10 Healthy Food Staples That Won't Break The Bank
Because we're not all Kardashian rich...
Find someone who’s goal isn’t to eat healthily and we’ll buy you a cake. A chocolate one. We all have the very best intentions when it comes to our diet but so many things can get in the way; you’re tired, there’s nothing in the house or the price tag on healthy foods is just not doable on your bank balance.
We get that you're not rolling in cash to splash at Whole Foods, so we got dietitian Sophie Medlin to help a pal out and fill us in on the cheap staples that every diet can benefit from.
Wanna mix up your workout routine? Meet Water Yoga...
1. Low sugar, fortified breakfast cereal and milk
“Since the rise of the avocado (same price as a whole box of cereal) everyone has forgotten the massive nutritional benefits of breakfast cereal which is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and with cow's milk, also provides a great source of protein. Breakfast cereal has always been a really important source of iron for women in the UK and since it has been demonised by the non-scientific nutrition community in social media, many women will not be getting enough iron in their diet."
Fruit and Fibre, £1.45 for 750g box at Tesco
2. Frozen vegetables
“Frozen vegetables can get a bad press, but some vegetables like peas or broad beans freeze and reheat really well and will still contain the same levels of vitamins and minerals as the fresh varieties. Keeping them frozen means less waste and vegetables at hand for when the fridge is bare!”
Frozen garden peas, £1.30 for 1kg bag at Tesco
3. Canned pulses
“Canned pulses are super cheap and adding chickpeas to a curry will make the meat go much further. They can also easily be made into falafel or hummus, and kidney beans can be added to mince or stews. They even provide nearly as many antioxidants as blueberries!”
Chickpeas, 40p per 400g tin at Sainsbury’s
4. Nuts and seeds
“Nuts are a fantastic snack - they provide loads of fibre and important minerals. Some nuts are much more expensive than others, but lots of pound shops sell nuts and seeds, and even buying almonds online is much cheaper. Mix up a big jar with cheaper nuts like peanuts to bulk it out and enjoy them as a snack.”
Unsalted mixed nuts, £2 for 200g at Tesco
"Broccoli is an amazing source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. It is low in calories, full of fibre and is super cheap! It’s much more delicious if you pan fry it or stir fry it with a little oil or butter rather than steaming or boiling."
Broccoli, 60p for 360g at Asda
6. Frozen berries
“Berries are a great source of vitamins and the nutritional scientist's new favourite: polyphenols. Fresh berries can be expensive but they are cheaper frozen, and are great in smoothies or in yoghurt after they have been defrosted.”
Frozen blueberries, £1.75 for 350g at Asda
7. Free range eggs
“Eggs are an amazing source of protein, vitamins and minerals. They are cheap and really quick to prepare into a variety of meals.”
Medium free range eggs, £1.10 for 6 at Sainsbury's
“Milk has been massively demonised by the online nutrition community but its benefits from a nutritional perspective are huge. Dietitians working with professional athletes recommend half a pint of skimmed milk before and after training as a protein supplement, as cow’s milk has been shown to offer great benefits for muscle growth and recovery.”
2-pint bottle of milk, 80p at Morrisons
“Oats contain B vitamins, iron and fibre, and can be eaten for breakfast or be added to mashed banana and a little honey to make a delicious flapjack-type snack.”
Porridge oats, 75p for 1kg at Asda
10. Canned fish
“Canned fish offers an amazing source of protein and vitamins and minerals and is really good value. If you don’t like your fish too fishy, try sardines in tomato or spicy sauce.”
Sardines in tomato sauce, 45p for 120g at Morrisons
Sophie Medlin is a dietitian and lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics. You can catch her at @sophie_dietitian on Instagram.
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