For patients with diabetes, healthy food is more than a choice. It’s a requirement. It’s a quality-of-life issue that has far-reaching consequences.
Recent studies indicate that all generations, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z, are willing to pay more for healthy food.
In fact, global sales of healthy food products were predicted to hit $1 billion last year. The notion of food as medicine is driving consumers toward foods that are all natural, without artificial colors or flavors. In 2015, the United States was the single largest consumer of organic foods in the world.
To that end, sources for organic, natural, “clean” foods are increasing every day. The good news for you is that no matter where you live in the Sunshine State, there is likely at least one health food store nearby that can serve as your source for products, information, and support.
Sustain Natural Market offers organic herbs and spices, vitamins, sports supplements, organic meat and eggs, and essential oils. The store offers a large variety of locally-sourced products in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, and it also offers soaps, jams, and other items usually found at farmers’ markets. The store focuses on sustainable practices and offers a wellness library to educate customers.
Good Food Conspiracy – Big Pine Key
Good Food Conspiracy is an organic health food market and deli that offers a variety of made-to-order juices, smoothies, and fruit freezes. The shop also offers raw and cooked vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, soups, and desserts. In business for more than 35 years, the shop carries essential oils, organic sunscreen, body care, cosmetics, and herbs.
4th Generation Market – Boca Raton
In business since 2009, 4th Generation boasts a staff of knowledgeable and experienced personnel who are passionate about leading people to wellness. Featuring organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and raw food offerings, the shop specializes in helping customers get the most from their healthy food choices.
Nature’s Food Patch – Clearwater
In business since 1987, Nature’s Food Patch features organic produce, wellness products, eco-friendly body care, bulk foods, fresh baked goods, fair trade coffee, grass-fed meat, artisan cheeses, and sustainable seafood. The shop also offers made-to-order sandwiches, to-go meals, as well as coffee, juices, and smoothies. The staff specializes in helping customers with special dietary requirements.
Clermont Herb Shoppe – Clermont
In business since 1999, Clermont Herb Shoppe offers Non-GMO, raw, organic, gluten-free, and vegan offerings in addition to a full aromatherapy bar, holistic pet remedies, and gifts. The shop also houses a therapeutic spa for massages, body treatments, lymphatic drainage, reflexology and detox foot baths. They also offer Balance Compass Scans for customers seeking basic information about wellness.
Marando Ranch – Davie
Marando Ranch features an organic market, fresh eggs, a deli and juice bar, and a farm-to-fork restaurant. The ranch also hosts a petting zoo, fishing, and pony rides as part of its effort to promote farming.
Nature’s Health Food Store – DeFuniak Springs
Nature’s Health Food Store offers vitamins, herbs, toiletries, essential oils, soaps, snacks, and limited food items.
DeLand Bakery – DeLand
DeLand Bakery features all natural, gluten-free and organic baked goods, in addition to ethnic, kosher, gluten-free, and natural food products. In business since 1989, the company prides itself on its readiness to serve health-food veterans and newbies alike.
Nassau Health Foods – Fernandina Beach
Since 1985, Nassau Health Foods has offered a large selection of bulk foods, bulk coffee, refrigerated and frozen foods, and organic produce. The store also features body care products, sports supplements, and a knowledgeable staff.
Ada’s Natural Market – Fort Myers
Ada’s Market offers organic and locally-grown produce, with more than 100 barrels and bins of spices, grains, legumes, and more. The store also offers more than 22 varieties of fair-trade and organic coffee, as well as bulk natural candies and environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies. The store features a butcher shop with hormone and antibiotic free beef and chicken, as well as a cafe and deli.
The Golden Almond – Fort Walton Beach
In business for more than 30 years, the Golden Almond features vegan, gluten-free, paleo, homeopathic, and natural pet products. The store also boasts a cafe with a juice and smoothie bar and organic soups.
Sunflower Health Foods – Gainesville
In business since 1970, the staff at Sunflower Health Foods strives to stay up-to-date with scientific research, product efficacy, and emerging products. Their goal is to help shoppers achieve their goals of health, weight loss, nutrition, energy improvement, and personal satisfaction.
Remedy’s Nutrition – Key Largo
Remedy’s is a team of herbalists, nurses, nutritionists, and healthcare professionals bringing together nature and science to support their customers. They strive to combine traditional medicine with modern science, offering essential oils, tinctures, supplements, herbs, and vitamins.
Food & Thought – Naples
Food & Thought bills itself as a community of people, featuring a wide variety of organic products and services. The organic general store offers a juice bar, coffee drinks, and a cafe with 100% organic breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, the store features organic seeds, soils, fertilizers, vegetable plugs, and fruit trees to help you start your own organic garden and clothing that is made of organic cotton and sustainable blends.
Staff of Life – Niceville
Staff of Life features groceries and supplements to help clients meet their health and wellness needs. Consultations are also available.
Debbie’s Health Foods – Orange City
Since 1988, Debbie’s Health Foods has offered a variety of nutritional supplements, food items, health and beauty products, pet foods, and makeup. The store also carries a large selection of wheat-free and gluten-free foods and products. Additionally, customers can get free publications and attend seminars at the store.
Living Waters – Ormond Beach
Living Waters Health Food Store features fresh, organic, natural, and whole foods as well as body care products. The store features educational opportunities, seminars, and other comprehensive programs to help customers meet their personal and nutritional needs.
Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe – Pensacola
In business for more than 40 years, Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe seeks to educate the community about health and nutrition as well as environmental concerns, while it provides access to healthy natural foods. The store seeks to promote wholesome, nutritious, and environmentally conscious living.
