If you’ve never stepped foot inside a health food store before, you may find the array of products, labels and promises daunting. As with most things, some research first may help ease the confusion.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from the people working in the store. If you know
exactly what you won’t they will point you in the right direction. If you’re not sure they will usually give you advice on one or two products. Remember though that they are there to sell products so if you’re not sure about making a purchase, don’t do it. It is better to visit a few different stores and get more than one lot of advice than making a mistake with your wallet and products.

2. Always read the labels. Most products will tell you exactly what they’re used for, but be conscious of what you want them for. If you have allergies or sensitivities, it is always wise to make sure the ingredients list is safe, and if you’re not sure, ask the storepeople.

3. Wheat and dairy free alternatives can usually be found in the health food store. You will be surprised by the variety available. Know what you want before you go in as some items are better for different uses and flavour varies greatly. For instance, rice milk, soya milk, oat milk and almond milk are all dairy alternatives, but they don’t all taste the same. Rice milk tends to be sweet and watery, while soya milk is creamier and easier to drink straight. I use rice milk in porridge and find that has enough flavour that I don’t need to add any sweetener. However, I wouldn’t drink it otherwise. Of course, every person’s preferences are different. If you are switching from dairy to any of the alternatives you will need time to get used to the tastes. russian food store

With the flour products, no one type is a straight switch for wheat flour. Potato, rice and buckwheat come close, but some experimenting with measurements and other ingredients will be necessary before you can bake the perfect cake or loaf of bread.

There are now plenty of wheat free breads available. To start with, try those loaves that feel and look most like ordinary bread. You won’t find any “white” bread, but the multigrain versions are quite light.

4. If you are interested in shifting to more alternative remedies without a major change in diet or going on an intense detox, then take a look at products like essential oils and flower remedies. These really do work, but make sure you get 100% pure oils not fragrances and do read the instructions. Flower remedies, such as Bach and Australian Bush Essences, are taken as drops under the tongue morning and night, and are helpful for dealing with stress, concentration problems, hormone fluctuations and a host of other issues that effect our daily lives.

5. Not all vitamins are equal and I would advise you do lots of research before deciding on a course to suit your needs. First, know what you need the vitamins for and then look up the minimum doses required. When you check the labels in the store, make sure that the minimum dose is present and don’t bother with the product if it is not. It is generally considered that the cheaper brands aren’t the best quality or dosage. My advice is to go to a Naturopathic practitioner. They will help you with whatever health issues you are dealing with, advise on vitamins or remedies to take, and advise on diet. In many cases, they can also prescribe herbal remedies that are good quality practitioner only products and make them up to suit you and your needs exactly. If you are taking other medications, always advise the practitioner so they can ensure anything they give you will be complimentary and not harmful to your health.

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