The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
I’m a big fan of fermented foods. They’ve been a staple in my meals for as long as I can remember. I didn’t know it at the time, but the sauerkraut and yogurt I enjoyed as a child were indeed fermented!
It makes sense that one of my favorite Club Fx Pillars is Pillar #6: Remember functional foods, including fresh herbs and fermented foods.
Functional foods are those that offer positive health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Fermented foods and beverages have gone through controlled microbial growth and fermentation—a process in which microorganisms, like yeast and bacteria, break down food components, like sugars and starches, into other products, such as organic acids, gases or alcohol. The end result is a food or beverage containing live healthy bacteria!
Why Should you Eat Fermented Food?
Friendly bacteria contributing to the fermentation process are associated with many health benefits, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and antiatherosclerotic activity. (1)
15 Fermented Foods to Try from Heinen’s
Heinen’s offers a wide variety of fermented foods throughout the store. I hope you feel inspired to add one or more of my personal favorites to your shopping cart the next time you shop.
- Heinen’s raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Eden Foods miso (fermented and aged soybeans)
- Lightlife tempeh (fermented soybeans with a meaty texture)
- Heinen’s jarred sauerkraut
- Cleveland Kitchen classic kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage)
- Wake Robin ruby ruben (fermented beets)
- Wake Robin carrot escabeche (fermented carrots)
- Bubbies kosher dill pickles
- Green Valley Creamery organic plain kefir (fermented milk beverage)
- GT’s kombucha (fermented tea beverage in the Wellness cooler)
- The Dairy Free Co. fermented plant-based cashew cheese
- Organic Valley grassmilk raw cheese
- Forager unsweetened dairy-free cashew yogurt
- Stonyfield organic 100% grassfed plain Greek yogurt
- Big Picture Foods organic olives
How to Add Fermented Foods to your Meals
The beauty of fermented foods is they are simple to incorporate into your daily meals. Try one or more of these ideas to get started.
- Use Heinen’s raw apple cider vinegar to make this Simple Vinaigrette Dressing.
- Add crumbled tempeh to this Easy Hearty Marinara Sauce.
- Mix fermented vegetables into traditional recipes, like Gut Boosting Potato Salad!
- Sprinkle fermented olives on top of salads.
- Add 1-2 oz. of kefir to your smoothie.
- Replace sugar-sweetened beverages with a bottle of GT’s gingerade kombucha.
- Add a few spoonfuls of Wake Robin carrot escabeche to your next charcuterie board.
- For a snack, smear The Dairy Free Co. cashew cheese on Mary’s Gone crackers.
- Try this recipe for Vegan & Gluten-Free Miso Ramen Soup!
Before you start cooking and snacking, it is important to note that friendly bacteria are destroyed at around 115°F; therefore, fermented foods like sauerkraut should be used at the end of cooking to preserve their health benefits.
It only takes a couple servings of fermented foods each day to enjoy the benefits. A little goes a long way too, so a spoonful or two of raw sauerkraut on a salad is plenty!
- Şanlier N, Gökcen BB, Sezgin AC. Health benefits of fermented foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(3):506-527. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1383355. Epub 2017 Oct 20. PMID: 28945458.
For personalized guidance on your digestive health, discover the VitalHealth Optimization Package, now available at the Personalized Nutrition Center at Heinen’s Mayfield Village.