Superfoods truly do prove that you get what you pay for. Though the benefits of these foods are almost limitless, they can still be hard to afford when you’re on a tight food budget. Instead of eliminating superfoods from your diet altogether, just choose the top superfoods that give you the most bang for your buck. I have three favorite superfoods that I feel give me the most well-rounded nutrition in a smaller, more powerful dose than other superfoods. Plus, per serving, they’re actually very affordable. One other little tip I like to take advantage of is to only use half the recommended serving size on the package and only use one of those servings a day. This trick doubles the length of time you get to enjoy them and it keeps you from feeling deprived by still using them everyday.

So for all of you smoothie fans out there who just can’t imagine life without superfoods, there’s no need to fret if your dollars are low. Just choose these three superfoods and you can be assured you’re getting maximum nutrients without breaking the bank:

1. Cacao

Let’s start with the most antioxidant-rich food on the planet, shall we? Cacao is richer in magnesium, iron, zinc, and manganese than all other superfoods. It’s also one of the least expensive and one you should eat everyday for more reasons than you can imagine. One thing you do need to remember when buying raw cacao is to only buy raw cacao that is certified 100 percent Criollo Aribba cacao powder, which comes from Ecuador. This ensures it is the highest quality cacao in the world, so you know you’re getting the best. It also tastes much better than other forms of raw cacao since it has little to no bitterness. Many other forms of raw cacao sold here in the United States are from cheaper beans. You won’t pay more for the higher quality, so why not pick the best, right? Check out these 20 Superfood Vegan Recipes Made with Raw Cacao.

Top 3 Superfoods to Choose If You're on A Budget

2. Spirulina

If you can’t afford all those special green powders out there, don’t worry – you don’t need them with spirulina. Spirulina is one of the most potent sources of chlorophyll on the planet. A five-ounce bottle usually runs around $13 and will last at least 40 servings, which isn’t too bad. Just one serving of spirulina gives you four grams of protein, which is almost 880 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements and 80 percent of your daily iron requirements. Spirulina aids in detoxification of the entire body and its cleansing powers are very gentle and nourishing. Spirulina is also a wonderful source of Vitamin B12 for vegans, since it contains more than 150 percent of your daily need in just one serving. Vitamin B12 contributes to a healthy metabolism and helps prevent anemia and depression. Use it in these Healthy Nut-Free Spirulina Vegan Sesame Bars.

Top 3 Superfoods to Choose If You're on A Budget

3. Acai

Most people are goji berry fans, but I happen to be an acai girl for several reasons. One, acai berries are higher in antioxidants than all other berries except for maqui berries. Acai berries are also lower in sugar than goji berries, richer in omega-3 fatty acids, have more protein, and have exceptional brain-boosting and skin-beautifying properties. Since acai berries are low-glycemic, they better assist in healthy blood sugar levels and a healthy weight than berries that are higher in sugar. Acai berries have also been linked to enhanced eyesight and treating anxiety. There are several other reasons you should eat them daily. You can buy the frozen packs of acai berries or use the powder. Per serving, I find the powder to be much more economical, but choose whichever form you like.

Top 3 Superfoods to Choose If You're on A Budget

My favorite thing about these three superfoods is that you can combine them in a smoothie and they taste delicious together, so you can enjoy them all at one time. This gives you an entire day’s worth of superfood powers without costing you a fortune. Other superfoods that are low in cost and offer a large nutritional punch are maca, goji, and chia. If you can spare the extra money for those, definitely feel free to do so.

If you need some superfood recipes to inspire you for how to use these, check out some of my favorites: 20 Superfood Vegan Recipes Made With Raw CacaoTropical Green Spirulina Smoothie, and Blueberry Acai Super Smoothie.

Also, check out The Ultimate Guide to Superfoods while you’re at it. Do you use any of these superfoods each day? Feel free to share your favorite ways to enjoy them!

Lead image source: Healthy Nut-Free Spirulina Vegan Sesame Bars