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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Keeping Healthy During The Winter On A Budget

Written by Tena Moore


The farmer’s markets are closed, greens, squash and potatoes are the freshest things to eat, and the economy is a big bust. During the winter months it’s almost impossible to eat a variety of healthy, fresh foods, and especially hard to get these foods on a limited budget. What is a household grocery buyer to do when thinking about budget and nutrition?

While it may be a little more challenging to eat a healthy diet during the winter months, it is not impossible. There are certain things you can buy – even canned – that can help your family get the essential nutrients it needs.

For vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, high fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties, stock up on some canned pumpkin. You can make pumpkin pie, pumpkin soups (African peanut soup is delicious!), pumpkin dips, and pumpkin breads. Many recipes for canned pumpkin can be found online.

For antioxidants and flavonoids, stock up on some green, black, oolong or white tea for those cold winter nights. Tea is inexpensive and is a great beverage for giving you a little energy, suppressing your appetite, and delivering needed essentials.

For folate, vitamins A and C, phytonutrients, potassium, and fiber, stock up on beets. You can use them as a side dish or make a delicious beet soup. Canned beets are very inexpensive.

Spinach might cost a little more than canned pumpkin and beets, but is high in folic acid, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, antioxidants and a variety of different vitamins. Spinach is also a very low calorie food, so eat in abundance and get your essential vitamins! Put spinach in omelettes, make as a side dish, add to soups and create gorgeous salads.

If you can find it, grab some kiwi. One little kiwi delivers the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, not to mention vitamins K and E. Eat plain and enjoy at least some fruit during winter. Also, if mango is an option, enjoy it for its vitamins A, C and B6, as well as dietary fiber. While you may think kiwi and mango are expensive, you can get them for about $1 per fruit. If fresh fruit isn’t an option, try frozen fruit. Frozen berries can be an easy option, and still very nutritious.

Beans (canned or dried) are an excellent, inexpensive source of protein and fiber. Eat beans in soups, as a side dish, or simply make a big pot of good old-fashion pinto beans to accompany your meals. Other sources of inexpensive protein are canned tuna and salmon.

Other inexpensive, nutritious foods include yogurt, sweet potatoes, oranges, collard greens and carrots.

It is worth it to get creative and research on how you can feed yourself and your family a delicious, nutritious diet during the winter.




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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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