By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
It’s a common misconception that eating healthy equals spending lots of money and only people who can afford expensive food can manage good health. This is not true at all!
In fact, it’s easy and inexpensive to consume well-balanced and antioxidant-rich snacks and meals with the right choices.
Many speciality and trendy superfoods can be expensive and not necessarily provide all the health benefits that are touted. Pricey foods can add up quickly and consumed all too easily.
Here is a list of anti-inflammatory foods that won’t break the bank:
Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, potassium and fiber. They are great for a healthy skin complexion, heart and brain health and contain a myriad of anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocadoes eaten daily will provide plenty of bang for their buck.
Recipes: Cajun Sweet Potato and Avocado Salad, Avocado Chips Are a Delicious Starter or Snack, Protein-Rich Avocado Chia Smoothie
Blueberries are always touted as a superfood fruit and its true, they are loaded with antioxidants and health benefits. One serving can cost a few dollars but they are worth the spend, and you can purchase them frozen where the price drops.
Blueberries are rich in the antioxidants pterostilbene and resveratrol and they also contain vitamins K and C, manganese, copper and fiber. This wonderful anti-inflammatory food is easy to add to your day.
Recipes: An Energizing Juice That Gives You Wings, Blueberry Cashew Quinoa Salad, Blueberry, Hemp & Cucumber
Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, K and C, and is high in folate, potassium and fiber and its rich in a natural compound sulforaphane, a compound which supports the body’s natural detoxification processes via the liver and digestive system.
Recipes: Chopped Broccoli Salad with Roasted Garlic Aioli, 30-Minute Oven Roasted Cheezy Broccoli, Oh Sweet Broccoli Juice!
4) Cacao Powder
Listed for its healing benefits the world over, this little powerhouse bean is high in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and scores very high on the international ORAC scale. This doesn’t include your average sugar-and-dairy laden chocolate bar, this is the 100% pure powder that is used to make smart desserts, smoothies and other more natural snacks. While a bag might seem pricey, remember that you can add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder at a time to homemade smoothies and desserts, which certainly doesn’t break the bank.
Here are some great chocolate snacks and smoothies to enjoy: Chocolate Almond Smoothie Bowl, Vegan Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Very Berry Chocolate Smoothie
It’s easy to add to any savory meal including soups, sauces and dressings, in juices (if you’re brave) or sliced into stir-fries and other plant-based meals. Garlic is a natural antiseptic and immune booster and can be used for respiratory infections and gastrointestinal infections. It has a host of cardiac protective benefits and is a natural blood thinner. One clove a day keeps the doctor away.
Recipes: Beet & Red Cabbage Slaw with Garlic Aioli, Roasted Garlic Cauliflower & Potato Mash, 4 Easy Steps to Roasting Garlic
Green spinach is high in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamins such as B vitamins, folate, vitamins K, A and C. This green is easy to add to smoothies, frittatas, in soups, stews and stir-fries. It is great juiced with other produce for its chlorophyll-rich leaves. Spinach possess strong anti-inflammatory benefits.
Recipes: Super Easy Cauliflower & Spinach Soup, Warm Spiced Lentil & Spinach Pita Pockets, Guilt-free Creamless “Creamed” Spinach
Turmeric contains a major active component called curcumin, this compound possess major anti-inflammatory health benefits, including up-regulating liver detoxification pathways, cancer prevention, Alzheimer’s disease reduction, fighting infections, improving arthritic conditions and other inflammatory conditions including depression. This spice is easily added to meals, smoothies and even juices for its potent health benefits and is very inexpensive and you only need ½-1 teaspoon per day to provide amazing health benefits.
Recipes: Fruity Turmeric Tonic Juice, Cantaloupe Orange Turmeric Granita, Sweet Pear Turmeric Juice
Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3s and other health super-unsaturated fatty acids. Just ¼ cup provides the suggested amount of omega-3 fatty acids for your day. These nuts offer anti-cancer benefits along with cardiovascular health benefits and have antioxidant benefits to protect against cellular aging.
Recipes: Chia Apple Walnut Strawberry Oats, A (Gorgeous) Simple Salad with Healthy Fats, Walnut Pesto Chard Wraps
A few other inexpensive anti-inflammatory foods include grapes, olive oil, cinnamon, oregano, green tea, brazil nuts, pecans, oregano, legumes, apples and oranges.