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How To Eat Healthily Whilst On A Low Budget. Include These 5 'All Around Wonder Foods' In Your Diet.

Updated on March 6, 2016

My Story and Motivation

Is it really possible to find foods that are healthy, filling, cheap and tasty all at once? It Absolutely, 100% is. As a very health conscious University student, I decided that cheap food is the way forward for me when taking in to account the great expenses of tuition and maintenance fees. This being said, cheap foods may just include foods like for example 'Sainsbury's Basics Chocolate Wafer Biscuits'. Now this is a great, tasty and cheap snack don't get me wrong but why stop at that I thought because I am one of those people who can't be fully satisfied with a food if I know it's not good for me. So I did some research into foods that were healthy and came across products like 'Meridian's Almond Butter' which is £3.95 for 170g in Sainsburys. This is an awful lot more money compared to the more unhealthy 'Meridian Peanut Butter' which is £2.00 for 280g, 110g more! Other various and random healthy foods that I found particularly expensive for the quantity provided would include 'Almonds' (£1.25 for 100g), 'Black Chia seeds' (£5.00 for 150g), 'Asparagus' (£1.75 for 100g) and many more. Of course in noting the high prices of these products, I am considering the generally relatively small quantity of the product being offered. By this point I thought, do we really have to have a bit more money to eat more healthily? How is that fair? So I further researched all types of food in the hope of finding certain foods which are both reasonably priced and also healthy. In doing so, I eventually found some great foods which have multiple great benefits and when I think about it, of all the foods on the planet, I figured that these 'All Around Wonder Foods' couldn't not exist. So here they are to help you save money as well as stay fit happy and healthy!

The 'All Around Wonder Foods' and Their Qualities.

Oats:

  • Satiety (How Filling): 9/10. I rate the satiety of oats at 9 because they are high in a particular type of fibre called beta-glucan. Without being too scientific, this fibre effectively impedes digestion due to it's viscosity which causes us to feel full and satisfied in the lead up to our next meal. This proof reflects the fact that I genuinely feel full after eating this which is great because my stomach doesn't start rumbling during 3 hrs of uni lectures!
  • A Few Health Benefits: -Better Immune Response To Infection. -Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels. -Lower Cholesterol Levels. -Reduced Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Due To Presence Of Antioxidants. -Lowered Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Price: £1.20 for 1Kg (The price varies slightly depending on the supermarket but I will include each product with the price that they are currently being sold for in Sainsbury's supermarket).
  • How I Consume: I have oats as part of my breakfast porridge by adding around 75 grams of oats to a microwavable bowl. I then add around 350ml of either water or milk to the oats and mix well. Adding milk tends to make the oats have a creamier texture but of course water can be more convenient and cheaper.The amount of liquid you add depends on the texture-consistency that you want so I find myself experimenting with this on most mornings. I personally like to add a hint of cinnamon to my porridge because not only is the flavor delicious, but this creates a delightful aroma in my house to start the day off.Cinnamon, along with many other spices, has also been linked to helping with controlling insulin levels and speeding up your metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates. Further to this, an increased rate of metabolism will mean that carbohydrates will be used up as opposed to being turned in to fat. After adding cinnamon (optional) I heat this until its hot which is usually around 1 minute 30 seconds. To top this super healthy breakfast meal, I add one chopped banana (providing that I'm not in a rush).






Sweet Potatoes:

  • Satiety: 8/10. Sweet Potatoes are highly satiating foods, partly due to their high carbohydrate content.
  • A Few Health Benefits: -Contains Antioxidant Nutrients. -Contains Anti-inflammatory Nutrients. -Helps To Improve Blood Sugar Levels and Maintaining Energy. -Helps With Cancer Prevention.
  • Price: £1.50 for 1.25kg
  • How I Consume: Most of the time I like to eat Sweet Potatoes chopped rather than mashed after boiling them for around 30 mins. This is because I think they are more flavorsome in their chopped form.They go especially well as part of a main meal with salmon, hollandaise sauce, peas and broccoli to create a really healthy (generally low acidic/neutral) meal. Another way to enjoy Sweet Potatoes would be to make chips from them. This is done by cutting them in to rectangular chip shapes and boiling them. Once boiled, dunk each chip in a bowl of oil and place them on a baking tray. Then season them with salt, pepper and paprika if you like. Cook them until they are golden brown which should be around 25-30 minutes at 185 degrees celsius, making sure to turn them over after 10 minutes. With their amazing health benefits, great flavor, reasonable price and high satiety, I rate the Sweet Potatoes as a great super food alternative to ordinary potatoes.

Quinoa:

  • Satiety: 8/10. Foods with a high glycemic index are proven to stimulate hunger. Quinoa has a low glycemic index of 53 and so has a high satiety. It is also a good source of protein which is suggested to be a contributing factor of keeping us fuller for longer.
  • A Few Health Benefits: -High In Nutrients and Antioxidants. -Low Glycemic Index. -Protein Rich Containing All Nine Essential Amino Acids. -On Consumption It has A Slightly Alkalizing Affect On The Body.
  • Price: £1.80 for 300g
  • How I Consume: I tend to eat quinoa in salads either in a bowl or in a wrap. A typical salad combination for me would include quinoa, beets, avocado, goats cheese and spinach with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I only tend to eat Avocado for it's health benefits because it is packed with extremely high amounts of vitamins. This is because I'm not a huge fan of the flavor but to add balsamic vinegar to this particular salad really helps to take away the flavor of the avocado which means that I can enjoy the benefits and texture of the avocado! Quinoa is an incredibly versatile grain because it can be used eaten with many different foods. I sometimes even use it as an alternative to rice.

Lentils:

  • Satiety: 8/10 The satiety of all foods comes down to its chemical components. Lentils contain 'anti'-nutrients which effectively make you feel fuller for longer because they delay digestion through delaying the absorption of nutrients.
  • A Few Health Benefits: -Helps Lower Cholesterol, -Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels. -Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease. -High In Protein. -Helps With Digestion. -Alkalizing Affect On The Body.
  • Price: £1.10 for 500g
  • How I Consume: I have a tendency to combine lentils and quinoa by cooking and consuming them together to create an extremely filling meal! Similarly to quinoa, lentils are a really versatile ingredient. Their relatively mild flavor means that this flavor generally won't clash with other flavors if you wanted to combine them with other foods to create a healthy, bulky meal. I like to mix quinoa and lentils with some houmous which is a fairly healthy, high ph (around ph7) and tasty sauce.

Broccoli:

  • Satiety: 7/10. Being quite a bulky vegetable, broccoli is typically high in fibre and so creates the roughage needed to give us high satiety.
  • A Few Health Benefits: -Anti-inflammatory Nutrients, -Lots Of Antioxidants. -Helps To Prevent Cancer. -Helps With Detoxification and Digestion. -Alkalizing Affect On The Body.
  • Price: 50p for 335g
  • How I Consume: I try and eat a serving of broccoli every day because of it's amazing health benefits and cheap price. Broccoli can be consumed with almost any meal. You could even make broccoli and stilton soup, one of my favorites for a very cheap price. The other great thing about broccoli is its convenience. Broccoli takes only about 10-15 minutes to cook.

Why not give these cheap, healthy and filling foods a try, you won't lose anything... except weight!

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