What Are Health Food Stores?

While most people do their daily shopping at a traditional grocery store, many do not realize how many chemicals go into commercially-grown food. Items that many shoppers think are healthy are actually filled with preservatives used to increase shelf life. Fruits and vegetables often have to be thoroughly washed before consumption since they may contain pesticides and herbicides left over from the farm. Thus, those looking for a more organic shopping experience have turned to health food stores, which contain organic produce as well as herbal remedies and nutritional supplements targeted toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Organic Food
As mentioned, commercially-grown fruits and vegetables are sprayed with artificial fertilizers and pesticides to ensure maximal growth. Some fruits and vegetables are even injected with chemicals that swell their size. The fruits and vegetables found in health stores, however, are organic, which means that every part of their growing process was natural and did not involve any chemicals.
In addition to fresh produce, health stores also sell other food items that are traditionally found in a supermarket. When most people think of eating organic food, they tend to only think of fruits and vegetables. The truth is that many of the snacks found in traditional supermarkets are found in these food stores, but made with organic ingredients.
Herbal Remedies
Although not every health food store sells herbs, most stores have a section of herbal remedies used to cure a variety of ailments. One popular herb found in these stores is ginger, which has numerous medicinal uses. Since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, it is used to treat many conditions in which inflammation is a symptom. This makes it a great cure for conditions like nausea, since it is often caused by inflammation of the stomach lining. Ginger can be taken as bought or it can be brewed in a tea for a more subtle taste.
Another popular herb found in alternative stores is aloe vera. Aloe vera was for thousands of years as an anti-irritant, both internally and externally. By mixing aloe vera into a drink, it can be digested and used as a treatment for nausea as it treats the irritation of the stomach lining. aloe vera can also be mixed into a paste and used topically to treat skin irritations like acne and sunburn.
Shoppers can also find a wide selection of nutritional and vitamin supplements in most health stores. Not all of these supplements are all-natural (for instance, some use artificial binders), but those that aren't are clearly labeled as such. Moreover, a good health store will always emphasize the importance of real, fresh food over vitamin supplements.
With the countless amounts of chemicals being used to artificially enhance commercial food, many people are patronizing health food stores in search of organic alternatives. By shopping at these stores, people will be supporting retailers that truly care about their health and wellness.
Michael Ravensthorpe is a writer and researcher of nutrition from the United Kingdom. He is the creator of the website, http://spiritfoods.net, which contains interesting and useful information about the world's healthiest foods, from mangosteen to molasses.


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