Some people say that organic food isn't any healthier than non-organic food. But natural foods do not contain the artificial ingredients or isolated vitamins, minerals, and chemicals that are found in other products. The nutrients are natural rather than synthetic and do not include refined sugars, refined flours, milled grains, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, artificial food colors, or artificial flavorings found in other foods. Natural foods also have some major health advantages:
- Natural foods are rich in bioflavonoids and phytochemicals, which are powerful nutrients found in plants.
- There are more complex carbohydrates, natural antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients than processed foods.
- Natural foods are often high fiber foods with more beneficial fats.
For these reasons, it is a good idea to buy whole foods at health food stores when possible. But, buying natural foods can be expensive, which can make buying all natural foods unrealistic. Begin by narrowing down what is bought at a health food store to seven types of food products.
Seven main types of food products that you should buy from a health food store or natural food store:
- Soy products. Health food stores offer a bigger selection of soy products than grocery stores. As well as a better variety of different types of soy products such as soy burgers, different types of soy cheese.
- Flour. Whenever you can buy flour you should try to buy it in bulk it is a lot more economical most things that come in bulk at a health food store is usually less expensive then purchasing the same item in smaller quantities at the local food chain store.
- Small quantities. Most health food stores carry ingredients in bulk, so rather than having to buy a whole package of an ingredient at the grocery store, a smaller quantity can be purchased at a health food store.
- Cooking with leaves. Grape leaves are great to cook with especially when using a recipe that calls for grape leaves or other leaves that are similar such as kale or arugula. It is virtually impossible to get grape leaves from a local food chain store, and the leaves that they have are leaves like kale and when you are able to find them they are usually getting old.
- Fresh Fruits and vegetables. Whenever it is possible it is always better to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. While most grocery stores label some fruits and vegetables as organic, they really aren't 100% organic. Therefore, it is better to get fresher, 100% organic produce at a health food store.
- Carob. Love chocolate try carob. Carob is a healthy substitution for chocolate and can be purchased in bulk at health food stores. At grocery stores carob is considered a specialty item and if they carry it, it will cost more than at the health food store.
- Organic Vanilla. Organic vanilla can be purchased at health food stores in place of the imitation vanilla normally purchased from grocery stores. Pure vanilla or organic vanilla has a richer flavor to it than the imitation vanilla.
Sometimes finding a natural food or organic food store nearby can be hard to find. There is always the option of ordering and buying your food online and having them ship the food to you. Even if it is hard for you to locate a health (natural or organic) food store the benefits are worth the trouble.