Happy World Vegan Day!
To celebrate, we’re kicking off a six-part, plant-based-on-a-budget series to save you serious cash. Because we’ve all got bills to pay, holiday shopping is coming up, and let’s face it: Saving money feels really good.
New series: Slashing your budget with plant-based food
Here’s what’s in store this week:
- 10 superfoods that cost less than the change under your sofa cushions. (This post)
- Delicious, easy daily recipes that each cost less than a cup of coffee. (Posts 2-5)
- A full day of easy vegan meals for less than $4! (Post 6, with an appearance on Good Morning Washington.)
Ready to save some money? Let’s do this!
Superfoods can be super cheap
Whenever I tell someone I eat plant based, the first questions they ask is “Where do you get your protein?!” (Amirite?) However, the second question is “But isn’t that expensive?”
Thankfully, no! Many whole vegan staples are superfoods in their own right, and they’re shockingly cheap. Here are 10 affordable superfoods to add to your grocery list this week.
10 Vegan superfoods under $0.32 per serving
Note: Prices are from Aldi, March 2017 or October 2017.
Beans: $0.06 per serving
Superfood power: Beans can lower blood sugar, decrease hunger, and decrease inflammation the day after you eat them.1 This likely happens because they feed good gut bacteria, which benefits your body as a whole. Cooked dried beans—think pinto beans, black beans, or great northern beans—are also fantastic sources or protein and fiber. (1 serving = ½ cup cooked beans)
Oatmeal: $0.08 per serving
Superfood power: Oatmeal is contains soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber, or “roughage,” helps keep you regular. 💩 (Oh yes she did!) The soluble fiber, on the other hand, soaks up excess cholesterol made by your body like a sponge and whisks it out of the body. (1 serving = ½ cup uncooked rolled oats)
Peanut butter: $0.11/serving
Superfood power: Peanut butter is rich in brain-protective vitamin E. It also packs 8 grams of plant-based protein in just 2 tablespoons. Be sure to enjoy this superfood in moderation, though, since it’s high in calories. (1 serving = 2 tablespoons)
Flax seed: $0.12 per serving
Superfood power: Flax seed is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Just 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed have more than 100% of the daily value of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats! Moreover, flax contains antioxidant substances called lignans may help protect against breast cancer.2 Just be sure to buy flax seed ground so that your body can absorb all the goodness. Keep ground flax seed in the freezer to preserve the full health benefits and flavor. (1 serving = 2 tablespoons)
Cabbage: $0.13 per serving
Superfood power: Cabbage contains cancer-fighting sinigrin. This cancer fighting substance is also anti-inflammatory and may have antifungal effects, too.3 Moreover, cabbage feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Just one more reason to eat this deliciously inexpensive veggie. (1 serving = 3 ounces, shredded)
Carrots: $0.14 per serving
Superfood power: Carrots are loaded with carotenoids, bright-orange phytochemicals that are linked to a lower risk of breast cancer.4 They support healthy vision, too! (1 serving = 2 medium carrots)
Bananas: $0.16 per banana
Superfood power: Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, which helps your body make feel-good serotonin.5 So while a banana may not be the answer to all of life’s troubles, when you’re feeling blue and craving sweets, try a banana and see how you feel. (1 serving = 1 medium banana)
Sweet potatoes: $0.21 per sweet potato
Superfood power: With more than 200% of the daily value of vitamin A in just 1 cup cooked, sweet potatoes are immune-boosters, which means a lower risk of catching a cold or flu!6 Not to mention they’re the ultimate comfort food—creamy and sweet all by themselves or sprinkled with cinnamon and chopped pecans. (Price per 5-inch sweet potato)
Frozen spinach: $0.30 per serving
Superfood power: Half a cup of cooked spinach has only 32 calories, but 642% of the daily value of vitamin K for strong bones and healthy blood. Spinach is also rich in iron (great for premenopausal women), muscle-soothing magnesium, and mood-boosting folate. While fresh baby spinach is expensive, frozen spinach has nearly all the health benefits at a fraction of the cost. (1 serving = ½ c cooked spinach)
Apples: $0.31 per apple
Superfood power: Early research suggests apples may be a do-it-yourself probiotic. Do you like to DIY? Grab an apple! That’s right: eating apples may help breed health-promoting bacteria right in your gut! Specifically, apples seem to increase numbers of beneficial Bifido bacteria, along with other bacteria that crank out health-promoting substances.7 So you won’t just save on the apples themselves—you can save on probiotics, too! (Price per medium/5-ounce apple)Click here for references.
- Nutrient information from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference directly or via NutritionData.Self.com. Flaxseed omega-3 content from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81.
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Did I miss one of your favorite vegan superfoods? Let us know in the comments below!