Thursday, June 9, 2011

Top 10 Healthy Foods Under $3

Eating well doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. Your health is always a good investment and you don’t have to break the bank. Here is a top-10 list of nutrient-packed foods that both your wallet and body will love!
Don't be tricked into purchasing that 2-for-1 sugary snack pack. Instead, stretch your dollar and invest in these heart-healthy items.
1. Yes to Yogurt
Cost: about $1 per 6 oz. container
For a thicker, creamier texture, choose low-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Loaded with protein, calcium, and natural probiotics, it makes for a tasty snack any time. Enjoy it with fresh or dried fruit, blend it into smoothies, or add a delicious dollop onto a baked sweet potato.
Budget-friendly Tip: Buy larger containers for even more savings.
2. Bonkers for Bananas
Cost: approximately $0.40 each
If you crave a sweet, creamy snack, this potassium-packed fruit is the perfect choice! Full of fiber and B6, bananas are the perfect addition to whole grain cereals and yogurt.
Budget-friendly Tip: Store bananas at room temperature away from heat and sunlight. And did you know bananas last longer when you separate them from each other in the fruit bowl?
3. Health Gains with Whole Grain Pasta
Cost: about $2.29 per pound
Full of fiber, whole grain pasta has a nutty, chewy texture that quickly fills you up--this means fewer bites, good news for your waistline. More magnesium and zinc make it a healthier choice than white pasta. Enjoy it hot or cold with sautéed greens and garlic.
Budget-friendly Tip: Look for "100% whole grain" on the package when choosing your favorite brand. If you make more than you can eat in one sitting, no need to waste: cooked pasta without sauce can be frozen for up to three months.
4. Quinoa: The Supergrain
Cost: $1.50 - 2.00 per pound
This ancient grain packs a protein punch, containing all nine essential amino acids--a perfect vegan option. Loaded with iron, magnesium, manganese, tryptophan, copper, and phosphorous, quinoa is a nutritious gem! Start your day with a warming bowl of cooked quinoa mixed with dried cranberries and walnuts, or add some beans and greens for a simple, healthy lunch.
Budget-friendly Tip: Buy quinoa in bulk to get more bang for your buck!
5. Nuts About Almonds!
Cost: $0.33 - 1.00 per handful
Nuts can be budget friendly, especially if you purchase them in bulk. Chock full of the antioxidant vitamin E, protein, and heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat, almonds have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. Enjoy a handful as a crunchy snack or toss into your favorite salad.
Budget-friendly Tip: Store nuts in the freezer to prevent rancidity and extend shelf life. Nuts in their shell are also more cost-effective.
Bonus Tip: In addition to a handful of nuts, consider snacking on our High Performance tablets. This combination of unique Chinese food herbs, exotic seeds and wholesome grains strengthens the digestive system and provides high quality energy to maintain an active lifestyle.
6. Eggtastic!
Cost: $2.00 - 3.00 per dozen
This incredible, edible food can be enjoyed at any meal. New studies reveal that egg yolks are 64% higher in vitamin D and 14% lower in cholesterol than previously thought. An excellent protein source, it also contains lutein. This naturally occurring carotenoid protects the eye from oxidative stress. Enjoy eggs as a breakfast scramble or mix with your favorite veggies for a fun frittata.
Budget-friendly Tip: Store eggs in their carton to prevent them from absorbing surrounding odors. Hard boil a few extra for an inexpensive satisfying grab-and-go snack.
7. Outstanding Oats
Cost: Approximately $0.40 per bowlful
A heart-healthy breakfast choice, oatmeal has been shown to lower cholesterol with its high beta-glucan fiber content. Oats are also rich in selenium, manganese, and B1. Sprinkle some berries and flaxseed powder into your next morning bowl.
Budget-friendly Tip: Purchase oats in larger containers instead of individual packets to save more. Leave the packaged oats that contain salt and sugar on the store shelf.
8. Bountiful Beans
Cost: $1.00 per 15.5 oz can
Whether you pine for pinto beans or chirp for chickpeas, beans are an affordable, healthy food. Full of protein, fiber, and low in fat, they can be enjoyed pureed, steeped in soups, or tossed in salads.
Budget-friendly Tip: Dried beans in bulk will save you more than the canned variety, but both are pocket-friendly. Always look for low sodium on the front panel when buying canned beans.
9. Broccoli by the Bowlful
Cost: $2.30 - 3.00 per bunch
Bursting with vitamin C and antioxidants, broccoli is a low-calorie cruciferous rock star! One cup of steamed broccoli provides you with about 25% of the daily folate value and 45% of vitamin A. Steam, roast, or quickly sauté these green crucifers for a crunchy, heart-healthy side dish.
Budget-friendly Tip: Keep and cook the flavorful stalks to get more for your money. Too tough? Try dicing into a smaller size or simmer in soup.
10. Scrumptious Sweet Potatoes
Cost: approximately $1.00 each
You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy this versatile vegetable! Bake or roast this fiber-packed tuber and get a delicious dose of antioxidant beta-carotene and vitamin C!
Budget-friendly Tip: Do not refrigerate sweet potatoes. They last longer if you store them in a cool, dry area for up to 7 days.
I hope that you will enjoy these budget-friendly healthy foods! You can find more ways to live a long and healthy life in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle. You can also find top longevity food picks in The Natural Health Dictionary, a comprehensive guide that answers all your questions about natural remedies, healing herbs, healthy foods, vitamins, and supplements.
I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
—Dr. Mao
This blog is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical