Everyday fruit and vegetables as effective as some expensive ‘Super foods’

A report by Which? has highlighted ways in which health-conscious consumers could save money by swapping fashionable (and often expensive) super foods for everyday fruits and vegetables.

Super foods like blueberries and wheatgrass have been popular for several years and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle MacPherson have added to the allure of foods like wheatgrass by adding it to smoothies and crediting it with much of their vitality.

Research shows that cheaper alternatives can be just as healthy, however. Which? estimated that it’s possible to save over £400 per year* by making simple food swaps, and most importantly, they claim that none of the health benefits of the super foods would be lost.

The calculations were made by comparing prices on Tesco.com and Holland and Barrett in July. The researchers swapped five super foods for five cheaper alternatives and came up with a saving of £438.88, which assumed that consumers ate each super food twice a week on average.

Substituting two 34p kiwi fruit for a handful of blueberries, which came in at 69p could save value-conscious shoppers £36.40 over the course of a year, but the vitamin C and K levels in both fruit are similar.

Swapping wheatgrass for broccoli doesn’t just save you money, it also gives you one portion of your seven a day, while wheatgrass, despite its reputation as an all-round wonder food, doesn’t boast the same credentials. Broccoli is much easier to find, and both foods contain chlorophyll, vitamins A, C and E, iron and calcium. The main difference between the two is the cost; you can pick up an 80g head of broccoli for around 11p but wheatgrass typically costs 90p for just 10g.

If you’re a regular goji berry consumer, but you’re finding that your habit is becoming costly, you could swap the tiny berries for a serving of spinach and get the same benefits. A plateful of spinach isn’t as glamorous, granted, but although the berries are undoubtedly very good for you, they aren’t so good for your bank balance. A 30g serving of dried goji berries will cost you around 53p, while exchanging them for a portion of spinach (32p for 80g) saves you £21.84 a year.

Coconut oil is another must-have diet necessity at the moment, and is one of the best sources of medium-chain fatty acids there is, despite also having high levels of saturated fat. If you’re strapped for cash, though, swapping coconut oil for rapeseed or sunflower oil could save £30.16 a year.

Goji berries are delicious and wheatgrass is SO nutritious – but if you’re having a bit of a tight month, it’s good to know that there are options.

*To make up the rest of the savings, researchers also looked at swapping sardines for salmon.

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