Few foods can hold a candle to this leafy green. Kale is full of vitamins, minerals and health-enhancing antioxidants. Indeed, kale’s filling fiber, bone-building calcium and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help support the body’s natural detox system, getting rid of harmful compounds that are thought to cause cancer, heart disease and other serious ills. And what a bargain it is too, at just about 60 cents a cup.
Plus, kale is easy to prepare. Simply remove the center ribs of its leaves, then slice it into thin ribbons. Add this healthful pick to soups and stews in the last 20 minutes of cooking, or sauté it with a splash of olive oil for a delicious side dish.
Eating this brilliant vegetable is like giving your body a beauty treatment, thanks to its high concentration of beta carotene (the healthful antioxidant that gives this spud its orange hue). Beta carotene, which has been shown to help every cell in the body stay healthy, also happens to be a skin-targeted nutrient.
Studies have shown it neutralizes wrinkle and sun spot-spurring damage from the sun and helps generate new, healthy glowing skin cells. Sweet potatoes are also packed with a slew of figure-friendly fiber and energizing B-vitamins — all for just 43 cents a serving. Bake them whole or mash them with a bit of milk.
Who needs expensive, over-hyped, tropical fruit when you can get serious healing power from a home-grown variety for a fraction of the price? Dried cranberries rank among the highest antioxidant contents of any fruit, which means they may help reduce cancer and heart disease risk.
Plus, they contain unique compounds that help prevent urinary tract and other pesky infections. What’s more, far from making a dent in your wallet, dried cranberries cost mere pocket change — just 50 cents a cup. Toss them into salads, bake them into muffins or toss them into your morning cereal.
Moo juice is so common that we tend to overlook its power and value. Here’s a friendly reminder: One eight-ounce glass of milk is chock-full of nine essential nutrients, many of which most of us fall short, including bone-building calcium, heart-healthy potassium, and vitamin D.
All for about a quarter a glass! Besides drinking milk straight-up, nice and cold, you can use it for lattes, in smoothies and in hot cocoa. Put it in your morning cereal or use it for puddings. Be sure to buy non-fat or 1 percent low-fat products to reap its potent health power for the fewest calories.
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