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Top five low-cost health foods

By Ben Lobel on Dec 4th, 2015   @healthfood

  1. Mackerel

Mackerel is making a comeback, with celebrity chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Aldo Zilli quick to endorse the healthy and tasty oily fish. The benefits include a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for healthy metabolism. Including this fish in your diet can also help lower your risk of diabetes and reduce symptoms of arthritis. Best of all, mackerel won’t break the bank: you can buy it fresh in supermarkets at around £5 a kilo, less than half the price of fresh salmon. And what was the product sold by the ‘£1 fish man’ who made his name at a stall in East London and took his act to Britain’s Got Talent? You guessed it, mackerel. Worth singing about! 

  1. Kale

It belongs to the brassica family (read, cabbages) but don’t let that put you off; kale is an attractive and delicious leaf packed full of nutrients, and is on sale for around £1 for a 200g bag in many supermarkets. It’s high in iron, making it a good food to eat for those with less red meat in their diets, and is also packed with antioxidants that help protect against various cancers. A cute little cousin of kale, kalettes, are also gaining in popularity. They’re a hybrid vegetable between kale and Brussels sprouts, and were first grown in Surrey by independent growers Tozer Seeds in an attempt to make Brussels sprouts taste better. Popular in America, expect to see them in the UK soon.

  1. Pistachios

Being low in calories and fat is not a trait associated with most nuts, but pistachios fit this description and boast an array of nutrients such as vitamin K, which helps blood clotting. They are also high in phosphorus, which helps support a strong skeleton, and vitamin E, which assists the body in making red blood cells. You might think pistachios are a bit expensive, but you can buy a 200g bag in Tesco for £1.59. With a serving size of about 30g, that’s about 30p a handful – not bad value at all.

  1. Baked beans

We all know that beans are good for your heart, and the more you eat the more, umm, challenged your digestive tract. But they’re good for more than just your ticker, with beans offering plenty of fibre, iron, calcium and, in the tomato sauce, lycopene, which is said to prevent prostate cancer. Plus we all know beans are cheap as chips, with own-brand versions able to be picked up for around 40p a can. If you can’t prise yourself away from Heinz though, the 68p asking price in many supermarkets is still great value for a wholesome meal. Stick it with a baked potato and it’s all gravy (Actual gravy sold separately). 

  1. Eggs 

Another favourite of the digestive tract, eggs are just about the most nutritious things you can eat. Time was when they were considered lethal cholesterol bombs, but now more people recognise that eggs raise HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol, higher levels of which are associated with lower risk of heart disease. Eggs contain just about every vitamin there is (apart from C), plus elements such as selenium, calcium and zinc. And with a box of six eggs weighing in at less than £1, their price is nice and low too.