1. EAT DARK RED KIDNEY BEANS!
Don't be fooled by their small size, beans pack a huge nutritional punch. They are loaded with figure-friendly protein, filling fiber, energizing B vitamins and heart-healthy antioxidants. Go for the dark red kidney beans, as this variety takes the budget super-food prize because they have one of the highest antioxidant counts of all beans and cost the least, a mere buck a can. Add kidney beans to your favorite chili recipe or mash them with some chicken broth, sautéed onion and garlic for a creamy dip. Toss them in your salad, but just be sure to give the canned beans a quick rinse to get rid of the excess sodium. The culinary bean possibilities are endless…so eat up!
2. DRINK BLACK TEA
Surprise: You don't have to spend big bucks on fancy green tea to get a potent antioxidant health brew. Regular black tea is super healthy as well. Why? It's packed with flavanoids (protective compounds that neutralize health-damaging particles called free-radicals), plant chemicals that retard aging and help our bodies fend off disease. Plus, studies show tea sippers have less skin wrinkling as they age. So take a healthy tip from the Brits and take a tea break in the afternoon—Cheerio and all that sort of thing…to your health!
3. EAT OATMEAL
Quinoa, Spelt, Amaranth…There's an array of costly grains with super-food status in the supermarket, but there's one inexpensive health star that you most likely already have in your kitchen -- oatmeal. Oats (especially the fiber-packed steel cut variety) are chock full of essential vitamins, minerals and cholesterol-lowering fiber. Oatmeal is also overflowing with protective antioxidants that have been shown to reduce disease-causing inflammation in the body. Buy plain oatmeal and spruce it up yourself for breakfast with fruit and your own sweetener. You can also use oats in baking or even as breadcrumbs in your fav dishes.
4. GO WILD FOR SALMON
Wild salmon is a phenomenal source of the super heart-healthy fat, the long chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) that reduce inflammation in the body and thereby reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Wild salmon is practically free of contaminants (mercury and PCB). What is really beneficial about choosing wild over farmed is the vitamin D content. Wild salmon has three times the vitamin D as farmed. Good news: You can have all the benefits of wild salmon at a fraction of the cost by buying canned salmon. Use canned salmon just as you would use canned tuna: Flake it into your pasta salad or mix it with a touch of fat free mayo, mustard, lemon juice, chopped onion and celery and serve it on a sandwich (whole grain, of course!).