The pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition is supported by the media and doctors. But contrary to popular belief, this is not necessarily expensive, everyone can choose healthy products. And, by the way, buying products marked “BIO” is completely optional: this gradation is just a marketing ploy that allows you to increase the cost of a product several times. Such data were obtained in the course of scientific research. So what should you choose for your menu?
Myths and misconceptions
When watching culinary programs, videos of fashion bloggers talking about healthy lifestyles and nutrition, what do we see? Oysters, caviar, artichokes, asparagus, berries and other superfoods that not everyone can afford on an ongoing basis. No one will argue with this, but there is an alternative. Namely, products that meet the requirements of proper nutrition and remain budgetary. Some superfoods have been safely forgotten, and few people use them in their diet.
1. Useful cereals: pearl barley and barley groats
Based on the “price – benefit” calculation, the record holders are pearl barley and barley (crushed pearl barley) cereals. Barley is a useful cereal plant with a high content of proteins, vitamins A, B, as well as minerals, including iodine and phosphorus.
A simple and, at the same time, popular dish is barley porridge. By the way, this porridge was loved by Peter I. And to make it especially tasty, the cereal must be soaked first. Soups with the addition of cereals are very popular.
There are other grains that are also useful, but to some extent, are inferior in price and nutritional composition. But it is also necessary to include them in the diet. After all, first of all, proper nutrition implies variety.
Rice and buckwheat, which have risen significantly in recent years, are not as useful as it is commonly believed, especially in comparison with barley. Polished rice is a source of a large amount of carbohydrates, and buckwheat can be considered a superfood only in its green form.
It is a source of vegetable protein, which is necessary for the body to build cells and tissues, regeneration processes. Budgetary and healthy legumes are yellow peas and lentils. Moreover, in relation to the latter, you can find products of different prices: from quite budget to very expensive. Soups, cereals, stews, main courses and even salads with these products are popular.
One thing about legumes is that they take time to cook, and that can be frightening. But if you figure it out and use life hacks, cooking legumes is no more difficult than other cereals. Before cooking, you can soak the peas overnight, then they will quickly cook in the morning. If we are talking about split peas and lentils, then they do not require preliminary soaking, and boil for only 20-25 minutes.
Kidneys, liver, heart, lungs are popular by-products, although not among all. One of the most expensive and, at the same time, healthy by-products is the liver, but the price does not go in any comparison with meat and other products.
A variety of dishes can be prepared from offal, and in some cases, it can even be delicacies. Jellied meat is a useful dish for maintaining the health of bones and joints, namely cartilage tissue.
Of course, working with offal takes time and certain conditions in the kitchen. However, all issues can be resolved, and everyone will be able to choose the most useful and favorite dishes.
4. Soy products
When they talk about soy products, they often mean sausages that are flavored with flavors and dyes. However, “pure” soy products are useful: milk, tofu, miso, etc.
Soy contains a large amount of fats, proteins, vitamins, macro- and microelements. Soy is not eaten in its pure form, because it contains substances that suppress the digestion process. But fermentation, boiling, pressing and drying neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, and the result is many healthy and easy-to-digest foods.
The first acquaintance with soy products can start with “asparagus”. In fact, this product has nothing to do with vegetables and is made from soy milk films.
It is available to everyone, regardless of the region of residence, and the price is acceptable. Such asparagus can be used to make salads, stews, main courses, etc.
Kelp is a storehouse of minerals and, first of all, iodine, as well as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. For greater benefit, it must be served fresh on the table, but, unfortunately, not all regions have such an opportunity. However, dried and canned kelp is beneficial, albeit not to the same extent as fresh, unprocessed.
6. Vegetable oils
Fats are an integral part of the diet. After all, it is from them that 60% consists of the brain and they are necessary for full-fledged metabolic processes in cells. Fat deficiency negatively affects the state of immunity, predisposes to the development of depression and chronic diseases. Many will say that vegetable oils are not the cheapest product, nevertheless, one cannot live without them. And the consumption is very economical.
You need to choose not only sunflower oil, but others as well. For example, mustard has a pleasant taste and is much healthier than olive. Camelina oil is a storehouse of healthy fats and vitamins, and also stimulates appetite. Flaxseed can also be called a record holder in usefulness.
All vegetable oils can be used for dressing salads, as sauces. For example, sauerkraut flavored with mustard oil will sparkle with new colors.
Any dish, even the simplest one, with correctly selected spices will sparkle with new colors, become more aromatic and tastier. Numerous spices: various types of pepper, turmeric, ginger, cloves, cinnamon not only stimulate digestion, but also strengthen the immune system, keep food fresh for longer, etc.
When buying, it is better to give preference to whole spices, rather than ground. Indeed, in this case, more essential oils are stored in them, and in some cases this allows you to save money. It is necessary to avoid ready-made mixtures, which often contain salt and flavor enhancers, such spices are not compatible with the principles of healthy eating.
8. Local vegetables
Vegetables are a group of foods that differ in price and nutritional value. The most healthy budget vegetables are white cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic, beets and radishes. These vegetables can be stocked up for the winter, making preparations that can be enjoyed all winter long. For example, sauerkraut not only retains the benefits of a fresh vegetable, but is additionally enriched with beneficial bacteria that are essential for proper bowel function.
By the way, vegetable soups with cabbage (without potatoes) and cereals are an excellent tool for losing weight and maintaining weight. For a change, you can alternate between different vegetables and cereals.
9. Fruits and berries
These are the main sources of vitamins, especially if they correspond to the region of residence and are grown in local gardens and farms.
To be honest, inexpensive apples, pears, plums, currants and raspberries can be found only in season, and even then not in all markets. Local apples are more expensive than imported bananas and oranges. This is not to say that this is bad. Indeed, these fruits also contain a spectrum of vitamins, minerals and other useful substances. In addition, many types of apples are stored for a long time, the main thing is to follow a number of rules. You can make dried fruits, as well as freeze berries, and make compotes from them out of season.
It is a budget source of protein, phosphorus, iron, selenium, many amino acids, vitamins A, D, E, group B, etc. These products are loved by athletes, and are also recommended for patients after illnesses, stimulate the brain and support the health of the central nervous system. When combined with green and leafy vegetables, they turn out to be very useful and diversify the diet.
Proper nutrition is not always expensive. Yes, of course, exotic fruits, vegetables and meat products are healthy, they contain numerous useful substances, but you can always find an alternative and budgetary source of vitamins.