The Natural foods movement gained popularity in America and Western Europe during the seventies. Instead of artificial ingredients, refining processes and chemical processing, these healthy foods use natural ingredients straight from the earth and use manure or compost piles instead of chemical fertilizers.

Though eating healthy natural food is practiced by a small sub-set of the population, it has largely affected what we find in our grocery stores. Soybeans and tofu are two products that appeared as a result of this movement. Once it was understood that many consumers were willing to pay a bit more for superior foods, chains like Whole Foods Market appeared to meet the demand.

Natural Foods Are Free Of Pesticides, Hormones And Antibiotics

The Natural Foods Movement includes all foods that are pesticide-free, hormone-free and antibiotic-free, are grass-fed/free-range, genetically modified foods free, not pasteurized and made using no refining processes. The problem with this movement is that it is formulated based on the hypothesis that artificial flavorings, sweeteners, preservatives, chemicals, hormones and other additives are bad for the body.

However, there have never been any conclusive long-term studies proving this notion, so the movement has failed to be fully realized by the mainstream. Even so, with the obesity epidemic, many of our favorite foods are being looked at with increased scrutiny as more people decide that vegetarian, vegan, organic or natural cooking is something they’d like to try.

Avoiding Refined Foods

The basic philosophy of natural foods proposes that our modern society is well-fed but undernourished. It is believed that many of the farming, refining and packaging processes we use depletes our food of the maximum amount of nutrients and minerals. Food should be grown in organically-enriched soil that is full of minerals, from either composting or manure, rather than with chemically fertilized soil.

A proper meal should contain protein, greens, dairy and grains, rather than an imbalanced assortment of foods. Food should be eaten for the nutritive content, rather than for calories to simply live. Rather than taking supplements, it is felt that people should be able to get all their nutrition from raw foods.

Natural Food Substitutions For Refined Ingredients

Beginners of the natural foods movement may ask, “How can I possibly eat healthy foods that haven’t been corrupted by anything?” It may seem impossible at first, given that even the most basic products such as flour or table salt have undergone refinery processes to make them suitable to sell. Upon further reading, there are many natural foods substitutions.

For instance, instead of cereal containing bleached white flour, one could choose stone ground wheat, corn or rye instead. Sucanat, stevia, raw honey, agave syrup and maple syrup are sweeteners often used in place of white sugar. Instead of table salt, herbs, spices and sea salt may be used.

Whole-grain bread or whole-wheat bread should be eaten instead of doughnuts, quick breads, muffins or biscuits. Fresh or steamed (frozen) fruits and vegetables should be eaten, rather than canned fruit in heavy syrup, fried or breaded veggies.

Natural Foods Are Increasing In Popularity

Even though natural foods are the diet of the minority, the movement has had a ripple effect on the consumer market. For instance, America has been introduced to yogurt, tofu, carob, brown rice and herbal tea by devout natural food fans. Yogurt is one of the dairy foods made through the natural bacterial fermentation of milk.

Tofu is made through coagulating soy milk pressed into blocks. Carob trees from Northern Cyprus are cultivated for seed pods. Unmilled brown rice is a type of whole grain. And herbal tea is made with white, yellow, black, oolong or green tea.

This Article was about Natural Foods.

More Facts About Snack Foods

Are there healthy alternatives to store bought snack foods?

Of course there are healthy alternatives to store bought snack foods. Some of the healthiest choices for snacks are to eat a piece of fruit. You will not only get some of your daily recommended vitamins but you will also get a very healthy boost in energy. If you are tired of fruit and vegetables as a snack, you can always make homemade granola bars.

This way you can control the amount of protein, carbohydrates and sugars that go into the bars. They can be made fairly quickly and store very well. Even cookies and cakes can be prepared in a more healthy way. You may have to do a little bit of research to find out great substitutions but you will be doing your part to help snack a bit healthier. Other healthy alternatives could be beef jerky, nuts, berries or even a cup of yogurt.