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Superfoods that Ring in for 99 Cents or Less

health flavonoid food chemistry beta carotene polyphenols

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#1 Hum

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:18

1. Lentils

Cost Per Serving (1 cup): 15¢
Why lentils are so good for you: Like beans, lentils are high in fiber and protein (8 grams and 9 grams per half cup, respectively), which makes them great for your heart. They have the edge over beans, though, when it comes to preparation. Lentils cook up in only 15 to 30 minutes and don't need to be presoaked.


2. Oats

Cost Per Serving (1/3 cup, uncooked): 10¢
Why oats are so good for you: Oats are a great way to get soluble fiber in your diet (they deliver 3 grams per serving). Research suggests that increasing your intake of soluble fiber by 5 to 10 grams each day could result in a 5 percent drop in "bad" LDL cholesterol. Plus, the quick-cooking oats are just as healthy as steel-cut--just steer clear of oatmeal packets that are loaded with added sugars.

3. Kale

Cost Per Serving (1 cup): 60¢
Why kale is so good for you: Kale is an undisputed superfood. A single serving (1 cup cooked) has 10 times the daily value of bone-healthy vitamin K. It also has 3 times the daily value of vitamin A and is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which all help your vision. Plus, it's pretty darn tasty.


4. Almonds

Cost Per Serving (1 oz.): 63¢
Why almonds are so good for you: A 1-ounce serving (23 nuts, 162 calories) has 37 percent of your daily value for vitamin E--a nutrient many Americans fall short on. Almonds also deliver some calcium, fiber and folate. Not only that, a serving of almonds has as many flavonoids as a cup of green tea, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

5. Tea

Cost Per Serving (1 tea bag): 10¢
Why tea is so good for you: While we're on the subject of tea, there's no doubt it's a super-healthy, budget-friendly addition to your diet. Tea, especially green tea, has lots of health boons. Both green and black tea are loaded with antioxidants, which may boost your immune system and promote heart health. In fact, scientists have found that those who drink 12 ounces or more of tea a day were about half as likely to have a heart attack as non-tea drinkers.

6. Oranges

Cost Per Serving (1 orange): 34¢
Why oranges are so good for you: You can get your entire day's worth of vitamin C in a single orange. Plus, oranges deliver fiber (3 grams in one orange) and water to keep you full for only 70 calories. Not only that, the orange color means it delivers vision-boosting beta carotene.


7. Tuna

Cost Per Serving (3 oz.): 48-77¢
Why tuna is so good for you: Sure, salmon gets a glowing (and well-deserved) rep for being a megasource of omega-3s. But did you know that lowly canned tuna also delivers omega-3s? Plus, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend cutting back on meat--eating tuna up to twice a week is one way to do that. Look for chunk light tuna, which comes from smaller tuna fish and is lower in mercury :huh: than white albacore tuna.

8. Peanut Butter

Cost Per Serving (2 tbsp.): 21¢
Why peanut butter is so good for you: Don't knock peanut butter. Not only is it delicious and versatile, it delivers many of the same benefits as more expensive tree nuts, such as improving cholesterol and lowering risk of heart disease. Peanut butter delivers heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E and zinc. Look for natural peanut butter (a brand that has just peanuts--and salt, if you insist--as the ingredients) to avoid partially hydrogenated oils and sugar.

9. Apples

Cost Per Serving (1 apple): 28¢
Why apples are so good for you: Apples don't have megadoses of any one vitamin or mineral to boast about (although they have some vitamin C), but several research studies suggest that apples have tangible benefits for your heart. The latest one, out of Florida State University, showed that people who ate the equivalent of 2 apples daily for a year improved these markers. Researchers think it's a combination of the pectin (a type of fiber) and polyphenols that makes apples so good for you.

