Food is an ever increasing part of any family's budget. How do you stretch your food budget and eat healthy at the same time?
By including these items in your snacks and meals, you can save money and boost your health.
- Bananas. Bananas are high in vitamin B6, fiber and vitamin C. Their high potassium content helps protect against heart disease and decreases cramps. Because of their peel, bananas are low in pesticides and easy to grab-and-go.
- Eggs. While egg yolks do contain cholesterol, they are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in heart disease prevention and brain development. Eggs are inexpensive, easy to prepare and versatile.
- Black beans. An excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty-acids, iron and fiber, black beans also contain several antioxidants that help protect from heart disease, cancer and age-related memory loss. For optimal flavor and cost, buy dried black beans and simmer with onion and garlic until the beans are soft.
- Chicken breasts, bought in bulk. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is loaded with protein and low in calories. For a quick dinner, defrost a chicken breast the night before, season it with a little bit of pepper or herbs, and bake or grill it.
- Oatmeal. Very high in fiber, oatmeal helps to remove bad cholesterol from the blood stream and to clean out the GI tract for anyone suffering from constipation. Optimize your health (and save money) by choosing plain, steel-cut oatmeal for the highest fiber and lowest sugar content.
- Carrots. Easy to prepare and eat, and packed with vitamins A, C and K, folate and fiber, carrots are a great addition to any meal or snack.
- Canned tuna. Eating water-packed tuna is a low-calorie way to get lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium and vitamin D. It also helps reach the recommended minimum of two servings per week of fish.
- Canned diced tomatoes. Canned tomatoes have all of the benefits of raw tomatoes, and have a more active form of the antioxidant lycopene. Diced tomatoes sautéed with a little olive oil, garlic and onions make a delicious, healthy pasta sauce.
- Sweet potatoes. A sweet potato contains twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, almost half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and, if you eat the skin, more fiber than oatmeal.
- Water. The cheapest and best beverage is water. Spruce it up by adding sliced fresh oranges, lemons, or cucumbers to your water pitcher.