. But that’s not really the case. In fact, some of the healthiest foods in the world are cheap. I mean really cheap. Don’t believe me?

From veggies to whole grains and everywhere in between, we’ve got the best and brightest in superfoods for the taking. And what’s more, if food preparation is an issue, you’ll find easy and ridiculously delicious preparations as well.

(click through to the end or click the left arrow for a printable version)

15 Superfoods For Under $20 (And How To Prepare Them)

1. Kale
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.

Emeril’s Sauteed Kale

2. Broccoli
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.

Broccoli Stir Fry

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.)

Butternut Squash Orzo

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.

Sweet Potato Pancakes ; Sweet Potato Fries 3 Ways

5. Cabbage
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.

Braised Purple Cabbage with Goat Cheese

6. Apples
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.

Chopped Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Green Apple, and Pecorino

7. Quinoa
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.

Emeril’s Quinoa With Butternut Squash

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.

Sweet Potato Red Curry with Baby Bok Choy and Tofu and Brown Basmati Rice

9. Barley
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.)

Ayurvedic Kitchari

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.)

Easy, Cheesy Upscale Nachos For a Snack

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.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

12. Flaxseed
Omega 3 fatty acids are an ever important building block nutrient that like B12, the body cannot produce on its own. Donít worry because you can get the nutrient without fatty fish. Instead, get it from flaxseed.

Emeril’s Whole Wheat and Buckwheat Chicago Style Pizza with FlaxSeeds (Video)

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.

A Healthy Alternative: Sunflower Seed Falafels

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?

Weekday Vegetarian: Vegan Napa Cabbage and Sesame Slaw

15. Almonds

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.

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Almond Milk

Related:
12 Foods With Super-Healing Powers
7 Superfoods with the Smallest Environmental Impact
11 Ways to Save Money in the Kitchen

Next: Printable version

15 Superfoods For Under $20 (And How To Prepare Them)

1. Kale
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.

Emeril’s Sauteed Kale

2. Broccoli
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.

Broccoli Stir Fry

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.)

Butternut Squash Orzo

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.

Sweet Potato Pancakes ; Sweet Potato Fries 3 Ways

5. Cabbage
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.

Braised Purple Cabbage with Goat Cheese

6. Apples
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.

Chopped Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Green Apple, and Pecorino

7. Quinoa
At $1 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.

Emeril’s Quinoa With Butternut Squash

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.

Sweet Potato Red Curry with Baby Bok Choy and Tofu and Brown Basmati Rice

9. Barley
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.)

Ayurvedic Kitchari

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.)

Easy, Cheesy Upscale Nachos For a Snack

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.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

12. Flaxseed
Omega 3 fatty acids are an ever important building block nutrient that like B12, the body cannot produce on its own. Donít worry because you can get the nutrient without fatty fish. Instead, get it from flaxseed.

Emeril’s Whole Wheat and Buckwheat Chicago Style Pizza with FlaxSeeds (Video)

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.

A Healthy Alternative: Sunflower Seed Falafels

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?

Weekday Vegetarian: Vegan Napa Cabbage and Sesame Slaw

15. Almonds

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.

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Almond Milk

452 comments

Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

Thanks for Sharing.

Natasha Salgado
natasha salgado3 years ago

Thanks 4 this list!

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

thanks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm5zgSpdkB4

Rachael S.
Rachael S.4 years ago

There’s another superfood you should know about called the Aroniaberry (chokeberry). It is native to North America and contains one of the highest levels of antioxidants – anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins of any fruit. These powerful berries have been utilized for years because of their overall health and wellness benefits. Learn more at www.superberries.com.

Christina H.
Christina H.4 years ago

I was happy to see cabbage on this list, but let me tell you something...so many people complain that it smells when it's being made. The sulfer in cabbage is released around the 5 minute point of cooking (which is why boiled cabbage stinks to high heaven and tastes so bland!). The key is to finish cooking it before that point. I chop it into small pieces, throw some vegan butter (though regular butter is fine too) and braise it for about 3 minute on medium high heat. Then I hit it with some low sodium soy sauce and cook one to two more minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy...so tasty this way!

Isabel Gosset
Isabel G.4 years ago

MMMM good list

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M.4 years ago

Thank You for posting this list!

Carolanne Powell
C Powell4 years ago

Thankyou for this "healthy" advice. Much appreciated.

Abbey M.
Abbey McClain4 years ago

This is good info. My husband and I recently became vegans. It's been 4 weeks now and so we love it. We don't notice any major changes, but we notice we don't have 2 o'clock crashes at work. And although we are by far morning people, we both notice that after we actually get out of bed, we're alert sooner than later. Aside from the fact that we don't do New Years 'resolutions', we never saw ourselves making this life change but it's one we don't regret.

Linn G.
Linn G.4 years ago

Look up the chai seed www.chia4uk.com for more details 7x more omega 3 than a piece of salmon with lots of vitamins and amino acids 2 tablespoons a day is all thats required and theres no after taste Just goodness