Top Ten Power-Packed Foods

Best Whole Foods To Help You Enjoy a Healthier Life & Save Money

How can adding these top ten power-packed foods to our meals make a difference in our lives? It's said that health is wealth. If you've ever had a serious or long term health problem, than you probably understand the opposite side of that coin. Being ill costs a lot whether its through over the counter aids, prescription drugs or loss of work.

What is the secret to a long and healthy life?  It is in the food that we eat.  As you well know, all foods are not created equal.  Choosing and eating the right foods may help increase your life expectancy as well as the quality of your life.

Side note here: There are many causes of illness, in Breast Cancer groups and forums I have been on I've met many people who were healthy and fit and still got cancer. Eating some or all of these top ten power packed foods may not prevent disease. But doing so will almost certainly help you to stay healthy, become healthier and hopefully recover faster and better when you are ill. 

Top Ten Power-Packed Foods - Packed with the Power To Help You Enjoy A Healthier Life - and Save Money. Best Pennywise Tips

Top Ten Power-Packed Foods

Here are the top ten power-packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is coming into even more popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol.  Oatmeal (rolled oats) is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.

You can make it yourself as porridge for breakfast with rolled oats. It's quick to make, one serving at a time or a potful. My mom used to make it in a double boiler at night so it just needed to be reheated in the morning.

There's no need ever to buy single servings of the instant stuff - way too many additives to ever be considered a healthy food - and the cost is just silly.

It's way too easy and just as fast to throw a scoop of rolled oats in a pot or bowl and cook it on the stove or in the microwave. When you do you've just saved a bundle that you can save or spend on other high quality foods. It's easy, too, to dress it up with fresh, dried or frozen fruit, chopped nuts, a touch of cinnamon adds a natural sweetness so often no other sweetener is necessary. Unless you really insist!

But porridge isn't the only way to use this valuable food. Add it to bread (even use leftover cold porridge in bread), cookies, cakes, and smoothies.

And don't forget to make it in a jar! Simply soak rolled oats in milk (your choice), and/or  possibly some plain yogurt or added water overnight. Add your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, chopped nuts, flax seeds, cinnamon at night  or in the morning. This is more like Swiss Muesli than cooked porridge (oatmeal) (Thank you all you hardy Scots people).

And all this good news, it has a whole list of health benefits and I won't even mention the Libido Effect. I mean, really, did you know...the humble oat releases the testosterone that governs the sexual drive in men and women. Okay, I will mention that oats are good for the libido.

Good for your heart, too. They lower blood pressure, absorb toxins, scour artery walls. They release the testosterone that governs the sexual drive in men and women.

Definitely, #1 on our list of Top Ten Power-Packed Foods has to be oatmeal. Super cost effective, good for your heart but don't ever think I listed it first because of the libido effect.

2. Legumes, Pulse, Beans

Legumes, also called pulse or just plain beans (not green beans, but does include all kinds - kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, black, Northern) are high in protein.  This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories.  If lack of fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy.

You can buy these canned and ready to use in recipes right away. Or, better yet, and good for your budget, buy them in bulk dried.  Legumes are easy to pre-prepare (my new word)  from dry. They take a bit of time (overnight is easy)  so you need to plan ahead. I solve this problem by soaking and cooking  a lot of whichever bean I want at one time and then storing them in recipe size packages in the freezer.

One good thing that I appreciate besides the cost savings is that I have no tins to recycle. If I buy them in bulk I might have a plastic bag left over but I generally re-use those so I don't feel too bad about that!

There's a big saving to cook from dried on these power packed foods. Your health and your budget will shout Hurrah! when you make a point of filling up your family with delicious recipes based on legumes.

Lentils, by the way, cook up very quickly so they are perfect to add last minute to soups. One of my favorite ways to use red lentils is to add them to spaghetti sauce. They cook away to nothing, so no one knows they are there, but they really sturdy-up (and new word) your sauce. Great for filling up hungry teenager tummies.

If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them.  Soaking them first can help.

