It is a common misconception that healthy food is expensive. You can always find healthy but expensive food, on the other hand, the healthiest food can also stick to your budget. There are plenty of ways to save money and to be able to eat healthy and fresh.
This is the list of top 15 healthy and budget-friendly food.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best nutritional treats
Sweet potatoes are one of the richest sources of potassium, and they are also loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene. In comparison to white potatoes, sweet potatoes deliver more fiber. This food offers plenty of nutritional benefits you need to maintain your health and your weight. The best is that they can be severed in various ways: mashed potatoes, stews, oven fries, and more. One medium size sweet potato has about 200 calories.
Take it from rabbits and eat carrots every day
Eat raw carrots every other day and you will satisfy the daily intake of vitamins and minerals. This famous vegetable is loaded with beta-carotene and fiber, and it is very versatile. One can blend them in soups, grate them in salads, and roast them as side dish and much more. Use garlic, olive oil, half-boiled carrots and parsley to prepare a healthy and energy boosting salad.
Bananas, oranges and apples – the best fresh fruits for everyone
If you wish to boost your metabolism, and enjoy fresh and low-price fruits you should always have bananas, oranges and apples in your kitchen. To save money, you can buy green and relatively unripe bananas, store them, and eat them when ripe. If you froze bananas, you can use them in salads, smoothies or with oatmeal or pancakes. For a daily dose of vitamins, eat oranges and apples. These fruits can stay fresh for longer.
Frozen mixed vegetable blends for great immune system
Mixed vegetable blend usually contain six to seven different vegetables in the bag, thus they are very cost-effective. In one bag you have many important beneficial nutrients, and if you try to buy them separately you will see how rapidly your bill will increase. Many say that frozen vegetables does not contain as many beneficial nutrients as the fresh one, which is true for some vegetables, but the usual frozen mixed vegetables have the same benefits as the fresh one. With this mix you can really prepare your meals in many different ways. You can use them in soups, pasta sauces, omelets, chilies, casseroles, and as side dishes. Just remember that generic versions of mixed vegetables are usually cheaper, thus choose carefully and do not buy those that contain additives, salt, sugar or sauces.
Oats for cheapest breakfast
Oats are loaded with healthy nutrients; one serving of oatmeal contains protein, fiber and about 150 calories. When buying, opt for dry oats from the canister rather than those in individual packets, which are also more expensive. Those in the container do not contain added ingredients and sugars. Great mix includes dried fruits (apples, bananas, berries and raisins), peanut butter, chopped nuts and only a few teaspoons of preservatives.
Eat brown rice for fiber and B vitamins
The only negative characteristic of brown rice is that it takes a lot of time for cooking. However, you can solve this if you prepare large batch at the beginning of the week and use it for several days. One can use rice in many ways – salads, stuffed peppers, or for sweets.
Lentils for daily dose of minerals
These legumes are rich in iron, potassium, fiber, protein and folate. They are affordable and easy to prepare as well. They are cooked quickly – use them in soups and stews and enjoy their benefits.
Spinach for calcium, vitamin C and folic acid
Fresh spinach is a budget friendly leafy green rich in many nutrients we need on a daily base. One can also use frozen spinach but it can be very mushy. Spinach is used in smoothies and salads because it is very easy for preparation. Spinach in an omelet or in soups is a great vitamin booster.
Quinoa as a great alternative for rice
The best about quinoa is that is takes only 15 minutes to cook up and it is loaded with calcium, iron and B vitamins. High in proteins as well, quinoa is great for salads – with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and herbs, to mention one recipe. Remember to buy quinoa from a bulk store rather than the supermarkets.
Frozen edamme as a great snack or side dish
Soybeans are booster foods, great in many dishes and affordable. You can easily use them in stews, casseroles, fried rice or as snacks. In soybeans you will find calcium, iron, fiber and proteins. Choose carefully when buying, although very affordable, genetic soybeans are always cheaper.
Fat-free yogurt for breakfast
To save your money, especially if your family is fan of dairy products, consider buying large 32-ounce tubs instead of individual cartons. This yogurt is rich in calcium and it is great when mixed with fresh fruits, raisins or even some vegetables.
Eggs for proteins
Stock eggs when on sale, because eggs, when stored properly, can last about three weeks in the shell. Use them in omelets, frittatas, egg sandwiches, or just boil them and combine with other vegetables.
Beans as a great alternative for meat and seafood
Like lentils, beans are rich in proteins, and on the other hand, they are rich in fiber which we need to keep our blood sugars under control, and to maintain digestive health. Canned or dried, beans can last very long – dried beans up to a year and canned twice as long. If you are buying canned beans, opt for low-sodium and rinse them before using to remove excess salt from canning liquids.
Canned salmon for omega-3 fatty acids
Fresh fish is very expensive, however, canned wild salmon is perfect for cold salads and warm salmon melts. Remember that canned salmon has a hefty dose of sodium, so if you are watching your salt intake, you should think carefully.
Peanut butter for monounsaturated fats
Great source of proteins, vitamin E and B, and monounsaturated fats, peanut butter is also high in calories. Choose natural peanut butters without added sugar or different additives. Whole-wheat bread and peanut butter is all you need for a healthy breakfast.
Alexander, D. & Roberson, M. (2008). Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget-Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love. Rodale Books.
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