The term “health food” refers to certain foods which are especially good for health, although it actually has no precise definition. Some popular health foods include bran, tofu, walnuts and yogurt.
Some terms associated with health food are macrobiotics, natural food, organic food and whole food.
A macrobiotic diet is based on ideas about types of food drawn from Zen Buddhism. The diet tries to balance the ancient Chinese principle of yin and yang elements of food and cooking utensils.
The main principles of macrobiotic diets are eating reduced animal products, locally grown foods in season, and eating food in moderation.
Macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products, fish nuts, seeds and fruit combined into meals according to a balance of yin and yang.
Mild natural seasonings, mild non-stimulating beverages such as bancha twig tea and fruit are also recommended.
Brown rice and other whole grains such as barley, millet, oats, quinoa coma spelt, rye and teff are thought to be the foods in which yin and yang are most closely balanced.
Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant beets, spinach and avocados are not recommended in macrobiotic cooking, as they are considered extremely yin.
2. Natural Food
Natural food is food that has not been significantly altered by processing.
A natural food or ingredient of a food does not contain, or ever has contained, an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, artificial flavouring agent or food additive. Als,o a natural food or ingredient of a food does not have any part removed or significantly changed, except for water.
3. Organic food
Organic food is food grown without using conventional and artificial pesticides. It must meet certain organic standards.
Some studies suggest that organic produce contains higher levels of cancer-fighting nutrients. While others show no difference, it is definitely better for the environment and doesn’t contain the pesticide residues often found in non-organic produce.
But organic food is usually more expensive so when choosing what to buy, consider which organic foods have the worst residues. But don’t let the price prevent you from eating large amounts of organic fruits and vegetables all of which are extremely good for you.
Whole food is plant food that is unprocessed and unrefined or processed and refined as little as possible, before being eaten. Examples of whole food include whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits and vegetables. The term “whole food” used to include animal food, oil and salt but doesn’t today.
4. Refined food
Even though refined food also originates from nature, it is industrially processed before reaching a supermarket. Approximately 75 percent of all food is refined or processed including breakfast pastries, bread, industrially prepared meals, preserves in glass jars or cans, sodas, and potato chips
5. More options at health food stores
Health food stores are grocery stores that sell mostly health foods and local produce. They also carry nutritional and herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies.
Health food stores usually offer a wider and more specialized choice of foods than regular grocery stores. Their customers include, for example, athletes and bodybuilders, people with special dietary needs, such as people who are allergic to gluten or have diabetes mellitus, and for people with vegetarian, vegan, raw food, organic, or other alternative diets.
When you shop at a health food store, you get excellent advice. Staff are often knowledgeable, passionate about health food and delighted to help. You will get time, understanding and good suggestions without having to guess about what’s best for you. Also you’ll get printed information, brochures or samples when you ask about a health issue or are just looking for the best food money can buy.