Don't miss out on using any of these beans or lentils, they are such a valuable part of making sure you are eating these top ten power-packed foods.

And 2016 IS the Year of Pulse!

Celebrate Year of the Pulse by enjoying using pulses in a variety of ways. Here's Allie putting the finishing touches of melted chocolate chips to a pan of Black Bean Brownies. (It's in a tinfoil pan so she can take it home for her mom, dad and little brother.

So fudge-y, so chocolatey, so rich and delicious, everyone will love them!

Trust me, you'll be falling in love with black beans.

3. Allium Foods - Onions, Garlic

This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots.  Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol.  Allium vegetables help guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments.  They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.  Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state, especially garlic, increases their health benefits. 

I frankly love onions and garlic. I firmly believe there's no such thing as too much of this family of allium vegetables!

Not only are they firm members of this list of top ten power-packed foods but like most of the other foods listed they are inexpensive. Cheap. Cheap food and easy to grow.

Raw or cooked they are a powerful addition to any health regimen.

Onions and garlic are often referred to as nature's weapons against cancer as they are in this article that lists the 9 top benefits of onions and garlic.

Once again , a top ten power-packed food that is inexpensive enough to fit the most frugal budget.

Learn more about the benefits of onions and garlic here.

4. Salmon

Dilled Salmon Oatmeal Patties:One quick & delicious way to cook salmon.

Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis.  Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults.  Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.

Most advice is to eat salmon (and other fish) at least once a week.

In our list of the top ten power-packed food, salmon is certainly the one that can cost the most.

There are some options though. One is that depending where you live, possibly you can go fishing, then can or freeze your catch. After you eat your fill, of course! Another way is to put aside money and watch for really good sales of fresh, frozen or canned salmon.

Where I live up here in Canada, even though we are known for our Atlantic and Pacific salmon, a small tin of salmon can cost almost $3.00 and up. The larger tin is around $4.50 or more. Both of these price ranges depend on the quality of the salmon and the store. But the other day we were in a dollar Store and found the small tin for $2.00. I bought one to try it! The salmon was good quality, Alaskan salmon so we will definitely be going back for more!

Here's how I served it that night: Creamed Salmon  Super fast to make (yes, I sneaked in some onions and celery to the sauce!) then served it on rice with a host of steamed vegetables. We decided we needed to eat this more often and finding the good deal at the Dollar store  will make salmon easier to stock up in my pantry.

Time to take up fishing.

There's a host of other ways to eat salmon, too. You'll be healthier when you do.

5. Flax Seed

Like salmon, flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids.  These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.  You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed.  Ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.

Generally I grind up a cup or two of the seeds at a time, store it in a bottle in my freezer to stop it from going rancid, and then it's easy to add to anything  I choose. As a matter of fact, I store it in what was a juice bottle and the lid measures out about 1 tablespoon, perfect for a smoothie or green drink.

I love the nutty flavor and do use it a lot in green drinks but I also mix it with oatmeal all the time.

Flax seed is quite inexpensive so again here's another of these great top ten power-packed foods that pack a small punch to your budget but a big punch to improving your health, especially as you age.

They may be tiny but adding flax seeds to this list of the top ten power-packed foods was an easy decision.

6. Nuts and More Seeds

Nuts are high in fat but those fats are the good kind.  Almonds, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats, minerals and protein. Peanuts really are legumes but I mention them here because most of us think of them as a nut.

Nuts can be made into milk and oils and are excellent in many main course recipes and baking. One good strategy is to have some raw nuts available for quick snacks to avoid the over salted variety.

You crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs.  Nuts help to lower cholesterol.  Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.

There is such a variety of nuts and seeds that you could never get tired of them. But don't forget to try Sesame seeds (Tahini), Chia Seeds, and Hemp seeds, too.

Seeds like sunflower and pumpkin are pretty low cost, especially if you grow your own. They make good snacks and  are easy to add to many recipes or bowls of munchies like Trail Mix.

