There are plenty of companies out there, looking to capitalise on those among us who try to be conscious of what we put in our bodies. But eating healthy doesn’t have to necessitate a huge financial sacrifice. There are a number of cost-effective health foods that are wholesome, real foods, which can make a big difference to your health, without making a big difference in your grocery bill.
These are a list of some of our favourite cost-effective health foods that carry hefty health benefits, without the hefty price tag!
Broccoli is a cheap vegetable with an average price of $0.86 per head, and it is a veritable powerhouse of nutrients!
It’s particularly rich in Vitamin C which is great for our immune system and acts as an antioxidant. Just one cup provides 135% of your daily Vitamin C needs.
Additionally, it’s rich in Vitamin K which plays a role in blood clotting, while its chromium content aids blood sugar regulation.
Onions are a popular adjunct to most meals, they are commonly available and cost effective at around $1.90 per kilogram.
They contain Vitamin C and manganese which are part of the body’s antioxidant defences. However, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of onions can also be explained by Phytonutrients contained within them. Quercetin is one well-known example.
3) Bagged Spinach
Bagged spinach is an easy addition to most meals, costing about $3 for a 120g bag.
The green leafy vegetable is an excellent source of Vitamin K, important for blood clotting and bone health. It also contains folate, essential for protecting against neural tube defects in a developing baby.
4) Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are extremely healthy and one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy at only $5.50 per kilogram.
They provide B vitamins and are particularly high in Beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Just one cup of sweet potato provides 214% of your daily Vitamin A requirements. Vitamin A is crucial for the immune system and eye health.
Tomatoes are very nutritious and cost around $0.79 each.
The carotenoid lycopene gives tomatoes their bright red colour. Cooking increases lycopene content, providing greater antioxidant protection. Interestingly, lycopene has also been found to protect against osteoporosis in women. Tomatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C, with 1 cup providing a third of our daily requirements. It also contains biotin which is great for hair health.
If your budget is tight, at around $1.20 per kilo, carrots are a cheap and nutrient-dense vegetable to include in your meals.
Carrots are one of the richest sources of Vitamin A, with one cup providing 113% of daily Vitamin A needs. Carrots also contain fibre, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese.
7) Green Cabbage
At a cost of $6 for a whole cabbage, this vegetable is budget-friendly!
High amounts of vitamins C, K and B6, along with manganese and fibre. Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are unique because of their glucosinolate content. Glucosinolate is an antioxidant that has been studied for its ability to protect against certain types of cancer.
In season, avocados are cost effective and can be bought for around $2 each.
They are a good source of Vitamins B5 and K, fibre and fats. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat but 20 grams of that is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. The fat in avocados have been found to increase the absorption of carotenoids contained within them or other vegetables by up to six times.
Remember that it is often cheaper and fresher to get your fruit and veggies at farmers markets, instead of the grocery store. Check out some of these great farmers markets around Brisbane! Is there one near you?
- Jan Powers: multiple locations
- Davies Park Market: West End
- Saturday Fresh: Rocklea
- Carseldine Markets: Carseldine
- Northey Street Markets: Windsor
- Global Food Village: Logan
- Eagle Farm Markets: Ascot
Or if online is more your style, hit up Aussie Farmers Direct.
If you want to learn about how to put together a healthy diet for you and your family, please contact us to find out about our family nutrition counselling service, so we can come up with a solution that works for you and your lifestyle.