How To Make Meals More Nutrious On A Budget
Eating nutritious meals doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are many frugal ways you can add more nutrition to your meals without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you add more nutrition to your meals:
Add Vegetables to Your Meals
Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. They’re also versatile and can be added to a wide variety of dishes, including soups, stews, stir-fries, and pasta dishes.
To add more vegetables to your meals, start by chopping up some bell peppers, onions, and zucchini and adding them to your favorite pasta dish. You can also add some spinach or kale to your morning smoothie, or mix some broccoli or cauliflower into your mac and cheese.
Use Whole Grains
Whole grains are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also filling and can help you feel full longer. To add more whole grains to your meals, try swapping out refined grains for whole grains. For example, instead of using white rice, use brown rice, quinoa, or farro.
You can also add some whole grain bread to your lunchtime sandwich, or make a hearty salad with a mix of whole grains, like barley, wheat berries, and quinoa.
Add Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are a fantastic source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. They’re also affordable and easy to cook. To add more beans and legumes to your meals, try adding some black beans to your morning omelet, or mix some chickpeas into your salad.
You can also make a hearty chili or soup with beans, or make some hummus to spread on your sandwiches or use as a dip for vegetables.
Use Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices add flavor and depth to your meals, and many of them also have health benefits. For example, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and ginger can help ease nausea and indigestion.
To add more herbs and spices to your meals, try mixing some fresh herbs into your scrambled eggs, or add some cumin or coriander to your roasted vegetables. You can also make a flavorful marinade for your chicken or fish with some garlic, lemon juice, and herbs like rosemary and thyme.
Swap Out Unhealthy Fats
Unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, can increase your risk of heart disease. To add more nutrition to your meals, try swapping out unhealthy fats for healthy fats, like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Instead of using butter or margarine to cook your vegetables, try using some olive oil or coconut oil. You can also add some avocado to your salad, or sprinkle some chopped nuts and seeds on top of your oatmeal or yogurt.
Add Fruit to Your Meals
Fruit is a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals, and it can also add a natural sweetness to your meals. To add more fruit to your meals, try adding some berries to your morning yogurt or oatmeal, or mix some chopped fruit into your salad.
You can also make a refreshing fruit salad for dessert, or add some sliced apples or pears to your grilled cheese sandwich.
Drinking water is essential for good health, and it’s also an easy way to add more nutrition to your meals. Drinking water with your meals can help you feel fuller and prevent overeating, which can lead to weight gain.
To add more water to your meals, try drinking a glass of water before you eat, or keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.
If your family is used to flavoring you can use water flavoring and reduce how much is added to work everyone down to plain water over time.
Choose Lean Protein
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and choosing lean sources of protein can help you add more nutrition to your meals without adding extra fat or calories. Lean protein sources include chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes.
To add more lean protein to your meals, try swapping out a portion of your ground beef for some ground turkey or chicken. You can also make a hearty vegetable stir-fry with some tofu, or make a delicious lentil soup for dinner.
Stock protein powder
One trick I use to help make meals more filling is to stock protein powder when I find it on clearance. This can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, and all kinds of other things that are traditionally sweet to increase protein intake on a budget.
Adding more nutrition to your meals doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. By adding more vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, herbs and spices, healthy fats, fruit, and lean protein to your meals, you can increase the nutritional value of your food without breaking the bank. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to support your overall health and well-being.
Remember, small changes can add up to big results over time. So start by incorporating a few of these tips into your meals each week, and see how you feel. By making small, sustainable changes to your diet, you can improve your overall health and well-being without sacrificing taste or your budget.