Sunflowers seeds are also used to make Sunbutter, a peanut butter substitute that is school-friendly. Click on the picture above to find directions for another easy way to add more of the top ten power-packed foods to your family's diet..

7. Fruit

Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A.  Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer. 

Berries such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants.  But choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health.  The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.

Berries share many of the same benefits in varying proportions. Overall, they are good for eye and heart health, useful in maintaining a healthy weight, and in helping to prevent cancer.

If you are trying to maintain a more alkaline system, it's good to know that some of the best fruits are also alkalizing ones, including, melons, lemons, oranges, peaches, pears, apples, bananas, berries, cantaloupe and grapes.


8. Acai

This berry has been in the news lately.  One of the most widely recognized berries is the Acai berry.  Well known as an antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory dietary supplement, the Acai berry is utilized for increased strength and energy.

Containing concentrated forms of anthocyanins, which are the actual antioxidant components, it should be noted that a glass of red wine contains less anthocyanin than an Acai berry. 

Moreover, the Acai berry has also been linked to an improvement in eyesight, lowered cholesterol levels, improved cardiovascular health.  The Acai berry also strengthens the immune system and wards off damage to free radicals.

The Acai berry has been known to prevent premature aging and studies have shown that it promotes a healthy digestive system. 

So because it is rich in antioxidants and increases energy, you can get more done and look better while doing it. 

Look for Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.

9. Peppers

Peppers are colorful.  They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C.  Peppers range from mild and sweet to so hot you’ll be calling the fire department. 

All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin.  Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease.  They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes.

Sliced peppers can be served cooked, as in baked stuffed peppers or as a component of many dishes, or served raw in salads or as a quick snack with hummus (which can be part of a low carb diet plan).

Green Peppers are also water packed  making them very useful for hydrating the body. If you are  not too fond of drinking lots of water, especially after work-outs, some fresh peppers would be a good snack of choice.

trying to encourage your kids to eat more peppers? Serve them on pizza! With meat  or not, red and green peppers go well with mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions  topped with cheese.

For a spooky Halloween dinner red bell peppers (the sweet ones) are easy to use on pizzas, like Chopped Off Fingers pizza, where you place the cut strips of mozzarella cheese on mini pizzas and add the nail shaped piece of red pepper on the tip of each "finger".

10. Yogurt

The fat free variety is good for you.  Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein.  If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth. 

Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.

Watch the product you buy though. It's so tempting to pick up those little containers with their enticing fruit flavors but first, they are expensive and secondly, they have a lot of added products and often a high sugar content to them. That makes them less nutritious and even pricier. If you think you're paying good money for a healthy food but spend your money on a variation of that food that is not healthy, then you have just lost out.

Yogurt, by the way, is easy to make at home. Basically you just need to save a bit of "culture" (a few tablespoons of your purchased live culture yogurt) and add it to some heated milk. A few hours later you have yogurt. Add your own fruit, nuts, seeds or even some oatmeal and you are good to go!

This top ten power-packed food is not only good for your body, it's really good for your budget, especially if you make your own.

Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat.  Try these top ten power-packed foods to get started on the right foot. You'll not only feel and look healthier, you'll save money while producing meals your family will love.

You can't lose by having these top ten power-packed foods in your pantry and refrigerator. Keep them on hand, write them into your monthly planning calendar and you'll be surprised how often you can use them in a variety of ways.

Here's that list again of the Top Ten Power-Packed Foods you need to start eating right now!

1. Oatmeal (It's not # 1 on the list because it boosts your libido)

2. Legumes, Pulse, Beans

3. Allium Plants - Onions & Garlic

4. Salmon

5. Flax

6. Nuts & More Seeds

7. Fruit - especially berries

8. Acai

9. Green & Red Peppers

10. Yogurt - plain, live culture yogurt

Just a reminder, this list of the top ten power-packed foods is not in any special order. They're all foods  of great value for your health, so it's best to eat them all.

Best of health to you!

Top Ten Power-Packed Foods - Packed with the Power To Help You Enjoy A Healthier Life - and Save Money

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