19 Winter Superfoods that Won't Break the Bank

Eating healthy doesn't have to lead to bankruptcy

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Superfoods are not a separate category, according to the American Heart Association. This is a marketing term used to describe foods that contain a huge amount of nutrients, few calories, little or no sugar and salt, fiber and other healthy boosters. “This is food that has beneficial qualities in the body and has tons of vitamins and minerals,” Maria Bohland, a registered dietician and founder of DietAustin.com, says. “These are foods that help fight disease.”[slideshow:82009]

Superfoods are a great source of antioxidants, which protect our body cells from damaging, thus preventing illnesses. The most famous kind of these extremely healthy foods are salmon, blueberries and avocado but they are expensive. The general rule to eat healthy and cheap is to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, Bohland says. “So no watermelons in Decembers,” she adds.  Go for artichokes, eggplant, spinach instead.

If you absolutely must have apples in February, or other kind of fruit that is not typical for the winter, you may want to consider frozen fruits. “They are a good option.” One example of a power smoothie, Bohland says, is blending spinach, your favorite berries, vanilla protein powder and a few ice-cubes. One way to save on the protein powder is to buy it from the bulk section as opposed to a whole container. “Because you may not like it and then it just sits in the cupboard and you’ve wasted your money,” she adds.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be followed by filing for bankruptcy. And it doesn’t have to be boring, either. Superfoods are mostly plant-based, true, but some are fish and dairy. The other good news is that overindulging on them doesn’t come with side effects such as guilt or extra pounds around your waistline. Superfoods may be the closest thing to a real “diet magic pill.”

1. Frozen fruits

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“Frozen” seems to be a synonym for “processed” but it shouldn’t because not all food in the frozen section is bad. The second a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to lose nutrients. So the more times passes before you eat them, the worse. When they are frozen, they don’t lose any of their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you want a fruit that is not in season, you may find it in the produce section of the store, but it’s likely that the frozen version is actually healthier.

2. Spinach

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This affordable green vegetable is so rich in Vitamin K, it’ll be challenging to find another one that has as much. Just half a cup provides more than five times your daily dose of this needed nutrient. That’s good news for your bones, as it helps build them strong, and for your heart, as Vitamin K helps blood clot.

3. Eggs

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Just one egg has 6 grams of protein but just about 70 calories. An ideal breakfast menu includes protein and carbs because they help the production of serotonin (the body’s “happy” chemical), according to Bohland. Addition bonus: Studies have found that eating eggs in the morning helps people lose weight.

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