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9 Budget-Friendly Superfoods: Recipe Ideas & More

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05.22.15
 

Think all superfoods are super expensive? Not these nine! Read on for mega-healthy foods that won't cost you a fortune. Pssst... Click on the photos for recipe ideas!

 
 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Canned Pumpkin

Canned Pumpkin
1/2 cup: 43 calories, 0g fat, 5mg sodium, 9.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 1.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

This stuff is high in fiber, low in calories, and full of potassium and vitamins. Pumpkin also packs both alpha- and beta-carotene for major illness-fighting perks -- they protect against cancer, heart disease, and cataracts. Stock up on canned pumpkin whenever there's a sale... It’s shelf stable and stays fresh for a loooooong time.
 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Frozen Spinach

Frozen Spinach
1/2 cup: 38 calories, 0g fat, 200mg sodium, 3g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Let's hear it for the greens! Spinach is loaded with lutein, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. All that, plus it's great for your heart and has been cited for both cancer prevention and optimum eye health. The frozen kind is just as nutritious as fresh, and the cost can't be beat.

 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Plain Fat-Free Yogurt

Plain Fat-Free Yogurt
1 cup: 115 calories, 0g fat, 177mg sodium, 17g carbs, 0g fiber, 15.5g sugars, 11.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

We love Greek yogurt, but the traditional kind is a steal in more ways than one. Look for real-deal yogurt with live active cultures -- those cultures aid in absorption of minerals, and they benefit your gut health and immune system. And while Greek yogurt boasts more protein, this unstrained yogurt is higher in calcium and often less expensive... especially store-brand varieties.
 
 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Canned Beans

Canned Beans
1/2 cup, drained and rinsed, average: 110 calories, 0.5g fat, 231mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 7g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

Beans are soooo healthy. With protein and fiber, they're energizing powerhouses that stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling satiated. Factor in the folate, B vitamins, iron, and disease-fighting properties, and what have you got? SUPERFOOD. Canned beans are cheap and convenient; just rinse 'em thoroughly to get rid of excess sodium.

 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Apples

Apples 
1 medium apple: 95 calories, <0.5g fat, 2mg sodium, 25g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 19g sugars, 0.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0* 

Apples have earned their reputation for keeping the doctor away. They're not as flashy as some other superfoods, but they're full of fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols. And unlike fruits with short growing seasons, apples are abundant (thus inexpensive) year round. Keep that skin on -- loads of antioxidants found there. P.S. Fuji apples (our faves) have one of the highest flavonoid contents of any apple.
 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Old-Fashioned Oats

Old-Fashioned Oats 
1/2 cup, uncooked: 151 calories, 2.5g fat, 0mg sodium, 27g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*  

Oats are one of the most identifiably heart-healthy foods out there, noted for their ability to help lower cholesterol levels. Full of protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc, etc., they're super satisfying and low in fat. Bonus: They're cheap. You can buy them in bulk, and they last a long time in your pantry. 

 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes 
1/2 cup, average: 34 calories, 0g fat, 262mg sodium, 7g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 1g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Tomatoes are special... They've got lycopene out the wazoo (or would, if tomatoes had wazoos), which has both cancer-fighting and antioxidant properties. Plus, with alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C, they're fantastic for your skin and heart. Canned kinds are budget friendly, and there are so many varieties: crushed (sauce swap), diced (recipe ready), stewed (so good in this slow-cooker dish), and more.
 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Broccoli

Broccoli
1 cup: 31 calories, <0.5g fat, 30mg sodium, 6g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 2.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

By now, you know that fiber (like the kind in broccoli) is good for you. You know that nutrients like folate, calcium, and vitamin C will help your general health and boost your immune system. But did you know that the sulforaphane found in broccoli is particularly effective at preventing lung disease? Yup. Broccoli also contains phytochemicals with cancer-fighting properties. And much like apples, broccoli is budget friendly because it's pretty much always in season...

 

Budget-Friendly Superfood: Frozen Blueberries

Frozen Blueberries 
1 cup: 77 calories, 0.5g fat, 1mg sodium, 19g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 13.5g sugars, 0.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*&n1bsp; 

It's all about the antioxidants. Those found in the indigo berries aid in preventing cell mutation and help your body perform at top condition. Plus, although the findings aren't completely conclusive, studies have found connections between eating blueberries and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Buy the delicious blue fruit frozen (versus fresh) to save some green. Just make sure no sugar has been added...

 
 
 

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CHEW ON THIS:

Happy Don't Fry Day, a.k.a. May 22nd. While this holiday is actually all about sun-safety awareness (a very good thing; click for more info), we'll also be celebrating with some delicious baked-not-fried fries!

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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.


*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.



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