Pensacola Natural Foods – Pensacola
In business since 2000, Pensacola Natural Foods features a local source for healthy snacks, supplements, and foods. The shop also offers books and industry newsletters in an effort to educate customers. The shop’s goal is to help customers get well and stay well naturally.
For The Health of It – Santa Rosa Beach
In its 20th year, For The Health of It offers organic produce, alternative food choices, natural care items, and a wide range of supplements. The shop also offers made-to-order smoothies and massage therapy in an on-site clinic. The store offers information and support to shoppers seeking assistance with their choices.
Food For Thought – Sebring
In business since 1983, Food For Thought offers a variety of organic and natural foods, grains, beauty products, frozen and refrigerated groceries, and organic produce. The store also offers vitamins and supplements for customers ranging from vegetarian, vegan, juicer, raw, and paleo.
Diane’s Natural Market – St. Augustine
Diane’s Natural Market, in business for more than 30 years, offers organic foods and natural products in addition to a cafe featuring hand-crafted sandwiches, salads, and smoothies.
Simply Natural – Sunrise
Simply Natural offers free nutritional counseling for every customer, targeted to their specific needs. The staff specializes in supplements and overall wellness.
New Leaf Market Co-Op – Tallahassee
The New Leaf Market originated as a buying club before becoming a co-op in 1974. NLMC offers local produce, fresh seafood and meat, healthy body care and an on-site deli They pride themselves on providing education to consumers as well as information about their products.
Abby’s Health and Nutrition – Tampa
Abby’s Health and Nutrition features several specialty sections, including raw and gluten-free offerings as well as a sports nutrition section. The store includes health and beauty products as well as a deli with vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo and raw offerings prepared daily. The store also features an education center with books available for purchase.
Chamberlin’s – 7 locations
Since 1935, Chamberlin’s has been providing natural vitamins and groceries to the surrounding communities, as well as organic produce, cruelty-free cosmetics, and organic pet and baby care. The company offers one-on-one attention to customers, and it features classes and other events to its customers.
Health Basket – Mount Dora, Clermont
Health Basket seeks to serve the dietary needs of the local community with natural foods and supplements, as well as educational lectures, classes, and demos. The store also features a juice bar that offers wraps, salads, made-to-order juices and smoothies.
Earth Origins Market – Fort Myers, Lake Mary, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte
Earth Origins Market caters to health-conscious and earth-friendly consumers with a variety of natural and organic products. The company promotes transparency in labeling as part of its larger belief that bioengineering of food is inconsistent with natural food. The company features a variety of foods and supplements as well as body care and cosmetics.
Mother Earth Natural Foods – 6 locations
Mother Earth Natural Foods strives to help customers avoid health-related problems by providing a variety of healthy foods and wellness products. The company offers organic, gluten-free, and fresh food, in addition to vitamins and herbs. Additionally, it offers essential oils, teas, snacks, and natural remedies.
Native Sun Natural Foods Market – 3 locations
In business since 1997, Native Sun Natural Foods Market offers antibiotic and hormone-free eggs, hormone-free dairy products, grocery items free of artificial sweeteners and colors, organic produce, grass-fed meats and open-air poultry. The store features household items, pet care, supplements, health and beauty, and a juice bar.
Nutrition Smart – 7 locations
Since 1996, Nutrition Smart has provided the community with a wide selection of organic food and products. The company strives to educate consumers on nutrition and healthy living with free in-store seminars and classes. Offerings include sports nutrition, pet care, aromatherapy, homeopathy, household products, and health and beauty care.
Paradise Health and Nutrition – Melbourne, Palm Bay
In business for 23 years, Paradise Health and Nutrition have three locations specializing in wholesome foods, vitamins, supplements, bulk foods and herbs, sports nutrition products and special dietary products. The store also offers free magazines and literature about health and nutrition as well as a full-service restaurant offering vegetarian and traditional meals.
Richard’s Foodporium – 17 locations across 5 counties
Richard’s Foodporium has been in business since 1979, offering natural and specialty foods, personal care items, bulk foods, and supplements. Richard’s seeks to be a place of balance as customers seek to eat and live healthier without spending too much money.
Tunie’s – Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale
Tunie’s seeks to provide organic and natural products and supplements to help customers in their efforts to live a healthier lifestyle. Tunie’s offerings include organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and raw options. Founded in 1993, Tunie’s offers more than 28,000 products, as well as free nutritional counseling and health education. Additionally, large stores like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s have whole food offerings in addition to supplements and other all natural items.
Diabetes is a long-term condition that will necessarily change your relationship with food.
The challenge, of course, is that patients cannot simply “swear off” of food. The disease requires patients to establish healthy new habits and new attitudes about food.
The other challenge is that information about healthy and unhealthy foods constantly evolves: Foods considered healthy this week may be on the unhealthy list two months from now.
How do you sort out all the information?
Health food stores have made it their business to educate consumers and to assist customers with the transition to whole, real foods. In many cases, the staffs understand the unique needs of certain customers and they can help you choose the foods that are the most beneficial.
Studies indicate that patients who eat plant-based diets of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and other grains were 34% less likely to develop diabetes.
Take advantage of these local Florida businesses and their willingness to share their knowledge. Invest the money in your health today and reap the benefits for years to come.
FDA DISCLAIMER: Because benfotiamine is a dietary supplement the FDA only requires manufacturers and distributors to have credible evidence as to its safety. The FDA itself has not evaluated benfotiamine for safety or effectiveness. Benfotiamine, therefore, cannot be represented to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For more information on this and related topics, please follow this link to FAQ’s on benfotiamine.org
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