Cheap and healthy! Most of you, who are used into believing that “eating healthy means spending a lot of money” must be quite surprised with this thought of healthy foods being cheap. You might doubt whether it is possible that healthy foods are obtainable at affordable rates. The truth is many of the healthiest foods in the grocery store are available at reasonably low prices. So, you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of money in order to enjoy the perks of healthy eating. The simple trick here is to pick the right ‘super foods’ that won’t break your budget. Keeping the issue of personal finance in mind, I came up with a list of 10 cheap and healthy food products
10. Sweet Potatoes
Vegetable cost metrics proved that sweet potatoes provide most nutrients per penny. Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses and add many important components to your diet. They also contain huge amounts of vitamin B6 which helps in breaking down homocysteine and keep the walls of the arteries and blood vessels flexible and healthy allowing the blood to flow freely. The combination of beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E makes sweet potatoes best as ‘beauty food’. Sweet potatoes also have magnesium, the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. They are naturally sweet tasting but ensure a balanced and regular source of energy without blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain because their natural sugars are released into the bloodstream slowly. With such advantages, low price and versatility in the way they can be used to make different recipes, sweet potatoes are definitely the food you must look for!
Whether you buy it fresh or canned, spinach is available at a low price. This leafy green vegetable is a good source of iron. It is one of the most nutrient dense foods and can be called nutrient superstar! Cooking spinach increases its health benefits and gives much nutrition than raw spinach. Loaded with nutrients and tasting delicious, spinach is a super food that is very much affordable. Spinach contains vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid and also manganese. It is also an excellent promoter of cardiovascular health. Provided with such benefits, you can fill yourself up with healthy and low priced spinach. Popeye was really right about spinach after all!
All of you are familiar with the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” which clearly suggests the health benefits of apples. Apples are not only appetizing and healthy but also very economical. Apples are packed with soluble fiber which reduces intestinal disorders and possibly curbs some types of cancers. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin A and small amounts of phosphorous, iron and calcium. According to some studies, eating five apples a week lowered the risk of respiratory diseases like asthma. Drinking apple juice avoids Alzheimer’s disease and resists the effects of aging on brain. Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost and strengthen your immune system.
7. Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt is loaded with many vitamins and is also very inexpensive. It is an important source of potassium, phosphorous, iodine, zinc, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. It is also rich in calcium which makes the fat cells to release less cortisol, making it easier to lose weight. The amino acids in yogurt help burn fat thus contributing to weight loss. Yogurt has probiotics or the beneficial bacteria which help to regulate digestion and strengthen the immune system. The intestine friendly bacteria and the calcium in yogurt contribute to colon health and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Yogurt prevents high blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Yogurt is wholesome, delectable and it’s cheap!
6. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain with lot of health benefits and it definitely won’t hurt your pockets. It reduces the risk of cancer, arthritis and heart disease because it is rich in selenium. It is also rich in antioxidants, manganese, zinc, magnesium, copper, thiamine, naturally occurring oils and is a source of vitamin B6. Due to high fiber content, consumption of brown rice protects from cardiovascular diseases, contributes to healthy colon and digestive system. Brown rice makes digestion easier and is helpful for people seeking bowel regularity. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels. Low priced and health giving – brown rice doubtlessly deserves a spot on this list!
5. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a tasty, nourishing, healthy and affordable food which is readily available at the grocery shops. It is an energy dense food, a dieter’s best friend and it is also packed with nutrition. This popular pantry has powerful antioxidant vitamin E, bone-building magnesium, muscle-friendly potassium and immunity boosting vitamin B6. It also has dietary fiber and good quality protein. There is no need to worry about the fat content in peanut butter as these are ‘healthy fats’. Peanut butter contains more unsaturated fats than saturated fats and the unsaturated fats lower the levels of harmful cholesterol helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. A suggestion is to select all-natural peanut butter over processed peanut butter which contains added sugar or salt. It is better to consume peanut butter in moderation for good health benefits.
Oatmeal is a healthful food that is available at reasonable prices and can be grown anywhere. A perfect way to start a day is to have a bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal as breakfast. Oats lower the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. It is a low calorie food and helps to lose weight by stopping food cravings. Fiber in oats reduces cholesterol and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Oatmeal protects against heart failure and enhances immune response to disease. If you are willing to save money, you can buy oats in bulks and remember not to go for the ones with added sugars.
Eggs may be breakable but they don’t break your banks! And they contain high-quality protein and all the nine essential amino acids. They also contain vitamin B12, riboflavin and phosphorous. They are good source of cholin, a nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. Eggs are even good for the eyes as they prevent macular degeneration due to carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs may lower the risk of breast cancer. The egg yolk contains iron and vitamin E. Also, eggs are the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Eggs provide quality nutrition for a very cheap price.
Milk is not only an inexpensive food product but also comes with many health benefits. Milk has many essential proteins and nutrients. That is the reason why it is a daily drink and an important part of the diet. It is a great source of calcium which is essential for healthy bones and strong teeth. It has properties that lower blood pressure and reduce risk of strokes. Just a glass of warm milk is so effective in reducing stress by relaxing tense muscles and calming frazzled nerves. Drinking low-fat milk provides the benefit of weight loss too. Low-fat milk combined with fruit is not only delicious but also healthy. Milk is an economical and healthy food that can be incorporated into your daily diet.
Bananas have long been the cheapest fruits at the grocery store. And I’ve always wondered what could be the reason for their low cost despite the fact that they must be grown miles away and transported in cold containers! Besides bananas also have many benefits like fighting depression, relieving from hangover, easing morning sickness, strengthening blood, protecting against muscle cramps, kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They help overcome depression by converting tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter which contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium which is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function, thus helping to prevent heart disease. They are easy to digest. They are very portable as they come packed in their own yellow jackets. They absolutely make a very good cheap and healthy food!