A commitment to healthy eating can sometimes seem too expensive. Trying to keep up with all the latest superfoods definitely gets overwhelming, and the cost of organic foods could send anyone running. With doctors on television telling us to buy this and all the women’s magazines telling us to buy that, we’d need a loaded bank account and a walk-in-closet-sized pantry to keep up on all the healthy foods we supposedly should be buying.
Although you may have heard that acai is the new it-food or that green coffee bean extract is the key to weight loss, these foods can run up a hefty price and are not all necessary for a healthy diet. Here to help you sift through all the claims, we've come up with a the following list of six healthy foods that are actually worth the extra money.
An inactive, dehydrated yeast with a yellow flaky appearance, nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including folic acid, vitamin B12, and amino acids. It is especially great for vegans or vegetarians, as it contains a good amount of protein as well as nutrients commonly found in animal meats and dairy products. It has a slightly salty flavor and can be sprinkled on foods like salad or popcorn or even used in recipes to make a dairy-free cheese.
Though hemp seeds do have a relation to the cannabis plant, they have no psychoactive effect and do not contain THC, making them perfectly legal to consume. Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. They are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, helping to improve cardiovascular health, and they are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber, helping with digestion, fighting against cancer, and regulating hormones.
Honey can be a wonderful all-natural sweetener, but like most other foods, honey is the most healthy in its raw, unprocessed form. Many typical grocery store honeys are pasteurized and processed, eliminating most of their health benefits. Raw honey not only adds sweetness to your dishes, but as an antibacterial, it helps fight against viruses as well as cancer and helps with blood pressure and cholesterol.
Though the price tag is higher, wild fish is worth the splurge. Wild fish contains double the omega-3 fatty acids than farmed fish, and they are free of antibiotics, pesticides, and artificial dyes. Studies have also shown that farmed fish are much more likely to be full of diseases and harmful bacteria than their wild counterparts.
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Most of us have heard about all the health benefits of dark chocolate, but cacao nibs take it up a notch. Cacao nibs are just small pieces of the pure cocoa bean, making them a great source of magnesium, fiber, iron, and of course, antioxidants. They are less sweet and much more crunchy than their processed chocolate counterparts, but they are great to sprinkle over oatmeal, add to smoothies, or include in baked goods.
Used in ancient diets for centuries, chia seeds are a great addition to salads, smoothies, or desserts. They are full of omega-3s, fiber, and antioxidants, and because of the way the seeds gel up when paired with liquid, they are great at keeping you hydrated and full. These little seeds are a great source of many vitamins and minerals, and they contain a good amount of protein as well.