When people think of eating healthy, they often think of buying expensive organic products or spending their entire paycheck at Whole Foods.
However, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you are low on funds, you can opt for certain foods that can keep you full and satisfied while still providing you with the right dose of nutrition.
Below are some healthy foods that give you a nutritional bang for your buck and won’t break the bank.
1. Brown Rice
Cost: About $2 per pound
Nutrition: Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate, making it a good choice to keep you full and satiated throughout the day. It’s also filled with fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Cost: About $1.42 per dozen
Nutrition: Eggs are high in protein and low in calories, making them a good choice for any meal of the day. They are a good source of B vitamins, choline, and antioxidants, and they can also assist with weight loss, boost your mood, and protect against cancer.
3. Dried Beans
Cost: About $1.79 per pound. They get more expensive when you buy them in cans.
Nutrition: One serving of dried beans, which is about 1/3 cup cooked, only contains 80 calories, and it has very little fat and no cholesterol. Beans are an excellent source of fiber in addition to B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and iron. They can be used in soups, chilis, or even salads.
4. Frozen Vegetables
Cost: About $3 per package
Nutrition: Contrary to what you may think, frozen vegetables can actually be more healthy than their fresh counterparts, and they last much longer in your freezer. Fresh vegetables are often picked at peak ripeness, since they are transferred to the grocery store before being sold. Since these vegetables are picked at their peak, their nutrients are preserved when frozen and they don’t lose nutritional value over time.
Cost: About $3 per pound
Nutrition: Almonds are a good source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. You can add them to your breakfast, eat them as a snack, or add them to your salads or smoothies, as they provide you with nutrients that can keep you energized and focused throughout the day.
Cost: Between $2-$4 for 18 ounces
Nutrition: Oats are a heart-healthy complex carbohydrate filled with fiber and other nutrients such as manganese, magensium, selenium, They can help stabilize blood sugar levels as well as reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Oats can be prepared sweet with fruit or made savory just as you would any other grain.
Cost: $2-$2.50 per pound
Nutrition: Instead of using an animal-based protein, which tends to be more expensive, you can opt for organic tofu instead. It is gluten-free, low in calories, and is a good source of iron and calcium. Eating tofu is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
8. Canned Fish
Cost: About $2-$5 for 5 ounces
Nutrition: When choosing canned fish, go for tuna, salmon, and sardines, which contain the least amount of mercury and the most amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fish are also a good source of protein and calcium.
Cost: $2.21 per pint. Buying it in the larger tubs is cheaper than the individual cups.
Nutrition: In addition to protein, yogurt contains a good amount of calcium, the B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. Since yogurt contains probiotics, it is also good for your digestion as well as your immune system.
Cost: $2 for 6 ounces
Nutrition: When choosing popcorn, opt for kernels to pop yourself rather than the microwavable kind, which contains unhealthy chemicals. Plain popcorn is very low in calories but high in fiber, making it a healthier choice of snack over other processed foods.
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