Affordable Summer Superfoods: Healthy Options that Don't Cost a Fortune
While trendy superfoods like matcha, gogi berries and spirulina certainly offer plenty of powerful nutrients, the downside is, for the average grocery-store-goer, they’re not exactly budget-friendly (or easy to find either).
For example, a 30-bag tin of matcha tea (the latest health food craze fitness fanatics everywhere are buzzing about) will run you about $18.00; a 16-ounce bag of dried goji berries costs anywhere from about $15 to $17; and for a pound of spirulina, a type of blue-green algae typically sold in powder form, you’ll have to cough up at least $20, but probably more like 30 or 40.
The good news, though: you don’t need any of these ridiculously-priced (and likely overrated) foods to create a vibrant, wholesome nutrient-dense diet.
Not only is it smart to buy in-season whole foods as a money-saving strategy, but by focusing on produce that’s currently being harvested, you’ll enjoy them when their flavors are bolder and more succulent than compared to any other time of year.
The following superfoods may not exactly be “buzzworthy,” but they are in season for summer (according to the USDA) and offer plenty of essential nutrients at a totally affordable cost.
From salads to smoothies, cucumbers are the perfect addition to a variety of different summer dishes and they offer a host of nutritional benefits, too. Research shows that the unique nutrients in cucumbers may play a role in reducing your risk for heart disease as well as several types of cancers. Additionally, animal research has consistently shown that extracts from cucumbers may provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Average Cost per Pound: $1.30
An excellent source of vitamins C and A, the sweet and juicy cantaloupe is an ideal summertime snack. Plus, its nutritional profile has been shown to offer a wide variety of health benefits. One recent study found that an increased intake of fruits like apples, grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon and bananas may reduce a person’s risk for developing metabolic syndrome. Additionally the cantaloupe is a good source of other important nutrients like potassium, folate and vitamins B6, B3 and B1.
Average Cost per Pound: $0.54