5 Healthy Foods That Are Worth the Extra Money
The start of a new decade will be upon us within a matter of weeks. You may have pledged to eat healthier as you ring in 2020. That’s a great goal as the majority of Americans don’t eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. However, you may wonder if you will be able to afford to buy healthy items from the grocery store week in and week out. While healthy eating doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, some nutrient-dense foods can be a bit costly for some food budgets.
Does this mean you have to forget about your goal of a healthier 2020? Absolutely not! But to get the most bang for your nutrition buck, you may need to make some room in your grocery budget for these five foods. We’ll discuss these five items and what you can do to include them on your grocery list without going broke.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is no longer just an extraneous item you put on your salad when you don’t want calorie-packed and sugary salad dressings on your meal. It should be an essential part of your diet. That’s because it’s full of antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and protects against conditions such as heart disease (1).
Some studies have even shown that olive oil can help decrease your risk of strokes. One review of a grouping of studies involving over 100,000 subjects found that stroke risk was lowered by a wide margin for those who included olive oil in their diet versus those subjects who didn’t include it as part of their diet (2).
While many people know the benefits of including olive oil in their diet, not everyone can pay top dollar for those pricey bottles. Luckily, you don’t always have to go the fanciest route when it comes to buying this item. You could buy the store brand or buy smaller bottles of the really good stuff. But if you have to spend a little more for olive oil, the health benefits more than make up for the price tag.
When it comes to healthy fats, it really is hard to beat avocados. This superfood contains almost two dozen vitamins and minerals. Rich in flavor and texture, avocados have become extremely popular among health aficionados. But even if you’re all about your super-secret guacamole recipe, the great thing about this fruit is that it’s so versatile.
Did you know that avocados contain more potassium than bananas (3)? Nutrition experts have found that a serving of avocados contains 14 percent of the recommended daily amount of potassium, while bananas only have 10 percent. So get in those servings of avocado toast and banana smoothies. They’re good for you!
If the avocados you buy aren’t ripe, keep them out of your fridge. If they are ripe, putting them in the refrigerator will help them last a lot longer. Grocery experts also suggest that you buy this superfood on Wednesdays. If you happen to come across a great Wednesday sale, stock up! But even at their regular price, avocados provide a ton of nutritional benefits that can’t be obtained through most other food items.
3. Healthy Convenience Foods
Eating healthy is a great thing most of the time. But not everyone wants to come home from a full day of work to stand over a stove for over an hour. So what’s a busy, health-conscious person supposed to do? One thing you can do is grab a rotisserie chicken and salad from your grocery store’s prepared food section and call it a night.
While it is true that foods in the prepared section won’t be the cheapest thing in the supermarket, the extra cost will be forgotten when you finish dinner without needing to do dishes or clean up an annoying mess in the kitchen. If you make good choices in terms of selecting healthier options, buying prepared foods can be a handy dinner option when you need it most.
To buy prepared foods without busting up your budget, wait for sales on items like rotisserie chickens. Or you can go to Costco, where they sell their famous rotisserie chickens for $5! If you’re more in the mood for a salad, load it up with extras like chicken and some of the heartier fixings.
Salmon and other types of fatty fish are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. That’s because these types of fish contain many nutrients that the average person lacks in their diet. Some of these nutrients include iodine, protein, and many other types of vitamins and minerals. Other nutrients that you’ll get from salmon include Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, needed for optimal bodily functioning as well as protection against many diseases (4).
Fatty fish can also reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease. One study even showed that male subjects who ate fish at least once a week had well over a 10 percent decrease in their risk for heart disease (5). So the next time you think you just can’t fit a few pieces of salmon into your weekly budget, think again. In terms of your health, you may not be able to afford to keep it out of your diet.
One good way to save on your seafood purchases is to buy frozen fish. But to get the healthiest options, learn where the frozen fish in your supermarket is sourced before you make that purchase. Fish raised locally are always your best option.
Not every single person needs to add supplements to their daily health routine. Experts state that most people should get all of their nutrients through their diet (6). But for certain groups of people, dietary supplements can be a great way to add needed vitamins and minerals to their health profile.
Some of the groups who might want to consider adding supplements to their diet:
• Pregnant women
• Senior citizens
• People who don’t eat a healthy diet
• People who abstain from dairy
• Vegans and vegetarians
If you fall into one of these groups, you don’t always have to pay exorbitant amounts for dietary supplements. Many legitimate online and brick-and-mortar establishments sell supplements for affordable prices. Just see your physician and talk to them about your diet. They can suggest supplements for you to take if that’s what is needed.
If you want to save your life and a few bucks at the same time, eating healthy can match both of those goals. While the food items on this list can be pricey, buying them can give you a ton of dietary and health benefits. But you can also save when buying these items by following the tips in this article. Fill up on avocados and have a happy, healthy 2020!