Hesperian Health Guides
Eating Better for Less Money
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When money is limited, it is important to use it wisely. Here are some suggestions for getting more vitamins, minerals, and proteins at low cost:
- Protein foods. Beans, peas, lentils, and other similar foods (called legumes) are a good, cheap source of protein. If allowed to sprout before cooking and eating, they have more vitamins. Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of animal protein (see ways to use the shells, too). Liver, heart, kidney, blood, and fish are often cheaper than other meats and are just as nutritious.
- Grains. Rice, wheat, and other grains are more nutritious if their outer skins are not removed during milling.
- Fruits and vegetables. The sooner you eat fruits and vegetables after harvesting, the more nutrition they have. Store them in a cool, dark place to preserve vitamins. Cook vegetables in as small an amount of water as possible, because vitamins from the vegetables go into the water during cooking. Then use the water in soups or drink it.
- Milk and milk products. These should be kept in a cool, dark place. They are rich in body-building proteins and in calcium.
- Avoid spending money on packaged foods or vitamins. If parents took the money they often use for sweets or sodas (fizzy drinks) and spent it on nutritious foods, their children would be healthier for the same amount of money.
Since most people can get the vitamins they need from food, it is better to spend money on nutritious foods than on pills or injections. If you must take vitamins, take pills. They work as well as injections, are safer, and cost less.
The tough outside leaves or tops from vegetables like carrots or cauliflower contain many vitamins and can be used to make healthy soups. For instance, cassava (manioc) leaves contain 7 times as much protein and more vitamins than the root.
Many wild fruits and berries are rich in vitamin C and natural sugars, and can provide extra vitamins and energy.
|If you have some|
space, growing your
own vegetables will
provide you with
healthy food at
very little cost.