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October 16, 2014

A Broke & Busy Girl’s Guide to Superfoods.

It’s possible to practice mindful eating without breaking the bank.

I should know. When I was a student paying my way through school, my budget was tight!

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Maybe you can’t afford a grocery run at Whole Foods—and that’s okay. There are equally healthy, inexpensive alternatives at your local Farmer’s Market or chain grocery store.

The key is prioritizing the produce with the highest nutritional benefits. Fill your shopping basket with the right ingredients, and you’ll be set! This is especially important if you’re either vegan or vegetarian; it’s crucial that you get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. These superfoods take the guess work out of eating well and are so delicious that eating them can feel indulgent!

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the hardest-working superfoods on the market. A recent study conducted at Harvard links eating blueberries and strawberries to improved heart health.

However, that’s just one of the myriad benefits of eating blueberries. They can also aid in the prevention of memory loss and improve your attention span! If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia or have trouble focusing, consider adding these little suckers to your meals!

Blueberries can be thrown into cereal, eaten with yogurt, tossed into salads, and even paired with dessert. Opt for an organic version whenever possible!

Tea

I actually prefer tea over coffee for a couple of reasons. While a good cup of joe can be a great way to start the day, if you’re prone to anxiety and/or mood disorders, tea might be the better option for you.

Try and stick to a caffeine-free version if you are sensitive to the stimulant. Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong… there are tons of varieties to choose from, and tea is a fantastic antioxidant!

Plus, tea is simple to make, ubiquitous, and can be bought in bulk! Consider getting a tea strainer for added sustainability.

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Cocoa

A mood booster, cocoa actually releases endorphins, causing you to feel happy and invigorated! It’s cheaper than getting a therapist, and definitely more tasty! The next time you need a minor “pick me up,” consider adding this to your plate.

Cauliflower

If you are expecting, consider giving cauliflower a try. It’s a great option for pregnant women because cauliflower aids in proper fetal development. This is because the vegetable acts as a detoxifying agent, ridding the liver of harmful chemicals. Healthy Mama, healthy baby! Check out this great oven-roasted cauliflower recipe. It includes olive oil, garlic, and lemon! Yummy!

Kale

This leafy vegetable is definitely having a moment, and for good reason. Did you know that kale contains more iron than steak and more vitamin C than an orange? That’s insane, and great news for vegans who are trying to get essential nutrients.

The health benefits make kale an essential part of any diet. If you aren’t a fan of the taste, you can even put it in a smoothie with fruit and/or greek yogurt.

Chia Seeds

If you’re having trouble concentrating, chia seeds can provide a quick cure! They’re energy boosters and also full of calcium! In fact, one spoonful actually contains more calcium than a glass of milk (which is great for me because I’m lactose intolerant). Many people use them as thickeners in soup, meatballs, etc. They can be a bit pricey, but one bag will last you a long time, so it’s a good investment!

There you have it! My top superfood picks that are sure to keep you mentally and physically satisfied and feeling fantastic on any budget! What are your thoughts? Would you add any of these to your diet? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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Cassie Brewer

author: Cassie Brewer

Image: Flickr

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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