In these tough economic times, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating expensively; in fact, it can often mean the opposite. As any nutritionist worth his or her salt can tell you, eating in often means eating better; and as any economist will tell you, eating out can starve your wallet. Plus, while you’re staying in and choosing healthier supermarket or sustainable options, you can also pick the fit-friendly food choices that will keep you strong, out of the doctor’s office and away from injury and illness that—as many a medical bankruptcy shows—can ultimately break the bank.
So, if getting fit, healthier and slimmer isn’t incentive enough to seek preventative measures like improved diet and exercise, look no further than a nutrient-rich diet that won’t leave you cash-poor with staggering medical bills.
So, where do you begin? Don’t know what’s cheap, easy and healthy in your grocer’s shelves and freezers? Well invest in these simple standbys that are easy on the wallet while making it harder to succumb to expensive conditions like diabetes and hypertension:
This potassium powerhouse is a filling, fiber-rich breakfast and snack favorite that usually cost less than a dollar a pound. Use a bunch for a week-long punch of fruit or grab a few for a fruit smoothie option that will leave you full and fitter.
Chickpeas, black beans, pintos, kidneys, navies, no matter what the bean, you’ll never break the bank. While canned beans are low-cost and super convenient, dried beans can be bought in bulk and provide an even lower-cost option. Use beans as a meat-replacement to give you a more cholesterol-friendly choice that is also better for the environment…and your wallet!
While they can be a bit more expensive, if you can only afford one fruit per week, a basket of blueberries can be your single best food powerhouse. With just 80 delicious calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer us many important nutrition and health benefits. Mix them with oatmeal (see below) for a low-fat breakfast, or eat them alone for snack stored up with vitamin c, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants.
This carotene-packed veggie is an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A. In addition to promoting better vision, this convenient snack is great for kid and adult lunches, alone or with your favorite low-calorie dipping sauce.
It worked for Popeye and it can work for you too. Spinach is a green machine that supplies a necessary nutrient boost in the time it takes to microwave a meal…and for less.
Cheaper than cereal, this old kid-friendly staple is a great source of fiber that can cut cholesterol and can even prevent diabetes and reduce the risks of heart disease.
This ain’t your mother’s jelly companion anymore. A low-sugar version of your favorite texture of peanut butter is a cheap, filling option that is loaded with good fats.
Skip the pie and load up on the source: sweet potatoes are a power and nutrient packed alternative to its starchier potato counterpart.
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