Once an obscure beverage relegated to health food stores, it’s safe to say kombucha has become mainstream. But the fizzy tea isn’t the only fermented food to make it big; health-conscious shoppers are filling their carts with all manner of fermented goods these days. It’s no wonder — probiotic-rich fermented foods may offer a slew of health benefits, particularly for your gut.
“There’s more research coming out about what a healthy gut looks like,” explains Registered Dietitian Melanie Jatsek about how everything from sleep and stress can influence gut health. “But one thing’s for sure,” she says, “If you don’t have a healthy gut, nothing else is going to be healthy.”
Fortunately, introducing the good bacteria your gut needs to be healthy is as simple as adding probiotics into your diet through fermented foods. While the chemical process of fermentation is the same as how beer and wine are made, we’re talking healthier fare like sauerkraut, kombucha or kimchi. “Stick to traditional fermented foods,” Melanie elaborates. “If your grandparents would have made it, it’s good.”
Heinen’s Wellness Director, Heather Lentz agrees. “Fermentation is a form of preservation that’s been around forever,” she says. “What was old is now new.” In other words, grandma was right about pickling everything.
Wondering how to get more probiotic-rich fermented fare into your diet? Our wellness experts offered up some tips, as well as some of their favorite products.
Fermented Food Tips
- Add Kefir to yogurt or to a smoothie to get even more probiotic goodness.
- Top a salad with Kimchi or fold it into an omelet (don’t heat it beforehand though, or it may kill the good bacteria.)
- Use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to make salad dressing or drink it diluted with water.
- Add Kimchi to tacos.
- Want the benefits without eating fermented foods? Try taking Garden of Life Doctor-Formulated Probiotics supplements.
Heather and Melanie’s Fermented Favorites:
- Real Kombucha, Real Yogurt and Water Kefir DIY Kits
- Cleveland Kraut
- GT’s Ginger Ade Kombucha
- Wake Robin Kimchi
- Wallaby Organic Full-Fat Plain Kefir
- Inca Buc
- Wake Robin Kickin’ Kimchi
- Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
- Garden of Life Doctor Formulated Probiotic
Interested in learning more about fermented foods or probiotics? Stop in your Heinen’s and ask a Wellness Consultant for more information.