People often ask how they can eat a nutritious diet while keeping their grocery bill low. The good news is eating healthily and eating cheaply are not mutually exclusive! In fact, they often go hand in hand. It is the processed foods and eating out at restaurants that expand our waistline and our debt, but if you buy these 20 foods, not only will you be leading a healthier lifestyle, but also your bank account will thank you too!
We all know milk does a body good, but did you know Yogurt has all the benefits of milk. It is a great source of calcium, essential for healthy bones and teeth, and contains protein, which helps to rebuild muscles, plus active cultures that boost germ-fighting bacteria promoting a healthier gut.
As the saying goes an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it’s a well-deserved reputation! Apples are a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, cancer-fighting antioxidants and lots of fiber, all for under 100 calories, making apples a wonderfully cheap and healthy food item to add to your grocery list.
Bananas are not only a cheap and tasty snack, they also pack in more than 360 milligrams of potassium per fruit—and since potassium’s job is to “keep your heart beating” it’s probably a good thing to eat more!
Strawberries are an amazing source of folate, contain more than 100 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C, and are high in antioxidants.
Blueberries are probably the healthiest fruit you can eat. These blue superheroes have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruit: Blueberries can help lower blood pressure, neutralize free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body, improve brain health, have been proven to preserve vision and are a natural anti-depressant. Not bad value for $5 per pint.
Tomatoes are not only inexpensive, but also easily available everywhere. The carotene in tomatoes protects your body from skin damage, the lycopene makes your skin less sensitive to UV damage, and for men they have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Easy to eat, cheap to buy, and packed with vitamins A, C and K, folate and fiber. Carrots are a great addition to any meal or snack.
Spinach offers a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and antioxidants, meaning it helps prevent cancer, promotes strong bones and healthy skin. It is no wonder spinach is Popeye’s food of choice!
Beets are a nutritional powerhouse! They are packed with folate, fiber and vitamins galore!
Of course, I am talking about chicken breasts, not breaded chicken nuggets! But at under $3 per pound chicken breast is a great cheap food choice that’s filled with healthy, lean protein.
11. Canned tuna
Canned water-packed tuna is an inexpensive, easily available, low-calorie food choice filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium and vitamin D giving it many health benefits from improving blood vessel function to boosting weight loss.
12. Olive oil
Swap out the mayo for two tablespoons of olive oil. Just two tablespoons per day offers a host of health benefits including improved bone health and brain function. Read more about the benefits in this study published in the journal Chemical Neuroscience.
Okay, so it makes you less attractive to kiss for a few hours, but it’s full of antioxidants that promote heart health, reduces the risk of some cancers, and improves memory function….so it’s probably worth it! At about 30 cents per bulb it’s a great good choice to add to your grocery list.
14. Chia Seeds
Believed by the Aztecs to be a miracle food, Chia seeds deliver a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories, they’re loaded with antioxidants, high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, and have been show to improve exercise performance as much as a sports drinks. Chia seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet and can affordably be added to your grocery list.
Nuts are an affordable, protein-packed, heart-healthy snack that can increase your longevity.
Lentils sometimes have a reputation as some sort of hippie food but that’s only because they are a great protein alternative to beef and therefore perfect for vegetarians or those who wish to limit their red-meat intake. They are a filling food rich with antioxidants and a good, cheap, and healthy food source.
17. Brown rice
Rich in selenium, which reduces the risk of developing cancer and arthritis, high in manganese which helps the body synthesize fats, and also promotes weight loss since its fiber content keeps bowel function efficient! Brown rice is good, cheap, and a healthy food choice.
Okay, I understand Quinoa can be hard to pronounce (it’s KEEN-wah) but that doesn’t stop it being a superfood. At $4 per box, it’s a little more than brown rice, but it’s still a cheap and affordable addition to your weekly grocery list. It is packed with fiber and protein, and contains nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce on its own.
Eggs are another great source of protein, and in fact the cheapest source of protein you’re going to find. At only 20 cents per egg they are incredibly affordable, and can be prepared in any number of healthy ways. When you’re in need of some protein, eggs are a great quick, delicious, cheap and healthy fix.
20. Dark chocolate
I had to finish this list of foods that are healthy and cheap with something fun! Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively impact your health and it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet, so at the end of a tough week, go ahead and enjoy a nice piece of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate!
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