If you've ever examined a food label, worried about the chemicals in your face cream or questioned the environmental impact of your washing up liquid - then, chances are, you will find plenty to interest you in a health store.
Health stores are more than places to buy your bran and vitamins, they have a wealth of knowledge on all things natural, ethical and environmental.
Discover the difference between, and considerable benefits of, shopping in independent health stores rather than mass-market outlets.
With tens of thousands of different natural products to choose from, health stores are a one-stop shop for everything natural, ethical and environmental: wholefoods, organics, raw foods, allergy-free foods, vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, sports nutrition, essential fatty acids, cruelty-free bodycare, environmental-friendly household cleaners, recycled paper products - some even stock eco-paints, organic clothing and vegetarian pet foods.
Health food stores have staff who are qualified and/or experienced in helping with a wide range of health conditions including Acne, Allergies, Children's Health, Digestion, Energy, Fatigue, Hair, Skin & Nails, Heart Health, Joint Mobility, Memory, Menopause, Men's Health, Mouth Ulcers, PMS, Sleep Disorders, Sports Performance, Urinary Health, Weight Control, Women's Health & much more.
Don't be embarrassed to talk about any health concern, they've heard it all before - and helped!
Health food stores come in all shapes and sizes – that’s the beauty of independent shops, they are quirky, passionate and individual. A huge improvement on the clone high street chains.
There are more than 1000 independent health stores across the UK, here we highlight some of the best health food stores in the London region - please forgive us if we have missed out your favourite, and instead of a complaint letter, please drop us line and we'll include them in our next review. For more stores visit www.viridian-nutrition.com, www.findahealthstore.co.uk or www.nahs.co.uk and say a big organic 'hello' to your local health food store today!
58 - 60 Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AB
A shopper at Alara Wholefoods for many years, current owner Parry Khosravi, bought the store in 1997 and with two major refits in recent years, Alara is now a bright, modern health store with a renowned organic café. Great meeting place.
The Mall, Stratford.
Stratford is at the heart of redevelopment in the East End and Applejacks is at the heart of the natural health community in this part of town. A family-run business for decades, Applejacks has been serving the local community with exceptional advice and product range with knowledge, care and attention. What Rob, Jasmine, Anja and Nikki don’t know about natural health is not worth knowing.
AS NATURE INTENDED
Chiswick / Ealing / Spitalfields / Westfields Stratford / Balham
Founded by well-known businessman Malcolm Walker and his daughter Caroline, current MD Jeff Martin has ensured that ANI has built and maintains a strong code of ethics encompassing Fair Trade, organics, animal welfare and local sourcing. Well trained staff offer free advice.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Kingston / Guildford
You will never meet a more passionate health store owner than Alan Martin. This fiery Scottish retailer and raw-food enthusiast is truly a gate-keeper ensuring that nothing unethical reaches his shelves. Beautiful store design and merchandising, regular events and an eye for new product selection ensures that Food For Thought customers always have a fresh reason to visit.
G BALDWIN & CO
171 Walworth Road, Elephant & Castle, London SE17
G. Baldwin is the oldest herbalist in London with expertise spanning two families and over 160 years. Terrence Stamp was first introduced to the shop by Michael Caine. Max Bygraves was a regular, so too is Martin Shaw and most of Coronation Street's cast have dropped in over the years. Baldwins offers complete satisfaction or a full refund, and certainly lives up to its motto of quality, value for money and extensive choice.
41 The Broadway, Crouch End, London N8 8DT
A wholefood store in Crouch End since 1954, the Haelen Centre set out a strict set of principles from the very start. The late Nino Booth set these principles in writing concerning healthy living and supporting sustainable, ecological and ethical businesses and they are continued to this day. The Haelan Clinic, above the main store, offers a wide range of complementary therapies practised by over thirty fully qualified practitioners.
47 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London SE22 8EP
This unassuming store front conceals a wealth or expertise. All the staff have been trained and qualified with the Health Food Institute and also are holding a Degree and/or Diplomas in Nutrition, Anatomy & Physiology and Bodywork. Co-owner, Monica Mcsherry was awarded the 'Jimmy Lee Richardson' Award in 2007 from the Health Food Institute, every year awards go to the staff member nationwide that has the best record of continued professional development.
7 Park Crescent, Regents Park, London W
Located in the basement of the high-profile Hale Clinic in this beautiful Georgian crescent, Nutricentre is a hub for all things complementary medicine. With a comprehensive bookstore, therapy rooms and nutrition and beauty departments, Nutricentre and the Hale Clinic has an expert in every discipline.
Founded in 1989, Sara Novakovic has built a loyal following in this London village. Health events regularly pull in big names from the field of nutrition including Patrick Holford and Dr Marilyn Glenville. Winner of numerous awards, Olivers Wholefoods is a genuinely big-hearted and knowledgeable neighbourhood store.
Torrington Place / Liverpool Street / Westbourne Grove / Wandsworth / Devonshire Square / Islington
Founder Renee Elliott is a leading light in the natural products industry and her stores across London were the first to breathe modern styling into the sector. Gone were sandals and incense and in came bright, cheerful interiors and pre-packed organic takeaway menus. Revolutionary at the time and still maintaining high standards of customer care.
Branches all over London & South East.
Though a chain of stores, this family-run business maintains a friendly and committed team in each branch and avoids the one-size-fits-all shop fit. Each branch has its own quirky and individual style and is managed by experienced and trained staff.
Branches across London, flagship store in Kensington High Street.
By far the largest health store in the UK, this child of the American parent company is truly a one-stop-shop for a healthy lifestyle. Four floors of organic and natural heaven including restaurants, gifts, fresh foods, bodycare and nutrition. If Wholefoods had a bed department, you could live here.