5 Foods Cheaper and Almost as Nutritious as Superfoods

Chia seeds, goji berries, acai, camu-camu, spirulina, kale cabbage, ginseng; thanks to their nutritional benefits, "super foods" are the super allies of our health! However, as they are often from the other side of the globe, hard to find, and at a high price, these superfoods also have some disadvantages. Here's how to take advantage of some of their benefits at a lower cost.

Real nutritional bombs, these superfoods are full of beneficial properties for our health. Magical and exotic, they invade the stalls of our stores at sometimes undemocratic prices. Even if today we manage to cultivate cabbage kale, spirulina, goji berries and even quinoa in the US, it is possible to replace them with foods that are almost as nutritional. Here are 10 foods that could claim to be (almost) super foods, and what you can eat instead to get the same health benefits:

1. The goji berry

Originating in Asia, these small berries are known for their antioxidant power, their high vitamin C content and a certain contribution of minerals. The goji berry is used in traditional Chinese medicine for its protective effect on the liver, kidneys, and vision. Rich in vitamin C, goji berries are known to increase energy and stimulate the immune system.

They can be replaced by:

  • Dark berries just as rich in antioxidants: blackcurrants, blueberries, berries, etc.
  • Colorful foods rich in vitamin C such as kiwi, blackcurrant, parsley, pepper.

2. The chia seeds

A true nutritional bomb, this small chia seed, native to Central America, is highly appreciated for its mineral content (calcium, magnesium, manganese), fiber, omega-3 and protein. Ground, sprinkled or soaked in water, they make superb chia puddings, for light and gourmet desserts. Like flax seed, it has the advantage of being able to substitute eggs in recipes.

It can be replaced by:

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  • Oilseeds (nuts, almonds), less expensive seeds (flax, squash, sesame) and vegetable oils (olive, rapeseed) to fill up with omega-3.
  • For vegetable proteins, we turn to soy, beans (red, azuki), lentils (green, blond, coral) or oat bran.
  • For fiber, simply eat vegetables (artichoke, peas) and legumes (chickpea, lentils).

3. The cabbage kale

Originally from the Mediterranean and appreciated for its great resistance to cold and disease, kale was one of the most widely grown leafy vegetables in Europe until the end of the Middle Ages. It was then forgotten, but became one of the most popular health foods in the United States. Appreciated for its nutritional advantages (low in calories, rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and K, in minerals), kale has once again crossed the Atlantic to reappear in our fields. Originally cheap, cabbage kale now appears at prices not always accessible to everyone in our supermarkets.

It can be replaced by:

  • Any cabbage for its antioxidant content: white cabbage, green cabbage, or red cabbage. Their composition is similar, as they are rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.
  • Dark green vegetables for their vitamin K content: spinach, broccoli, cabbages, green beans, leeks.

4. Acai

In the list of star foods, the latest arrivals are acai berries. They have been a large part of the diets of Amazonian people for centuries, and the acai has become very popular in Brazil. It tends to be known in the rest of the world thanks to its many virtues that give it the title of superfood. They are low in calories, and high in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. In the form of frozen powder or pulp, Acai makes our smoothies, breakfast and healthy desserts delicious.

It can be replaced by:

  • Its sister, the cranberry. This is one of the richest fruit antioxidants that is not grown only in North America but in Europe.

5. Spirulina

You have probably heard about the benefits of spirulina. This seaweed, which has existed for billions of years, takes its name from its spiral form but is usually in the form of a blue-green powder in the supermarket. Low in calories, spirulina is an exceptional source of nutrients and contains 55% to 70% digestible and easily assimilated proteins. It is also rich in antioxidants and is an excellent source of iron. Today we have started to produce it in the US, but unfortunately it can still dent our wallets.

It can be replaced by:

  • Spices (cumin, curry), some herbs (thyme), seeds (squash, sesame) and legumes (red beans, lentils) for its iron contributions.
  • In terms of digestable proteins, we turn to soy, beans (red, azuki), lentils (green, blond, coral) or oat bran.
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