170413_TSF_BlogHero_02Eating healthy can seem, and sometimes can be, more expensive. However, choosing real whole foods over sugar-laden, heavily processed packaged or junk food whenever possible, you are investing in your health – short and long term. That’s a great thing, right?

Here are some good value foods that pack nutritional punch, but won’t break the bank 😉

Sardines
These little fishes are full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory, brain boosting, and heart protective qualities. While intense in flavor, sardines are a darn side cheaper than other oily fish that are also high in protective, healthy fats.

Enjoy in salads, with eggs or lightly cooked into a sauce of sautéed onion, garlic, tomato, salt, and pepper.

Sweet potato
Honestly, roasted sweet potato. Need we say more?

Well, we can say more! In addition to its deliciousness, sweet potato (a.k.a. kumara, kamote, and yam – though yams are technically a different plant) is full of fibre, slowing the release of naturally occurring sugars into the blood stream, and micronutrients like beta-carotene, converted into vitamin A supporting eyesight, skin health and the immune system.1

This tasty root veg is fabulous steamed, mashed, in curries, sauces, and stews, and even thinly sliced and popped into the toaster (crazy, we know – but it works!)

Sweet Potato Toast!

Sweet Potato Toast!

Spinach
One has to love some leafy green. Spinach is well-tolerated and offers health supportive nutrients like protein, vitamin C and B vitamins and a whole host of minerals including iron, potassium, and calcium – simply brimming with goodness.

Use as a base for savoury meals, or add to smoothies, stews, soups, frittatas and more.

Spices
Jazz up any meal, sweet or savoury, by having a handful of your favourite spices on hand.

Cinnamon is a rock star spice. It is naturally sweet, and may assist those with symptoms of metabolic syndrome.2-4

Delicious stirred into plain yoghurt, added to a bolognese, curry, soup or stew, or sprinkled on nut butter. Cinnamon is extremely versatile so don’t be shy to add a little to sweet or savoury dishes.

Turmeric is another spice to have in store. This savoury spice comes from the dried rhizome of the turmeric plant, used for thousands of years in traditional medicine offering powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and now being used to trial and treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, gastrointestinal conditions, and type 2 diabetes among others.5-7

Add to soups, stews, curries and sauces. Try our Turmeric and Ginger Latte, and be warmed – and begin healing – from the inside out.

Turmeric and ginger latte

Turmeric and ginger latte

Eggs
Very versatile, the humble egg offers an array of nutrients – including choline, iron, B vitamins (including B12), protein and fats – to keep you energized and satisfied, which can help curb those sugary cravings.

Enjoy them baked, scrambled, boiled or poached. It is worth buying at least free-range eggs, and if possible organic. You are what you eat and the same goes for the animals and the eggs they produce.

Seeds
Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia – there are a number of seeds on the market, and they are often cheaper per kg than nuts. Seeds are nutrient dense, rammed with healthy fats and protein that can make any meal – sweet or savory – more filling, nutritious and delicious.

Sprinkle on salads, make crackers, blend into homemade dips, or enjoy on their own as a snack!

We’ve other tips for eating healthy on a budget, and a heap of fabulous recipes on our website, in our books and e-books for you to try. Eating well needn’t cost the earth.

By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med.)

 

References:

  1. University of Maryland 2015, Beta-carotene, viewed 31 March 2017, <http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/betacarotene>
  2. Davis, PA & Wallace, Y 2011, ‘Cinnamon Intake Lowers Fasting Blood Glucose: Meta-Analysis’, Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 884-889 6p
  3. Qin, B, Panickar, KS, & Anderson, RA 2010, ‘Cinnamon: potential role in the prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes’, Journal Of Diabetes Science And Technology, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 685-693.
  4. Ranasinghe, P, Jayawardana, R, Galappaththy, P, Constantine, GR, de Vas Gunawardana, N, & Katulanda, P 2012, ‘Efficacy and safety of ‘true’ cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) as a pharmaceutical agent in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, Diabetic Medicine: A Journal Of The British Diabetic Association, vol. 29, no. 12, pp. 1480-1492.
  5. Chainani-Wu, N 2003, ‘Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa)’, Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 161-168.
  6. Chandran, B, & Goel, A 2012, ‘A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis’, Phytotherapy Research: PTR, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 1719-1725.
  7. Gupta, SC, Patchva, S, & Aggarwal, BB 2013, ‘Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials’, The AAPS Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 195-218.