Local health food stores have always been magical places for me. This may seem funny, because when I discovered them almost 40 years ago, they were often in dingy basements, staffed by earnest macro-biotic types, and stocked with unappealing tofu, brown rice and medicinal herbs.
My fascination sprung from reading Adele Davis and Francis Moore Lappe, radical women in their time! I thought that if I could only unlock the secrets to the perfect diet and supplements for me, I would live a long and vibrant life.
Now that I’m in my early sixties, my dedication to staying healthy is paying off. Many of my contemporaries take multiple medications and have chronic aches and pains. Some are struggling with serious illnesses.
Yet my beloved local health food store provides the ingredients I need to stay healthy, happy and energized for life. The good news is that health food stores have evolved, making shopping a more pleasurable experience than ever before.
So if you’re trying to improve your health, here are 7 reasons to befriend your local health food store.
Back in the day, you were lucky to find organic onions, celery and apples. The organics industry is now thriving, and health food stores with produce sections are likely to have more variety and often better prices, because that’s their specialty.
In my store, I can now select everything from purple dinosaur kale to plump juicy blackberries to spicy kimchee.
Years ago I knew about the chemicals in many cosmetics, but the alternatives were disappointing. Today my local health food store has alluring cosmetics to rival the big brands. With gorgeous pallets of eye shadows and lipsticks, I can indulge my passion for makeup without worrying about rubbing Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid on my skin.
For minor sniffles, aches or pains, you can often find experts at your local health food store, providing help at no cost.
I’m fortunate that the supplement section of my local health food store is staffed with professionals such as naturopaths and homeopaths. They patiently listen and discuss supplement brands, helping me cut through the confusion of what ingredients and dosages are best for each condition.
If your local health food store has a prepared food counter, you can take advantage by picking up ready-made meals when you don’t feel like cooking, or just want to pamper yourself with a fresh, organic meal. “Fast food” doesn’t have to mean “junk food!”
In recent years, I’ve come to love superfoods such as Spirulina and Chlorella, black sesame seeds, cacao and hemp. I throw them into my breakfast smoothie and feel energized all morning.
It’s like creating your own personal health elixir, filled with highly nutritious foods from around the world.
We women love our dark chocolate, don’t we? We also love good coffee, almond butter, and green tea. I delighted to know that the dark roast coffee that kick-starts my morning, and the decadent dark chocolate that ends my day, are organic and fair trade. During the day, it’s lovely to enjoy creamy nut butters, delicious spreads, dips and salsas, knowing they are not only tasty, but good for me.
One of the biggest joys of my life is my three-year-old grandson, and we are now waiting for his sister to arrive. Babies have delicate skin and are more sensitive to toxins in foods and personal care products than adults. Luckily my local health foods store is stocked with organic baby lotions and potions that are safe for the wee ones in our lives.
Join Margaret Manning and Lynda Goldman as they discuss all of the reasons:
Have you visited your local health food store lately? If not, check it out. You might be surprised and delighted at what you find there. After all, your health food store is your partner in health!
Disclaimer: none of the information in this article should be considered medical advice. Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or starting a new exercise plan.