Economic challenges across the country have made it more difficult for people &mdash; including cancer patients and their families &mdash; to purchase and prepare healthy food at home. Candice Schreiber, RD, CSO, LD, a JamesCare for Life dietitian, is here to help shoppers get the most bang for their buck while purchasing nutrient-dense, vitamin-rich foods that taste great and can help lower the risk for cancer and help the immune system fight disease. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important not to get too focused on one or two healthy foods,&rdquo; Schreiber says. &ldquo;The goal is to eat a plant-based diet filled with the colors of the rainbow, with a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains. The specific foods I&rsquo;ve selected are great, but also look for what&rsquo;s on sale, what&rsquo;s local and what you can grow in your own garden. Frozen and canned options of healthy fruits and vegetables are also good options if the fresh alternatives are out of season or more expensive.&rdquo; 1.&nbsp;Asparagus: It&rsquo;s a great source of Vitamin B (folate), as well as Vitamins C and A, and is a good source of antioxidants such as glutathione and rutin, according to the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR). 2.&nbsp;Carrots: A pound of carrots can usually be found for a dollar or less, and buying a bigger bag can reduce the per-pound price. &ldquo;You often see baby carrots on sale, and they&rsquo;re a healthy snack,&rdquo; Schreiber says. Carrots contain carotenoids, a phytochemical that &ldquo;may inhibit cancer cell growth, work as antioxidants and improve immune response,&rdquo; according to the AICR. 3.&nbsp;Oatmeal: &ldquo;This a is really healthy way to start your day,&rdquo; Schreiber says, adding that oats are full of fiber and also contain inositol, a phytochemical that may slow cell growth and work as an antioxidant, according to the AICR. &ldquo;You can make your oatmeal even healthier and better tasting by adding fruit, but be careful not to add too much sugar or other sweetener,&rdquo; Schreiber says. Using low-fat milk or soy milk instead of water will add protein and other nutrients. 4.&nbsp;Farro: Whole grains are some of Schreiber&rsquo;s favorite foods, so it was hard for her to pick just one, but farro is definitely at or near the top of her list. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important to eat whole grains and not refined grains,&rdquo; Schreiber says. &ldquo;Whole grains contain the bran and the germ, and that&rsquo;s where you find the most nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals.&rdquo; Phytochemicals are the substances in fruits and vegetables that provide them with color and taste. They also provide a wide range of vitamins and nutrients, and many act as anti-oxidants. 5.&nbsp;Beans: &ldquo;Whatever kind you like &mdash; black beans, pinto or navy, chickpeas,&rdquo; Schreiber says. &ldquo;You can usually find a one-pound can for less than a dollar. Beans are great sources of fiber and protein, and great substitutes for more expensive and less healthy meat products.&rdquo; 6.&nbsp;Herbs: Once again, there are a lot of choices in this category, but one that&rsquo;s easy to grow at home is basil. &ldquo;Basil has a lot of vitamins and is very versatile,&rdquo; Schreiber says. &ldquo;You can put it in salads, pasta sauces, pesto or soup.&rdquo; 7.&nbsp;Sweet potatoes: &ldquo;These are similar to carrots in that they have the phytochemical beta-carotene,&rdquo; Schreiber says. Sweet potatoes can be baked and eaten on their own, and used in soups, stews and casseroles. 8.&nbsp;Tofu: This is an inexpensive, plant-based source of protein, Schreiber says, adding that contrary to a long-held myth, &ldquo;studies have shown that breast cancer survivors can safely eat whole soy foods.&rdquo; You can use tofu as a replacement for ground beef, in tacos, and in salads and stews. 9.&nbsp;Berries: This is where some shopping strategy and planning comes into play. You can often find cartons of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries on sale. Berries are superfoods that contain polyphenols, a phytochemical that &ldquo;may prevent cancer formation, inflammation and work as antioxidants,&rdquo; according to the AICR. 10.&nbsp;Oranges and grapefruit: These (and other) citrus fruits contain flavonoids, a phytochemical that &ldquo;may inhibit inflammation and tumor growth; may aid immunity and boost production of detoxifying enzymes in the body,&rdquo; according to the AICR. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s better to eat the whole orange or grapefruit, rather than the juice, as the whole fruit has more fiber and sugar is often added to juice you get in a box,&rdquo; Schreiber says. 11.&nbsp;Apples: &ldquo;They contain quercetin, which is a flavonoid,&rdquo; Schreiber says. &ldquo;Eat the peel, as the peel has more quercetin than the inside of the apple.&rdquo; 12.&nbsp;Walnuts: These and other types of nuts contain inositol, a phytochemical that&rsquo;s an antioxidant. Walnuts are at the cheaper end of the nut spectrum, especially when you buy a large bag. Walnuts and most nuts are better if toasted.