Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to buy stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. Alternative grocer Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) has already made good progress in recovering from the recession, but many investors are still predicting more gains.

In our Motley Fool CAPS community, about 86% of the 4,173 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why Whole Foods Market should thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.

But here at The Motley Fool, we're all for looking at both the good and the bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below, or rate Whole Foods Market yourself in CAPS.

1. Back on track
The recession was tough for high-end retailers, as budget-conscious consumers turned to discount stores such as Costco (Nasdaq: COST) and Target (NYSE: TGT), helping discounters prop up their sales and turn a corner faster than other retailers. After having a string of negative quarterly same-store sales, Whole Foods recently posted positive first-quarter numbers and blew the market away with solid earnings, leading some investors to believe that consumers are coming back from the discount aisle.                           

2. Strong momentum
In addition to posting solid first-quarter earnings, Whole Foods management said it has been experiencing strong momentum. While competitors like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) posted falling fourth-quarter comps and SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) has experienced weakness, Whole Foods raised its fiscal-year guidance and is looking to extend the recovery.

3. A growing trend
While consumers' appetite for healthy food is nothing new, some CAPS members see a number of ways to profit from the growing trend. Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) has created a solid growth history by emphasizing its high-quality ingredients and recently reported a strong first quarter, and Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA) recently made some moves to further grow its brand. As the health craze gains more traction, some investors believe Whole Foods is in a good position to benefit.

To see details of what CAPS members are saying now about Whole Foods Market, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and have a look -- or add your own thoughts directly to this story in the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock has more than three reasons why he should get a burrito from Chipotle for lunch today. He doesn't own shares of companies mentioned here. Costco and Whole Foods are Stock Advisor recommendations. Costco and Wal-Mart are Inside Value picks. Chipotle is a Rule Breakers selection and a Motley Fool Hidden Gems choice. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle and Costco. The Fool's disclosure policy is rumored to be coming to an app store near you.