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Healthy Affordable Foods

16 February 2009 7,847 views One Comment

Healthy and affordable foods; fuel your body and honor your budget.

Nutritional foods are inexpensive when you know where to look.  I am a huge fan of bulk bins which offer the opportunity to try different types of oats, grains, seeds and nuts without having to commit to large quantities until you have tried them out.

Some of the healthiest foods found in the Fort Worth, TX Central Market bulk bins range between .89 and $1.69 per pound. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah):

quinoa

Quinoa is an extraordinary replacement for potatoes and rice.  Quinoa is actually the edible seed of a flowering plant called goosefoot which is closely related to spinach.  Quinoa cooks in about 20 minutes and is packed with nutrients such as Phosphorus, Foliate, Magnesium and Vitamin E to name just a few.  In fact, 3.5 ounces of uncooked Quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of Dietary Fiber.

This little seed is truly a super food that is affordable and versatile.  Feel free to get creative with sweet or savory spices, Quinoa can adapt to any meal.

Sticky Purple Rice:

purplerice

This long grain rice is beautiful in color and texture and is a great dessert option.  It is nice to add raisins or diced up dried apricots while it is cooking for added sweetness.

In one half cup of cooked Purple Sticky Rice there is 5 grams of protein and 4% of the recommended daily amount of Iron.  Serve Purple Sticky Rice at room temperature with a drizzle of soy milk and agave nectar to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Whole Grain Oats:

wholegrain

Throw away those processed packets of oatmeal dust and experience the texture and flavor of hearty Whole Grain Oats.  Not only will your Cholesterol levels improve your body will stay fueled while digesting the complex carbohydrates whole gain oats are made up of.

Taking the time to cook your oats is the way to go, try adding ground flax seed for added fiber and fresh berries for antioxidants and create an affordable, comforting and nutritionally valuable breakfast.

Raw seeds & nuts:

nuts

Consume raw, salt free seeds and nuts for a healthy snack. Be sure to watch portion control and remember one serving of raw nuts is between 10 and 12 whole nuts.  One serving of raw seeds is approximately ¼ cup.  Seeds and nuts are packed with healthy fats, and essential fatty acids, specifically, Omega-6 fats; which are thought to: increase brain function, protect your cardiovascular system, improve eyesight, maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels, promote healthy skin and hair and soothe aching joints.

Often times choosing fruits and vegetables that are locally grown makes them more affordable.  Try a weekend Farmer’s Market or joining a local Organic co-op (www.yourhealthsource.org) where you can find quality and quantity for a reasonable price.

leafyveggies

For high nutritional value, I recommend choosing vegetables that are related to the leafy green’s family known as Cruciferous Vegetables. This includes; Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Chinese Cabbage, Collard Greens, Daikon, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard Greens, Radishes, Rutabagas, Turnips, and Watercress. This family of veggies provides antioxidants (particularly beta carotene) and is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

leanmeat

It is important that people who have hypothyroid function avoid raw cruciferous vegetables since they contain thyroid inhibitors known as goitrogens before they are cooked.

When it comes to affordable, healthy animal proteins, choose lean, hormone free cuts of meat as often as possible.  Chicken is often more affordable then fish and wild game is superior to beef.  Since the recommend portion of animal protein is the size of a deck of cards, most animal protein is affordable when you stick with-in these guidelines.

One Comment »

  • CrisBetewsky said:

    You know, I don’t read blogs. But yours is really worth beeing read.

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