As we begin the new year, many of us have likely set some kind of goal relating to health and fitness. Unless you plan on hiring a personal trainer and/or nutritionist, you’re going to need some knowledge about what you’re putting into your body before you can get anything out of it. And even with our help, we can’t be there to hold your hand all the time. Here are 5 powerful foods you can use to fuel your body while recovering from Christmas spending.
1. Brown Rice
A pound of brown rice can be found for around $2 in most stores. It’s an excellent complex carbohydrate that also carries plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some of these include phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium, along with Vitamin B. Brown rice has also been shown to reduce the risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
You can buy a 9oz bag of spinach for roughly $2-$3. Vitamin K is a powerful vitamin found in spinach, strengthening bones and reducing your likelihood of cancer and heart disease. Other vitamins and minerals include manganese, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. These all work together to boost the immune system and help you get sick less often. Spinach also helps prevent and repair cell damage. If you don’t like the taste, try blending it into a smoothie a banana and some orange juice.
Bananas are great because they can be purchased at around $.60 per pound. They contain many vitamins and minerals — most notably potassium — that help combat diabetes and aid digestive health. Other vitamins found here include Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. They also make for a great snack food at a very inexpensive cost. Try spreading them with peanut butter!
4. Chicken Breast
Chicken breast is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to hit your protein intake. 8 oz of chicken breast carries 34g of protein, plus essential amino acids to boost muscle growth. Chicken breast is a lean cut of meat that, when cooked correctly, can help facilitate weight loss. Prepare it on the grill with a side of vegetables for a low-fat, high-powered meal.
5. Greek Yogurt
A 32 oz container of Greek yogurt can be bought for under $5 in many stores. 1 cups contains 20g of protein and also gives your body the calcium it needs for health bones, muscles, and nerves. Yogurt is full of probiotics: bacteria beneficial to digestive health. You can add nuts and fruits to your yogurt for extra flavor and texture, or you can blend it into a smoothie.
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be a pain — these 5 foods are an excellent addition to any diet when you’re looking to get both physically and financially fit. And aside from getting in shape, these nutrient-dense foods will also help reduce your sick days so you can have more vacation days instead!