Many college students are on a budget, so while spending money on other interests… healthy eating can take a backseat. Super-foods– nutrient rich foods considered to be especially good for health and well being– are great for your body and overall health, but can be difficult to have access to or afford, leaving the easy option to go without. Just remember to EMPHASIZE VARIETY!! Too much of anything isn’t good. There is debate whether a super-food is actually super, I think they are. It’s not like they have powers or something, but they taste good and make me feel great so I think that’s pretty super! Although going without super-foods doesn’t mean being unhealthy, super-foods make you feel energized and rejuvenated, which come on, who doesn’t want to feel like that? So I present my list of super-foods and their alternatives that are worth your time and money!
Berries are a great source of vitamin C, fibre and are high in antioxidants. The popular super-food berry is a goji berry, however, that is not available to everyone so any berry will do! Any berry in the purple-red category are good for you such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and red grapes. The darker the color, the healthier it will be for you.
Uses: Can be a topper for yogurt or oatmeal, made into a smoother, or eaten as is… they’re delicious!
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and is said to, but not scientifically proven, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. It also boots your metabolism to help increase weight loss! Green tea helps with skin care, has anti-bacteria agents, helps with cholesterol and regulates glucose levels to manage diabetes. Although green tea has it’s many health benefits and is inexpensive, if its energy you’re looking for, it can be substituted with coffee!
Uses: Drink it as is, hot or iced and at any time of the day… it is a great energizer!
Almonds are an excellent source of protein, containing 13 grams each and are high in vitamin E, fibre and magnesium. They are also “full of minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamin B,” according to care2.com . A serving of almonds is typically 24. Almonds are not typically expensive but if not accessible, 45 pistachios, 14 walnut halves, or 150 pine nuts will do the trick. Just making note that counting is not necessary, a palm size handful is about the same measurement.
Uses: Is great chopped and put on yogurt, in salad, as is, or if you’re feeling some sugar, in cookies too!
Greek Yogurt is high in protein and calcium, low in gluten and is a good source of probiotics. It also keeps you fuller for longer, so it’s a great snack or part of a mean to keep you going through the day! Some alternatives to greek yogurt is just yogurt, kefir or cottage cheese. There are various brands of greek yogurt, so finding an inexpensive brand is not too complicated, although will most likely be a store bought brand. However, if you were curious like I was, Doctor Oz rated the top 6 greek yogurt brands, so here they are:
- Simply Balanced
- Dannon Oikos
Uses: It can be a snack or substitute for mayo– mix it into chicken or pasta salad.
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense plants in the world, containing nutrients such as vitamin A, C, K, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium. It also has anti-cancer agents and can lower the risk of heart disease. An inexpensive alternative to kale is cabbage. Cabbage has many of the same nutritional values as kale, is high in potassium and helps reduce cholesterol.
Uses: In salad or cooked!
Dark chocolate is very nutritious, containing iron, fibre, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. It is also high in antioxidants and can protect your skin from the sun! There is no need to substitute dark chocolate with anything, for it is delicious and inexpensive!
Uses: eaten as is, baked with, or shaven and put on yogurt!
Eggs are a good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. The healthiest part of the egg is the egg white, having lower amounts of fat and cholesterol, but eating the whole egg is still beneficial to your health. Eggs also have selenium, vitamin B6, B12 and D along with minerals such as zinc, copper and iron. Considering eggs are inexpensive and easily accessible, there is no better alternative.
Uses: Scrambled, boiled, egg salad, an omelet or fried!