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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Start a New Health Kick With Soybeans and Nuts

My attitude toward health food can be largely discerned by my belief that healthy eating means eating less than your body weight at any one sitting. With that philosophy, it's lucky for me that there are only a few health food stores in Moscow to tempt me toward soy milk and lentils.

Many rynoks, or markets, sell a good variety of healthy food: vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. The variety and quality is generally good. Pharmacies sell vitamins and some herbal extracts and dietary supplements.

The most promising Western-style store I could find was Mega Center Italia. In their ground-floor supermarket, they have a good range of healthy pasta -- and flours, if you wish to make your own. Farina is 7,000 rubles for 1 kilogram while polenta starts at 9,900 rubles for 1 kilogram. Semolina is 11,500 rubles for 500 grams. They also carry a range of rices with the exotic three-rice blend (American, red and wild rice) at 42,000 rubles for 500 grams.

Mega Center has a large display of imported and well-packaged dried fruits and nuts. Examples of the range include plump blanched almonds at 25,900 rubles for 100 grams, sunflower seeds at 14,200 rubles for 200 grams and very nice pine nuts for 29,000 for 60 grams. Dried figs are 18,350 rubles for 200 grams while dried apples are 26,300 rubles for 125 grams.

Your breakfast will be well covered with a large range of Mueslis, including Alpen at 27,930 rubles for 500 grams, Tropical Nutty Crunch at 28,990 for 375 grams, and papaya, banana and mixed fruits for 30,550 for 1 kilogram. Quaker Oats are also available at 14,300 for 750 grams.

Mega Center is the first place I have found with soy milk (1 liter for 22,340 rubles), canned soy beans and soy oil. They also have multivitamins at 30,000 rubles for 39 grams and vitamin B at 30,000 rubles for 12 grams.

Upstairs there is a small apteka with a range of vitamins and extracts (camomile, eucalyptus, ginseng) at very reasonable prices. A small counter alongside offers a range of Gehwol food and hand care products from Germany.

Nik's Supermarket stocks a good range of foods from the United States, some of which falls into the category of health foods.

A 3.78 liter container of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice cocktail is available for $18.41. Kellogg's Apple and Almond Crunch Muslix whole-grain cereal costs $13.18 for 451 grams. Chewy Granola bars (which are chocolate chip -- probably not the healthiest food around) are $6.28 per packet of 10. Quaker Oats are $4.57 for 510 grams, while Quaker Quick Grits are $3 for 680 grams.

They also carry a range of seeds and beans. Nutana Linen seeds are $2.80 for 50 grams, lentils are $4.90 for 500 grams, chick peas are $2.90 for 500 grams and red or white beans cost $2.50 and $2.75 respectively for 500 grams.While waiting for these delights to cook, you can munch on rice cakes at $2.90 for 100 grams.

Mega Center Italia, 10 Pilyugina Akademika (off Leninsky Prospekt). Tel: 132-3233. Metro: Novye Cheryomushki or Prospekt Vernadskovo.

Nik's Supermarket, 11 Velozavodskaya Ulitsa. Tel: 279-1614. Metro: Avtozavodskaya or Dubrovka.