Lately, you’ve likely felt a distinct “ouch” when paying for groceries. Prices are rising while buying power is dropping – not a good combination. While you may have had to tighten your budget for food, it shouldn’t come at the expense of avoiding a healthy, delicious diet. Good nutrition is essential for good health. And your health should be a top priority. So yes, food prices are up, but certain staple foods still are a good bargain – health and budget-wise – and, most importantly, taste great.
Next trip to the grocery store, add these foods below to your shopping list.
Not only will you become a smarter food shopper but also a connoisseur of good taste and nutrient-loaded foods:
- Bananas – One of the cheapest fruits to buy is a bunch of bananas – whatever amount you need. Bananas are perfect for adding to oatmeal, cold cereal, smoothies, and even toast. One banana has 3 grams of fiber and is an important source of potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
- Oatmeal – This favorite hot cereal is always a bargain. Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, make oatmeal cookies, use them in a protein energy bite, or add to muffins, quick bread, or meatloaf as a thickener. Oatmeal also provides soluble fiber and antioxidants, lowers blood sugar, and promotes healthy gut bacteria.
- Greek yogurt – This rich yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Have a cup at breakfast with fresh fruit (like bananas or berries), add as a topper to a baked potato, or use in place of sour cream in a recipe for a veggie dip.
- Peanut butter – Move over almond butter; peanut butter is a much better bargain. Whether used to make a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, in a protein energy bite, or even in a smoothie, this favorite nut butter contains many nutrients improving heart health, such as niacin, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
- Figs – This small, edible fruit that grows on a Fiscus tree may not be on your grocery list, but give it a chance. Three to five figs supply five grams of fiber and are perfect for adding to your daily fruit intake. Figs also provide bone-building minerals of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, helping prevent osteoporosis. Serve figs with meat and cheese, or eat simply by themselves.
- Sardines – Don’t hold your nose, but sardines are packed with 18 grams of protein, omega-3s, immunity-aiding vitamin D, iron, and potassium – a nutritional boatload! Eat sardines on crackers, on a salad, add to a pasta dish, mix with mayo, salt, and pepper, or eat them straight out of the can.
- Eggs – Eggs are classic food and a good source of about 6 to 7 grams of protein per egg. Besides a good protein source, eggs also offer vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and choline. And be sure to eat the yolk – yolks are full of flavor and the most nutritious part of the egg.
- Brown rice – This whole grain is a must for anyone who loves a tummy-satisfying food that pairs well with other foods. Brown rice offers important nutrients such as fiber, phosphorus, selenium, and iron. Add brown rice to salads, protein bowls, rice pilaf, added to creamy soups, or as a rice pudding.
- Beans – A great supermarket bargain is beans – whether black, red, pinto, garbanzo, cannellini, kidney, lima, or Great Northern, all beans are nutritious and affordable food. Beans are an inexpensive source of fiber, protein, iron, and more. Add beans to soups and stews, salads, pasta, rice, burger or meatballs, and casseroles.
- Frozen fruit or vegetables – While fresh fruits and veggies can be a bargain when in season, but, when out-of-season, prices go up. Buying frozen fruit or vegetables,year-round is a smart, cost-effective choice easy on your pocketbook. Frozen produce can be cooked in minutes, making them convenient by saving the hassle of chopping and prepping. This means less time spent in the kitchen. Frozen veggies are perfect for adding to soups, stews, or casseroles, while frozen fruit are ideal for adding to smoothies or slightly thawed and added to yogurt or cereal for breakfast. In addition, frozen fruit and vegetables are often nutritionally superior to their fresh counterparts. Frozen foods are picked when they are ripest. The freezing process locks in their nutrients, preserving their vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that support your health.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.