Top 10 Cheap and Healthy



By Dr. Michelle Zarrillo

It is often complained about that it is expensive to eat healthy. Feeding a family with smart food choices can break the budget, for sure. The cost of organic milk, organic meats or non-genetically modified foods are pricey, to say the least. Buying local directly from a farmer, of course, adds huge amounts of quality to your menu at a much better price. You can also garden yourself and put food away, but eventually we all enter the grocery store… when that time occurs, here are my top ten smart food choices that are amazingly inexpensive.

10.  Cabbage. Often overlooked, at about 60 cents a pound cabbage has some health benefits worth noting. Obviously, it is good for digestion nada great source of fiber. It also lowers cholesterol. The biggest health benefit is its antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. It really is worth looking at once more.

9.  Old fashioned rolled oats. Obviously, oats are a god source of fiber they are also good for the heart and anti-carcinogenic. It also gives you a full feeling, which is pretty good for 11 cents a serving.

8.  Potatoes.  At about 33 cents a serving potatoes are not just a comfort food.  Potatoes benefit your heart, kidneys, skin, reduce stress, and even contain kukoamines which lower high blood pressure.

7.  Eggs. Eggs are a perfect protein. They are good for the hair and nails. They are good for the eyes and brain, even known to prevent cataracts and senility. They also contain essential fatty acids. Note these are essential to your health and are a natural occurring form of vitamin D.  They can be as low as ten cents an egg, but with eggs, you do get what you pay for, so extra cost is advised.  Even at thirty cents an egg, they are a healthy, versatile bargain.

6.  Bananas. Everyone all together now….bananas contain potassium. In addition to this heart healthy benefit, bananas help with weight loss, regularity, eye health and bone health. Not to mention that they are super easy for people to digest and one of the least expensive fruits to buy.

5.  Brown rice, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and naturally occurring oils. It has been shown helpful in weight loss. It is a good for babies, as it is easily digestible and more nutrient rich than its processed version, white rice. It is also a good grain for those struggling with candida. Large portions of the world eat rice as their staple grain and at 23 cents a serving, we should too.

4.  Greek yogurt. We all know yogurt has natural occurring probiotics, but its Mediterranean version packs higher protein content.  It also has a bit less lactose, which for some makes it easier to digest.  At 89 cents a serving, the plain whole milk Greek yogurt stabilizes blood sugar, which is a great addend in a fruit smoothy.

3.  Bagged spinach. Although spinach is anti-many things, it is so healthy that it is anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-macular: degeneration and is full of antioxidants.  It’s a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. It is good for immunity, skin and bones.  At 2 dollars a bag, and often less, it is a really healthy green. Get the organic, it’s even better.

2.  Sardines. Unlike tuna, which can contain mercury, sardines are low in mercury and PCB’s. They are good for your heart, good for your bones and high in protein. They are also a clean food, as they are not farm raised. They are every bit as inexpensive as canned tuna, also, but are a better quality fish.

1.  Beans. Black, lentil, red, pink, white or garbanzo beans are really the hidden jewel of groceries. Not only are the easy to prepare, versatile, and can be less than 10 cents a serving. Beans are rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They lower blood sugar, lower cancer rates, are heart healthy, a good source of fiber and are filling.

Eating healthy can put a strain on the grocery budget, but a few cheap meals during the week can bring costs back under control.  There are other budget friendly healthy foods and of course, coupons, sales and mark downs. Meal planning also helps rein in inflating food cost, without jumping to junk food, which is surprisingly always cheap. You can do it…and feeling better is a nice payoff for your effort.


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