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Where to get health food in Beijing

Looking for paleo, gluten-free, no-carb heath food in Beijing? Look here

We get it, honestly. If you're not an Instagram fitness model or one of the ubiquitously glossy-haired 'wellness bloggers' that seem to have colonised the internet with their cloying optimism and equally sickly agave syrup, staying healthy in Beijing can be tricky. Not only does the pollution make exercising a pain in the butt, but temptation in the form of amazing burgers, world-beating noodles and vibrant craft beer lurks down every hutong.

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Unless it's really good salad, of course.

But fear not, ye of little faith and of terrible eating habits! With these healthy food options, located around the city and catering for all budgets and dietary needs, every day can be a cheat day. The delectables on offer here are so tasty that it won't even feel like you're missing out.
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Element Fresh

With five locations around Beijing, this mid-range option features an extensive menu ranging from hearty, protein-rich kebabs to the lightest of salads. It's as buzzy on a nighttime as it is when filled with office workers at lunch, and we'd be lying if we said that their smoothies weren't worth the money.

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19 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Obentos

Specialising in balanced 'Obentos boxes', this Japanese-inspired joint claims to eschew dieting in favour of a more attainable approach to healthy eating. We love the emphasis they put on fish, as well as their filling grain bowls. For the sweet-toothed among us, their reinvented cakes and 'yoghurt panna cotta cup' really hit the spot.

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19 Dongfang Dong Lu

Gung Ho! Pizza

Yes, pizza's hardly a health food, and no, we're not recommending you gorge on it if you're attempting any kind of lifestyle change. However, Gung Ho! also does damn good salads, and on Mondays their half-price, which in a city where eating well can often command a premium is a godsend. We particularly like the Heyrobics-inspired 'Hey! Swedish Salad'.

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2 Gongti Dong Lu (Gongti, Chaoyang)

Tribe

The twee names that Tribe slap on every dish on their menu might make some pause for thought (seriously, we challenge you to order a 'Naughty Little Minced Pork with Thai Basil In Lettuce Wrap' with a straight face), but this organic chain offers some of the best options for restriction diets to be found anywhere in Beijing. 

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2 Gongti Dong Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Moka Bros

This bright-and-breezy café chain has three locations in Beijing, slinging colourful salads, wraps and sandwiches to a devoted following of keen beans and gym rats alike. Focusing on nutrition without restriction, there's even some slightly more indulgent options available for the times when you just really, really, really need a hot chocolate.

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81 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

GLO Kitchen x Raw Fitness

GLO has its fair share of gimmicks, and the self-indentified 'fitness-lifestyle' concept may grate on some of you cynics out there, but once you've sluiced out some of their Millenial earnestness there's a lot of good stuff to be had there. Their pan-Asian flavours give lightness and vitality to health-food staples, and there's a Crossfit gym on site.

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93 Jianguo Lu

Juice by Melissa

Okay, so there's no indisputable scientifically proven benefits to juice fasting, but the eponymous propietor of this detox-diet emporium reckons that one of her courses can act as a catalyst for those seeking to start a healthier lifestyle. In addition, the fruit and vegetable juices peddled at Melissa's two branches are pretty tasty.

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3 Xinzhong Dong Jie (Xingfucun, Chaoyang)

Napa

The globe-trotting menu at this airy eatery is unified by two major factors: its focus on honest dishes cooked well and the hint of sun-kissed California cool. With a farm-to-table approach and warm salads that, if you like runny eggs, are worth stabbing your dining companions with a fork to get your hands on, we'd say that this restaurant makes an ideal lifestyle staple.

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16 Liulitun Lu Zhongjie (Chaoyang Park, Chaoyang)

Wagas

Reliable and affordable, Wagas has three branches in Beijing and a menu that even the pickiest eater will be able to choose from without whinging. A café to its core, and so perhaps not an ideal evening destination unless you're literally obsessed with tuna sandwiches, we appreciate this concept for its accessible take on health-food and its fresh, comforting dishes.

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19 South Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

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