Guest post by Breana Orland.
There seems to be a common misconception that a healthy diet necessitates a bank account the size of Fort Knox to pull off. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In many cases, healthy eating can be done for the same cost as a “normal” diet, and usually for even less. There is only one real drawback to implementing healthier eating habits, and that is the fact that you will be forced to prepare most of your food at home (no more ordering pizza, hitting the drive-thru, or going out to restaurants three nights a week), but this will actually save you a ton of money, so in many ways it is more like a perk. If you are just starting to think about ways to minimize your budget while maximizing nutrition, here are a few tips to help you on your way.
- Buy whole grains. From bread to pasta to cereal, opting for whole grains will not cost you any more than what you are paying now and the health benefits can be drastic. The reason is that when grains are processed, the lose many of their inherent nutrients. So stay away from stripped down versions of popular grains (white bread, white rice, etc.) and look for the whole grain label to get some extra dietary fiber and lose some of the sugar.
- Check out the farmer’s market. It’s true that fresh fruits and vegetables will cost you, especially in the off-season, but you can take advantage of summer weather to frequent your local farmer’s market, which will provide you with fresh produce at a significant savings (as compared to the grocery store). In the winter, you can opt for frozen fruits and veggies, which often have almost the same amount of nutrients and may cost less than a box of fresh strawberries in December.
- Learn about super foods. Some foods offer so much bang for your buck, you really should find ways to incorporate them into your diet as much as possible. Spinach is one of the big ones. While it’s probably best known as a source of vitamin K, fiber, and iron, it also contains several other vitamins and minerals, like calcium, folic acid, magnesium, lutein, and vitamins A and C, just to name a few. Besides regulating your digestion, it has also been known to increase bone density and lower the risk of cataracts and certain cancers. Wow! That leafy green really packs a punch! A few other super foods you might want to check out are beans, blueberries, salmon, and yogurt. Some, like beans, are already pretty cheap, while a nice salmon filet could get a little pricey. What makes them friendly for your wallet is that they pack such a wallop of nutrients, you’ll be able to cut back on some of the extras you might otherwise have to incorporate into your diet.
- Cut back on meat. Red meat can get a little expensive, so instead of doing the steak, meatloaf, and burger trifecta, try to cut back to one serving of red meat per week. It will be better for your heart, your digestion, and your bank book. And if you’re worried about getting complete proteins, you can always opt for good sources like beans and quinoa (the only grain that offers complete proteins).
- Invest in a filter. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to drink water, so spend $30 on a Brita filter and watch it pay for itself in less than a month as you stop buying sodas, coffee, and sugary juices. You may also notice that you feel more alert, your skin looks brighter, and you don’t go to bed feeling bloated every night. Water not only hydrates you, it flushes your system, so incorporating it into your diet is a cheap way to look and feel better instantly.
Breana Orland is a writer for College Grants. Breana also gives advice on the pursuit of higher education and career options for young adults.
I was not compensated for sharing this informational guest post with you.
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