Venturing into a health food store for the first time can be a little overwhelming, and leave you unsure of where to start. Not to worry though, with patience and a little help you will be very comfortable picking out your dried fruits, pulses and essential oils in no time. Here are 7 items you should add to your shopping list as you begin your foray into the health food market.
1. Dried fruit
Fruit is always good for you right? Dried fruit can provide you with all of the health benefits you expect from fruit, only in an easy to snack way that you can take with you wherever you go. As with any food, you will need to read the ingredients carefully. The fruit should have no added sugar or sweeteners of any kind. Also, you should be on the lookout for anything else in the ingredients that you don’t recognize. Dried fruit can be a great addition to granola, or pretty much anything, as it adds a punch of flavour with no unhealthy downside.
2. Milk, without the dairy?
You may already be familiar with dairy milk alternatives such as soy milk and almond milk. If you already love this great source of nutrition and vitamins without the calories of regular dairy milk, you need to make sure you are buying the right brand. Watch out for dairy free milk that has additives or sugar. One of the benefits of shopping at a health food store is that you are less likely to find these unhealthy versions of almond and soy milk on the shelves.
A great source of protein and vitamins, nuts can be added to a huge range of snacks and meals, or eaten on their own. They have healthy fats that are good for you, and offer a great alternative to chips or other unhealthy snacks.
4. Shampoo and Body wash
You didn’t think this list would just be food, did you? Many health food stores are a great place to pick up an organic shampoo, body wash or soap. These are gentle on skin and becoming increasingly popular with parents who want to keep chemicals away from their children. A lot of shampoos you find elsewhere will have some ingredients that can cause an irritated or dry scalp.
5. Grains and pulses
The most affordable way to buy grains and rice is usually in bulk. At a health food store, you will be able to find some of the best quality and variety. You can look forward to exploring a great selection of quinoa, lentils, rice and more. Adding these to your diet is a great way to get more healthy protein that is considerably cheaper than meat and other sources.
6. Vegetarian substitutes
Health food shops will often devote an entire section of their store to soy products and meat alternatives. These act as a healthy vegetarian option, and you’ll be able to find meat free sausages and burgers that approximate the real thing. If it has been a few years since you tried these meatless options, and didn’t like them, it is worth a second look. The taste has improved quite a lot in recent years due to better recipes encouraged by higher demand.
7. Chips and Dip
So, this is a guilty pleasure of many people when grocery shopping. If you are having people over, or enjoying a quiet night in, chips and dip are essential in many households. What can you get that is healthy but still hits the spot? There is usually a great selection of hummus or guacamole options to choose from. Just make sure the guac isn’t heavy on additives and cream and you have yourself a great alternative to calorie rich dips. Baked pita chips can also take the place of those unhealthy chips.