10. Eggs

Cost Per Serving (1 egg): 17¢
Why eggs are so good for you: For such a small and inexpensive food, eggs pack in a lot of nutrition. The whites are brimming with protein (4 grams per egg), while the yolks deliver some vitamin D plus lutein and zeaxanthin, which lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration--a disease that affects one in eight Americans with vision loss and sometimes blindness. All that for 80 calories. (There's a reason they're touted as the "incredible, edible egg".)

11. Carrots

Cost Per Serving (1 cup): 32¢
Why carrots are so good for you: Sweet potatoes get a lot of love for being a superfood, but so should the carrot. After all, they're both orange, which means they both deliver beta carotene (a type of vitamin A). A cup of carrots actually delivers 4 times the DV of vitamin A, which helps build bone and contributes to immune function.

12. Cabbage

Cost per serving (1 cup): 27¢
Why cabbage is so good for you: Like kale, cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and diets rich in cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower rates of cancer. It's also is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and delivers fiber and detoxifying sulfur compounds. Red cabbage also boasts anthocyanins, an antioxidant thought to keep your heart healthy and brain sharp. Plus it's very low in calories (22 per cup)

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#2 Growled

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:27

I like and eat every one of those items mentioned. Does that mean I am super healthy?

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:54

^ You'll be better off than drinking that diet soda. :p


Smoking, air pollution, stress, bad beliefs are all going to figure in the mix.

#4 +devHead

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:10

My wife makes an awesome lentil stew. I love lentils! I love all the things on the list, only I can't eat almonds because I'm allergic to them. Cabbage also, I grew to really love when I lived in Bulgaria. I still use it here in every salad I make.

#5 DocM

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:11

Every single one is in our kitchen & pantry, and they get used A LOT.

12 oz of tea? I probably drink 5 times that much iced tea a day. Love it.

#6 XerXis

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:16

Tuna is also overfished and getting dangerously low in numbers. I don't eat that anymore.

#7 HawkMan

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:43

Every single one is in our kitchen & pantry, and they get used A LOT.

12 oz of tea? I probably drink 5 times that much iced tea a day. Love it.


problem is tea gets bad for you when you drink to much.

#8 +-T-

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:49

Who the hell said Kale is super tasty, it tastes awful. I eat it but I don't enjoy it

#9 DocM

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:13

problem is tea gets bad for you when you drink to much.


Too much green tea can cause liver or kidney damage, but I only drink 2 cups of that a day. The rest is black iced tea, and it's antioxident level is only a problem if you're anemic and I'm not. Caffeine level is low in either vs pop or coffee, and my BP is unaffected so....

#10 OP Hum

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 16:40

Tuna is also overfished and getting dangerously low in numbers. I don't eat that anymore.


Anyone notice that tuna is 'low' in mercury ??? :s Any mercury is bad.

Who the hell said Kale is super tasty, it tastes awful. I eat it but I don't enjoy it


I kind of guessed this. Why I never eat any kale ...

#11 HawkMan

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 17:23

Anyone notice that tuna is 'low' in mercury ??? :s Any mercury is bad.


Mercury isn't mercury, and then you pretty much can't eat fish at all if you believe that. meanwhile people eat fish with both low and "high" amount of mercury daily and live very long and healthy lives.

#12 HawkMan

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 17:37

Tuna is also overfished and getting dangerously low in numbers. I don't eat that anymore.


I believe that only applies to one type of rare tuna, the blue fin or whatever.

#13 DocM

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 17:44

Who the hell said Kale is super tasty, it tastes awful. I eat it but I don't enjoy it


Kale (a headless cabbage) tastes best, and is sweeter, once it's exposed to a frost or frozen then thawed. Cut and dehydrated it makes a decent alternative to potato chips.

#14 +-T-

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 22:01

That's interesting, I shall try that, thanks DocM

#15 DocM

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 23:44

No prob. My family is largely Swedish and curly kale is used in a lot of our traditional dishes, especially with ham or in ham based soups. US country cooks often sautee kale & other greens (collard etc.) in a bit of ham or bacon fat before adding water & covering to braise them.