Ah, Instant Noodles.  They're the drug of choice for many college students, debt-ridden individuals, and the everyday New Yorker trying to make rent.  While they're renowned for being cost-effective, they certainly lack in the nutritional value department.

From The Washington Post:
Although instant noodles is a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food's] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat, and glycemic loads.  Women who ate instant noodles twice a week or more had a higher risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate less, or not at all, regardless of whether their diet style fell into the traditional or fast-food category...

So, what's a strapped for cash twenty-something to do?  Here are some simple hacks that can make that cup of noodles a little healthier without breaking the bank.
Ditch the Seasoning Packet - Use Unsalted Broth
The noodles themselves have a lot of sodium, but you can win half the battle by ditching the seasoning packet.  It's loaded with a ton of preservatives and sodium.  Switch it out for some Unsalted Chicken Stock and then...

Dice Up a Vegetable Rainbow
Instant Noodle's biggest crime is that it has barely any nutrients, so inject some of your favorite vegetables.  Or even some vegetables you can't stand.  I hate eating carrots, but they're awesome in ramen.  Some ramen old faithfuls include spinach, carrots, and green onion.  Get a colorful array of vegetables, steam them, and throw them in.

Add a Protein
You've got the nutrients, now get the gains.  Cook up a lean protein and throw it in your creation.  My personal add is either shredded chicken breast or eggs.  Sometimes, it's both.  Typically, I opt for something in my fridge that's on its last legs.  That means it's soup time.

Throw in Some Peanut Butter
I did not believe this the first time I heard it.  But whoa...peanut butter in ramen is GOOD.  Besides the fact that peanut butter is a recovery powerhouse, it adds great flavor and texture to the soup.  And yes, crunchy works just as good as smooth.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah is a business school graduate, New Yorker, and an avid marathon runner. To date, she has finished over ten marathons including the Boston Marathon. With over a dozen years of competitive running under her belt, she began a running blog called www.unicornswelcome.com. She hopes to give runners an honest opinion of what has worked and what hasn't by calling upon her own personal experiences.