Healthy, Tasty and Affordable Foods
By: Donna Haybarger
Most people want to be healthy and they want to eat healthy. The problem is they focus on the negatives, potential barriers and roadblocks that prevent them from succeeding. They think of reasons why it won’t work such as, healthy food doesn’t taste good, it takes too long to prepare or it’s too expensive.
According to a 2010 USDA Study, 11.8% (4.98 million) of Pennsylvania households were food insecure – meaning their access to adequate food was limited by lack of money and other resources. Many families think that it’s too expensive to eat a nutritious diet. That is simply not true!
There are plenty of healthy foods that can satisfy your palate, won’t take a lot of time to prepare, and won’t break your pocketbook. You can have it all!
Eating healthy foods can prevent disease, give us more energy and help us to enjoy longevity. Here are three simple to prepare and affordable foods that anyone can easily incorporate into their diet:
Cucumbers: have not received as much press as other vegetables in terms of health benefits, but there are many reasons to add this vegetable to your diet on a regular basis. They contain vitamins A,C,E,K,B and the minerals iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and selenium. They help to cleanse the kidneys and support the immune system. Cucumbers are easy to grow in Western PA and currently range in price from .50 cents to $1 each.
Cucumbers are more than just a salad accoutrement; they are tasty, healthy and enjoyed on virtually every continent. Because of their versatile flavor they are easily incorporated in to many types of cuisine.
Avocados might seem too rich with their irresistible, buttery taste, to be a wholesome part of a healthy diet. But they are. They provide nearly 20 essential nutrients including iron, zinc, manganese, copper and folic acid. One avocado has three times the potassium of a banana. Potassium lowers the risks of high blood pressure, heart attack and cancer. Avocados currently range in price from .50 to $1.99 each, less than a bag of Doritos or a Big Mac!
Leeks have been valued by many civilizations including the Ancient Greeks and Romans for their medicinal powers. Because they are closely related to onion and garlic, they share some of their benefits which include reducing the risk of colon, stomach and prostate cancer and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
Leeks contain many flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits. They are one of the best sources of dietary fiber which energizes the body’s many functions including digestion and metabolism. Leeks are also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, calcium, potassium and iron.
Their mild sweet flavor makes them an excellent substitute for regular onions. I prefer them in some recipes because they can be used more liberally without fear of over powering the flavor of the other ingredients.
A cold soup recipe using these ingredients is available at www.way2wellness.com