5 Cheap, Ordinary Foods You Didn’t Know Were Really Good For You
Dislike kale? Don’t want to spend loads on all-organic? These nutrient all-stars fit any palate and budget. You can eat cheap, healthy foods – and score big benefits.
Good: Conventional. They’re a filling, protein-packed source of muscle-building amino acids, brain-boosting choline and vitamin D for healthy bones.
Better: Pasture-raised. The hens that laid these orbs got to peck around on grass and insects in an open pasture, which may double the amount of heart- healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E compared with conventional eggs.
Best: Pasture-raised and organic. You score the nutritional perks of free-roaming chickens that have dined on organic feed that’s free of synthetic pesticides and herbicides, some of which have been linked to cancer and nervous-system damage.
Good: “Select” or “Choice”. These cuts are leaner than “prime” ones, but still pack plenty of juiciness and flavour.
Better: Organic. This meat comes from cattle that grazed on pesticide-free grass or organic grain and haven’t been given antibiotics, which may lead to drug-resistant infections in humans.
Best: Organic, grass-fed. You’ll get less fat and more omega-3s, antioxidants and conjugated linoleic acid – a type of fat associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, cancer and high cholesterol.
Good: Whole grain. These loaves use all three layers of a grain: the fibre-packed outer bran layer, the vitamin- and mineral-rich inner germ and the starchy endosperm.
Better: 100 percent wholewheat or 100 percent whole grain. Zero processed flour means more protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as the fibre that helps fend off heart disease and keep you slim.
Best: Sprouted-grain bread. The sprouting process breaks down enzyme inhibitors (blockers in grains that make their vitamins harder to digest), so nutrients are more easily absorbed. Look for a brand with at least three grams of fibre per slice and no sugar.
Good: White. All white rice starts out as brown, which means the milling process strips the husk, bran and germ. So, you’ll get a lot less fibre out of the dish, but it’s still got iron and protein.
Better: Brown. You’ll get a hefty dose of fibre – about 3g per 100g – with energy-giving magnesium and immune-boosting zinc.
Best: Wild. Wild rice is actually a different species from ordinary rice. Naturally, it’s a whole different nutrient profile: high in folate, zinc, manganese, iron and protein – making it more nutrient dense and lower in carbs than brown rice.
Good: Yellow-tail. This catch is low in mercury and contains 23 grams of satiating protein.
Better: Sardines. Rich in protein and omega-3s, a serving has more than a day’s dose of B12 and a third of your daily calcium goal.
Best: Atlantic salmon. What you get: a hefty does of omega-3s and 19 grams of protein in every 100g serving. All for just 836 kilojoules.