• Amarildo Prendi

Think healthy foods are too expensive? Check out these cheap superfood




Swap salmon for mackerel Salmon is great for a quick, easy dinner, but give mackerel a try. It’s great in salads, especially now the weather is getting warmer. Both salmon and mackerel are a good source of Omega-3s, but the latter is less than half the price and is more environmentally friendly. ‘Canned mackerel can be added to salads, stir-fries, pasta dishes or even as a light lunch on oatcakes or in a wrap,’ says Jenna. If you have more time, she suggests adding it to fish pies, or making fish cakes or fish burgers. Swap wheatgrass for rocket As good as wheatgrass is for you, it’s definitely an acquired taste and you don’t get much for your money. Try peppery rocket instead. Both leafy greens are rich in: Chlorophyll (good for liver detox and weight loss) Amino acids (for energy, cell function and tissue repair) Beta-carotenes (for eye health) Vitamins C, E, B and K (healthy skin and immune function) One cereal bowl of rocket actually counts towards your five-a-day and is relatively easy to grow, even if you have limited space. ‘Rocket is a fabulous, peppery green salad leaf that’s ideal to add to any salad, put on top of any pizza or add to your stir-fry to add nutrients and flavour,’ says Monica. Swap pomegranate for beetroot Pomegranate may be a pretty jewel to snack on, but it’s more than three times as expensive as beetroot, which is also rich in: Antioxidants, which protect your body’s cells from free radicals that contribute to cancer and heart disease Fibre, which prevents constipation and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer Folate, which is needed for red blood cell formation and prevention of birth defects Vitamin K for healthy hair Three small beetroot count as one portion for your five-a-day. ‘Beetroot works really well with cheese in salads and can be added to juices, brownies and soups,’ says Jenna. ‘If you blend it with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, olive oil and garlic, it makes a delicious hummus.’ Swap pak choi for broccoli Broccoli is one of the best superfoods and also one of the very cheapest – a large 900g bag of frozen broccoli only costs 53p, more than eight times cheaper than its cousin, pak choi. Broccoli has powerful anti-carcinogenic compounds and is also high in: Potassium (regulates nervous system and reduce blood pressure) Magnesium (regulates blood sugar and prevents depression) Zinc (boosts your immune system) Niacin (reduces high cholesterol) An 80g portion counts as one of your five-a-day. Instead of over-steaming broccoli, Jenna recommends roasting or char-grilling it with garlic and chilli, or blending it into dips and stir-fries. Swap sugar snaps for green peas The humble green pea is literally one of the cheapest and nutrient-dense frozen vegetables you can buy. Its laundry list of health benefits include: The Vitamin B family (good for energy and brain function) Phosphorus (formation of bones and teeth, and cell repair) Molybdenum (helps prevent toxins from building up in your body) Saponins (improve metabolism and prevents tumour growth) An 80g portion also counts as one of your five-a-day into the bargain! Swap kale for white cabbage Kale is all the rage right now and is also a great healthy snack, especially when lightly roasted. But did you know that its cousin, good old white cabbage, is just as healthy and much easier on the wallet – it’s five times cheaper! It’s rich in Vitamins C and K and helps improve digestions and reduces inflammation. ‘White cabbage makes a really good ingredient for a coleslaw,’ says Monica. ‘No need to cook, just simply wash and thinly slice or grate, along with some carrot, onion and mayonnaise, and you have a delicious healthy side dish.’ Swap adzuki beans for lentils Both members of the legume family, but lentils are at least 25% cheaper. Lentils are low in fat and high in fibre and protein. A diet rich in them has been shown to prevent or slow the progression of cancer, Parkinson’s and other degenerative diseases. Lentils might not strike you as the most exciting ingredient, but they are incredibly versatile in a variety of dishes like salads and are a great substitute for meat in dishes like chilli, burgers and spaghetti bolognese. Swap pumpkin seeds for flax seeds Flax seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and less than half the cost of more fashionable pumpkin seeds. Flax is high in fibre, Omega-3 (great if you’re a vegetarian or vegan), and lignan, which helps protect your heart by lowering your cholesterol. Your body can’t easily digest whole flax seeds, so grind them up with a pestle and mortar or in your coffee grinder. Flax is great chucked into a smoothie, in porridge or even in a pie or pizza crust. Swap blueberries for red grapes It’s a little-known fact that red grapes contain the same amount of antioxidants as blueberries and you can get four times as many for your money. Fourteen grapes counts as one portion of your five-a-day. ‘Red grapes are a delicious, affordable way to have some of those important antioxidants in your day,’ says Monica. ‘They boost your body’s immune system. An easy way to include them in your diet is to slice them onto a salad, into your yogurt or simply have a handful in a cup!’ Swap jerusalem artichoke for sweet potato Sweet potatoes are an incredibly versatile root vegetable, high in fibre, and a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, selenium, and Vitamins B and C, which are good for brain function, bone health and collagen production. Their low GI will help keep your blood sugar stable, unlike normal white potatoes. An 80g serving (or one medium sweet potato) counts towards one of your five-a-day. ‘Try thinly slicing it lengthways. Put it in the toaster and add your favourite topping,’ says Jenna. ‘It’s also a great substitute on top of shepherd’s pie, fish pie, in frittatas and even grated into porridge or instead of potato salad.



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