We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—well-stocked natural health retailers offer a one-stop shopping experience. Next time you’re strolling the aisles grabbing your usual supply of supplements and organic kale, consider delving a little deeper to discover these fantastic finds.
If you think you know your natural health retailer, think again! Next time you’re strolling the aisles grabbing your usual supply of supplements and organic kale, consider delving a little deeper to discover these fantastic finds.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—well- stocked natural health retailers offer a one-stop shopping experience. The best part is that you can be confident that the products are healthy options for you and your family.
Get fresh with juices and smoothies
For a healthy shopping snack, grab a smoothie or freshly squeezed juice, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Give it a try: Aim to include one new veggie or fruit each time. It’s a fabulous way to try something new.
Go nutty in the bulk section
Once considered a hippie’s haven, the bulk section is achieving new popularity in the era of beautifully unpackaged and instantly Instagrammable food. Pile your cart high with teas, grains, cereals, dried fruits, nuts, flours, baking products, candies, snacks, and much more. Some stores even stock cleaning products and personal care products, such as packaging-free shampoo. Bring your own container for bonus points (and sometimes discounts!).
Give it a try: Choose your favourite snacks, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, and even some candies to design your own trail mix.
Purchase some presents for your pooch
Organic food, treats, and other pet goodies can be found at many well-stocked natural health retailers. This is especially helpful for our furry friends with allergies or specialty diets.
Give it a try: Do a label comparison between your pet’s current food and the food brands available at natural health retailers. You might be surprised at the unsavoury byproducts and unnecessary, unhealthy ingredients in conventional pet food.
Follow your nose to the essential oils
Natural health retailers are one of the best places to stock up on high quality essential oils. Make sure to choose essential oils that are packaged in tightly closed dark glass bottles with clear statements about their purity (whether or not they’ve been diluted), country of origin, and Latin name.
Give it a try: Not sure what to do with essential oils beyond filling your diffuser? Add a few drops to a bath, combine with water in a spray bottle to make a DIY yoga mat spray, or dilute well in a carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil) for a romantic massage.
Pamper yourself with personal care
Nearly every personal care product you can dream of has a healthy equivalent. Look for natural versions of the following:
- soaps and scrubs
- hair care products, including colour
- skin care, including moisturizers, exfoliants, serums, masks, and treatments
- toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
- all cosmetics and nail polish
- feminine hygiene products
- sunscreen and bug repellent
- personal lubricants
Give it a try: Toss your old makeup (how long have you been using that eyeshadow palette, anyway?) and give yourself a natural makeover. Ask staff for their top suggestions.
Clean up your cleaning products
Do you know what’s in your cleaning products? Ingredients often aren’t listed, and products can contain countless potentially harmful chemicals. From toilet bowl cleaners to window cleaning spray, you can find effective natural versions at health food stores.
Give it a try: Spring cleaning in September? Make your to-do list, roll up your sleeves, and go for it. Don’t forget to organize your closets (and donate old clothes) and restock your first aid kits and supplements.
Get to know the neighbourhood with local finds
Natural health retailers often stock gourmet goodies from small-scale artisan suppliers who don’t have enough stock to break into big-box stores. Look for jams and jellies, baked goods, spice mixes, kettle corn, and much, much more.
Give it a try: Celebrate local food and drinks by going on a local farm tour or hosting a “local food”-themed dinner party or potluck.
Chill at the dairy and meat coolers
For the non-vegan crowd, health food stores are the ultimate place to find artisan yogurts, free-range eggs, grass-fed meats, and organic dairy—all under one roof.
Give it a try: How many different types of yogurt can you find on your health food store’s shelves? Greek yogurt, Icelandic yogurt (skyr), and goats’ milk yogurt all have their own taste and texture variations, and health benefits. Plus, be sure to try out the fermented yogurt drink kefir, as well as some nondairy yogurt alternatives, such as those made from soy or coconut.
Cut yourself some slack at the deli counter
Busy work week? No sweat! Many natural health retailers offer premade healthy meal options, such as salads, pizzas, soups, and full entrées for the whole family. Some even offer cafeteria-style self-serve options.
Give it a try: Make it a date! Meet up with a friend for a fun and fast healthy lunch on-the-go. Take your food to a local park and dine al fresco.
Small but mighty
Sure, you can stock up on your healthy living essentials at your typical big-box store, but there are so many reasons why your natural health retailer is the way to go. Here are just a few.
Oftentimes, staff members are trained in naturopathy, herbalism, nutrition, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and other natural healing methods. This can mean in-depth conversations and personalized recommendations for those with unique needs, such as health conditions and specialty diets.
In addition having staff who are able to answer questions, health food stores often host seminars, educating and empowering customers. They also often provide free handouts, health magazines, and recipes.
There’s just no comparing the breadth of high quality, niche, or exclusive products and brands available at natural health retailers.
Local health food stores are often pillars of the community and give back to their beloved neighbourhoods through charitable donations, special events, and partnerships.
Looking for your closest natural health retailer? Use the “Find a Retailer” tool on alive.com: simply plug in your location and discover hidden gems near you.