With the state of personal and federal finances, it is getting harder and harder these days to keep menus planned that are healthy and affordable for many families across the country. Fresh produce and natural foods can be just as expensive as prepared meals in some situations. So what is a family to do? Fortunately there are many delicious foods that are very healthy while also being very affordable. Here are some of those foods you should add to your weekly menu starting right now!
Most people already know that the banana is a very good sources of fiber and that they are high in potassium. What many people do not realize is that these tasty tropical fruits are packed with vitamins C and B6? These and many other nutrients can be found in each and every banana. At about a dollar for a bunch on average, getting some of this fruit added into your menu is a thriftier option than almost any other fresh fruit available in most area.
Beans and Lentils
When it comes to nutritional power packed into tasty, tiny, versatile packages, nothing can beat a member of the legume family. Lentils and beans, including red beans, chickpeas, butter beans, and black-eyed-peas are packed full of healthy fiber, protein, and folate. Add them to a salad, make some burritos, cooks up a soup or stew, or add them into any meat based dish for some added nutrients.
Brown rice has long been hailed for its nutritional value and been promoted by many health experts and food lovers as a great alternative to the poor health choice of enriched white rice. If you are growing tired of brown rice and want to shake things up a little now and then, quinoa is an excellent alternative. Both work well as a side dish or as an addition to many delicious meals such as stew, soup, and more.
The vitamin-rich crunchy root offers a superior source of fiber, and being naturally sweet, the carrot is a great side dish to any meal that needs nothing to make it better. Best of all, they are one of the most affordable vegetables out there. Carrots can be enjoyed raw with light salad dressing or lightly steamed as a side dish. Add them to soups and stews, and enjoy them as a mid-day snack.
There has been much back and forth debate over the years in regards to eggs and nutrition, but is has all come down to the presences one on important aspect- protein. One jumbo size egg contains up to six grams of protein and when this is combined with the now deemed relatively low cholesterol count, the egg is a great choice for those on a tight budget.
There are a host of leafy greens that can be a quick, easy, and affordable way to give a much needed vitamin boost to your diet. Whether you go with spinach, collards, mustard, turnips, or any other greens, there is an abundant supply of protein, nutrients, and vitamins. You can get a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, E, B6, and K along with vital minerals including zinc, iron, copper, calcium, and more.
This delicious food occasionally gets put down due to its high fat content, but many fail to remember that much of the fat in peanuts is unsaturated and is the same as what is found in other healthy oils. Natural peanut butter is the best option and there are also many varieties that offer low or no salt and reduced fat for the overly conscientious.
One cup of raw sweet potato provides fiber, B6, potassium, manganese, and almost 400% daily amount of Vitamin A. Slice them and enjoy them raw, lightly steam them, or add them to soups, smoothies, stir fry, and other dishes. The sweet potato is one of the most affordable healthy tubers, costing only a dollar or two more per pound than the unhealthy white potato.
Families today are trying to eat better and stay healthy, but it is getting harder and harder to do on a tight budget. Everyone knows eating out all the time may be convenient but it gets expensive very quickly- especially when you have a larger family. With these super foods on the menu it can be a little easier to eat healthy without breaking the bank!