The Best Healthy and Cheap Food

healthy foodMost of us are familiar with the Ramen every night diet. It isn’t a plan to lose weight, rather a plan to actually afford food, and it has been made famous by college students or anyone just starting out with only a limited budget. But the Ramen Noodle diet isn’t exactly a healthy one. The “meal” contains high levels of sodium and carbs and pretty much zero nutrients. Yes, it will fill you up for less, but it isn’t something you can use to feed a family and keep them all healthy.

Another source of cheap food that people often turn to are those canned pasta meals. The ones with the “O” s at the end of their names. Yes, they can be cheap, but again not very healthy, and in my opinion, not very tasty, either.

You can get healthy food that is also cheap. Usually it requires a little bit of cooking, unlike the examples above, but doing the cooking is well worth it. You can have lots of healthy protein and nutrients for very little money. The next time you go shopping, make sure that you include the following healthy and cheap food in your shopping cart.

Dried Beans

On average, dried beans only cost about $2 a pound, less if you buy the store brand, buy them in bulk, or buy them on sale. There is a wide variety of beans available, and they not only supply you with protein, but they are heart-healthy and have been shown to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer, too. Make sure to include some lentils, a particularly great source of nutrients, in your dried bean mix.

Oats

Forget the instant oatmeal which is an expensive version of oats with added sugar. Instead buy your oats in bulk, either old fashioned or quick. Oats are very cheap. Use them to make baked oatmeal, oatmeal in the crockpot or even oatmeal raisin cookies. They are another heart-healthy food.

Celery

Not only can celery help you lose weight, but it has also shown to reduce your blood pressure when four sticks of celery are consumed each day. Celery is rich in many natural plant chemicals that have great benefits for your heart. Plus, celery is very cheap. Incorporate some into your diet, and you’ll save both your health and your wallet.

Garlic

There is a reason that garlic shows up in many old home remedies and is sold in powdered pill form. it has plenty of health benefits. Consumed in generous amounts, garlic and showed to lower the risk of many types of cancer, including ovarian and colorectal cancer. You can buy the whole bulbs cheaply, or for convenience, purchased garlic in minced form (it comes in jars that need to be refrigerated once opened). Add this cheap ingredient to many of your dishes for both flavor and health.

Tomatoes

You’ll get the most benefit from tomatoes if they are cooked and not raw. They are the most common source of lycopene, a nutrient that guards agains breast cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes are very cheap in their natural form or in the form of tomato soup or tomato sauce. You can also grow your own tomatoes for just a few cents.

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