As a cash-strapped university student, eating a nutritious diet that’s not going to make your wallet implode can be a daunting task.
Often super-foods are associated with high price-tags and are perceived as unattainable without heading down to the organic grocers and forking out half of your weekly pay-check for a handful of goji berries.
Bit this doesn’t have to be the case, super-foods can be found in most aisles at your local supermarket and don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
The best thing about super-foods when you are tight on cash is that they pack a whopping nutrient punch, meaning just one product can provide you with the majority of your daily nutritional needs. When it comes to checkout time, paying for one item versus 10 can save you a lot of money and hassle.
With that being said, scroll down to see my list of the top five superfoods that won’t break the bank.
Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt and is packed with probiotics essential for stomach health and immunity. It also contains potassium, calcium and iodine which are all crucial to our dietary health.
Greek yogurt is full of vitamin B12, which is vital for our brains and gives us energy in our day-to-day lives. Many vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12 because it is predominantly found in meat products, making Greek yogurt an excellent alternative source of B12.
Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt making it more filling, which means it keeps you satisfied for longer, and is also an incredibly versatile food that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Have it for breakfast sweetened with honey or use it as a substitute for sour cream on top of a baked potato or in a wrap.
A 1 kg tub of Coles Brand Greek yogurt will set you back $3.90 and will get you 10 servings.
Believe it or not, beans are a power-house of nutrition and conveniently are also super cheap. Beans are virtually fat-free and contain zero cholesterol and are extremely good for our heart health, containing a tonne of soluble fiber which can lower already high cholesterol levels.
Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, providing the same amount of protein per half a cup as 28 grams of chicken or fish. They are also digested slowly which can help balance blood-sugar levels.
One of the greatest benefits of beans are their ability to reduce your risk of getting cancer by lowering the risk of chronic diseases when consumed on a regular basis.
Beans can be used as a substitute for meat in savory dishes, put into salads and eaten on toast for breakfast.
A can of Coles brand Baked Beans will cost you 90 cents, while a can of plain Coles brand four bean mix comes in at 75 cents. Each can will provide roughly two servings.
Kale beats all other fruits and vegetables in nutritional value, providing an impressive amount of antioxidants.
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet containing vitamins A, K, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6 as well as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.
Kale contains very little fat but the small amount of fat it does contain is omega-3 fatty acid and can help lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Kale is not only nutritious but also a delicious and versatile food. It can be used a substitute for lettuce in salads, sandwiches and burgers or used in soup. It can be thrown into a green smoothie to add essential nutrients and can even be turned into chips.
A bunch of Coles brand green kale will cost you $3 and servings will vary depending on the size of the bunch.
Quinoa is an amazing super-food providing all twenty essential amino acids and boasting 8 grams of protein per serving.
Quinoa is a good source of calcium and also contains vitamin E, several B vitamins and dietary fiber and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Quinoa contains some small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and is totally gluten free. For a food that is considered a grain it also has an excellent protein-to-carbohydrate ratio.
Quinoa has been known to aid in weight-loss by keeping you fuller for longer and reducing levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Quinoa is super versatile and can be used as a substitute for rice, pasta and cous cous in dishes as well as being used in salads and numerous vegetable-based dishes.
A bag of Coles brand Australian White Quinoa will cost $5.50 and will provide five servings.
Cheap and full of protein and iron, lentils are an excellent super-food for university students keeping blood sugar low and energy levels up.
Lentils offer a great amount of folate, manganese and iron per serving and are great choice for vegetarians who have iron deficiency problems.
Lentils are full of fibre and will keep you fuller for longer helping you avoid over-eating and are extremely beneficial to the digestive system due to their fibre content.
Eating lentils can improve immunity due to the high level of dietary fibre and through preventing deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals when consumed on a regular basis.
Lentils can be used in soups, curries, salads and even baked vegetable dishes making them a great addition to the kitchen.
A can of Coles brand lentils will cost you 75 cents and will provide two servings.