Ten Healthiest Foods Under $1

Posted on Oct 7, 2011 in Health & Wellness

Below are ten excellent, nutrient-packed food choices that you can still find for around $1 per serving.

 1. Two Cage Free Organic Eggs: $0.84  To find free-range pasture farmers, ask your local health food store or refer to www.eatwild.com or www.localharvest.com.

2. Raw Organic Milk, 8 oz: $0.62  Raw milk is neither unappealing nor dangerous and is far better for you than pasteurized milk. To find a site near you, go to the Real Milk website. Not only does it give you links to raw milk farmers but also provides excellent information on the nutritional benefits of raw milk.

3. Raw Nuts and Seeds:

Sunflower seeds, raw, 1 oz. = $0.82

Mixed raw nuts, 1/2 oz. = $1.00

 Nuts are a good substitute protein for meat, for those of you preferring a vegetarian diet, as long as they aren’t eaten in excess. The reason for moderation is that, except for walnuts, almost all nuts are top heavy in omega-6 fats and can upset the omega 6/omega 3 ratio. The average American has an omega 6:3 ratio of 15:1. It should be 1:1. Therefore, any amount of omega-6 fat is not a good thing for most Americans.

 You need to be cautious with the quantity of nuts you eat, especially if you have high levels of insulin. Nuts are not your best choice if you suffer from high blood pressure, excess weight, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

4. Berries: 1 cup fresh organic blueberries = $0.95

Berries are among the best fruits on the planet. Not only do they taste great, they are densely packed with a variety of potent phytochemicals that can do wonders to normalize and improve your health. They are high in fiber and low in sugar, so they won’t cause drastic insulin swings if eaten in moderation.

 The best way to eat berries is in their raw, natural state, since heating and freezing can damage some of the antioxidants.

Blueberries are one of the most powerful antioxidant-rich foods on the planet.  Blueberries offer many health benefits, including protection against urinary tract infections, cancer, age-related health conditions and brain damage from strokes. The European blueberry, or bilberry, is known to prevent and even reverse macular degeneration.

Cranberries are also loaded with antioxidants and are famous for treating and preventing urinary tract infections. In addition, they offer protection against cancer, stroke and heart disease. Cranberries are rich in polyphenols, which might inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells and reduce the risk of gum disease and stomach ulcers.

 The best way to eat cranberries is to eat them raw and whole. Commercially prepared cranberry juice is loaded with sugar, which undoes any health benefits of the fruit. Whole, fresh cranberries are especially good when added to vegetable juice.

 Strawberries came in second to blueberries in the USDA’s analysis of antioxidant capacity of 40 common fruits and vegetables. They are rich in fiber, manganese, folic acid, potassium, and contain more vitamin C than any other berry. Among strawberries’ antioxidants are anthocyanins and ellagic acid, a phytochemical that has been shown to fight carcinogens.

Raspberries are another one of nature’s little health-packages. They are rich in anthocyanins and cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as ellagic, coumaric and ferulic acid. They contain calcium, vitamins A, C, E, fiber and folic acid. Raspberries are thought to offer protection against esophageal and other cancers.

As with all fruits, berries should be eaten in moderation and should be washed well before eating. Keep in mind that too many at one time can spike your insulin level.

5. Watermelon: One-pound slice = $0.59 

Like berries, watermelon is loaded with phytochemicals, including lycopene, beta-carotene, and citrulline. When citrulline is consumed, it is converted to arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that has beneficial effects on the heart and circulatory system, as well as the immune system. Arginine also helps the urea cycle by removing ammonia and other toxic compounds from your body. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, leading to another beneficial side benefit of watermelon … a Viagra-like effect without the hazards of a toxic drug!

6. Coconut Milk: 7 ounces = $0.98   The oil in coconut is one of the best oils for your body because of its medium chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT’s). MCT’s have many health benefits, including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.  People have actually lost weight by incorporating coconut into their diets. This is because the MCTs promote thermogenesis, increasing your body’s metabolism, producing energy. Coconut has also been found to be helpful to thyroid function, as well as digestion.

7. Spinach: 5 oz. fresh organic spinach = $0.95   Spinach is high in antioxidants and has a very high ORAC score. ORAC is Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, which is a measurement of a food’s ability to destroy the free radicals that cause your body damage. Some research has shown that it might be the “brain food” needed to help avoid memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Spinach is also rich in folic acid, which can help lower blood pressure. In addition, it is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which can lower the risk for age-related macular degeneration.

8. Garlic: 2 cloves = $0.05  Garlic boosts your body’s natural abilities to protect you from hypertension and osteoporosis, and research is mounting that it decreases your risk for various forms of cancer. It is a potent antimicrobial as well, working as a natural antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic agent.  Garlic’s main active ingredient is allicin, but this agent vanishes about an hour after you cut into it. This is why you must eat garlic fresh!You can’t swallow cloves whole — they must be crushed first. Taking a garlic pill is a waste of time. You can add 1-2 cloves to your vegetable juice to cut down on the pungent taste. The chlorophyll in the juice also tends to cut down on the potentially offensive garlic odor.

9. Wild Rice: One serving = $0.99 Contrary to its name, wild rice is not a rice at all but a grass. Wild rice is really the annual aquatic seed Zizania aquatica, mostly found in the upper freshwater lakes of Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  It is higher in protein, fiber, minerals, B vitamins, folic acid, and complex carbohydrates. It is particularly rich in niacin, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. If you are going to choose a grain, you just can’t do better than this.

10. Krill Oil: Two capsules = $0.84  Antarctic krill oil is a pure marine oil loaded with powerful antioxidants and essential omega-3 oils, with NO heavy metal contamination. Krill are small shrimp or prawn-like creatures that feed the world’s most mammoth animals—the great whales.

SOURCES:

Science Blog, Watermelon may have Viagra-effect, (Accessed July 28, 2008)

Bloomberg.com, July 23, 2008, John F. Wasik, Forget the ethanol myth—Avoid biofuel bubble, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/03/biofuels.renewableenergy (Accessed July 28, 2008)

The Guardian July 4, 2008, Aditya Chakrabortty, Special report: Biofuel caused food crisis: Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/03/biofuels.renewableenergy (Accessed July 28, 2008)

USDA Economic Research Service: Briefing Rooms, Food CPI, prices, and expenditures, http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/CPIFoodAndExpenditures/ (Accessed July 28, 2008)