Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based public relations and marketing communications firm. Trent & Company has a client roster of text book case studies of products, venues, books, films and experts in healthy lifestyles spanning traditional and alternative disciplines for wellness, beauty, fitness, nutrition and the environment.
Fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar into acids, gases or alcohol using microorganisms lime bacteria, yeast, or fungi. This traditional method of food preservation and preparation offers various health benefits when incorporated into the diet.
East Coast Kombucha is an artisanal-brewer of organic, probiotic-packed kombucha, otherwise known as fermented tea. They are committed to brewing, bottling, and distributing kegs and cans of the best-tasting kombucha available using only the finest ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible. This brand makes kombucha more accessible for those who don't want a harsh bite, meaning they form a balance between flavor and fizz. The taste is bold, yet still light and refreshing. It’s all in their motto: "Taste our difference.” The product is brewed and then added to a different vat with natural ingredients to make a healthier option with less sugar and more vitamins and antioxidants. Kombucha has a plethora of health benefits including its ability to help detoxify the body, promote gut health (which boosts the immune system), aid in digestion and cell regeneration, and increase mental clarity and energy among drinkers. It helps the body to rebalance and function optimally due to the natural probiotics that occur in the fermentation process. A portion of this company's sales are donated to local charities as well. Their mission is to make a positive impact on the community, their employees, and the environment.
WildBrine and wildCREAMERY make delicious fermented and plant-based foods. They ferment naturally, using only sea salt to kick off the birth of lactobacilli—a healthy bacteria that supports digestion, immune health, and overall well-being. Fermentation means it is predigested for you. The probiotic action of the microorganisms breaks the vegetables down. Suddenly, the calcium, potassium, vitamins K, B, and C, and all the other nutritional elements already present in the veggies, become more bioavailable by absorbing into your system and revitalizing you right away. This company also gives back to their community by teaming up with The Ceres Community Project, a nonprofit organization in Northern California that helps people get back to their roots through clean eating. Their goal is to create better health for people, communities, and the environment through love, healing food and empowering the next generation.
Also to support gut health: Bone broth has gained attention for its potential benefits. It is a nutrient-dense liquid made by simmering animal bones, connective tissues and vegetables over an extended period of time. The simmering process helps release essential nutrients, including collagen, amino acids, and minerals, which can be beneficial for the gut during digestion, for microbiome support, reduced inflammation, improved hydration, and immune function and more. Studies show that bone broth may aid in digestion and gut health, joint mobility and recovery, immune function, anti-inflammatory responses, weight management, and even increase collagen, reducing appearance of wrinkles and cellulite. Brite Start makes broth convenient, delicious, and nutritious. It is made with ethically sourced ingredients, no antibiotics, hormones, or artificial preservatives, is gluten free, and collagen- and gelatin-enriched.
Probiotics are microorganisms that can provide numerous health benefits and are known for their positive impact on gut health. They work to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and maintain a balanced and healthy gut microbiome. Culture Pop is fizzy, delicious, and not-too-sweet soda crafted with unique and delicious combinations of honest ingredients with live probiotics to aid a healthy gut. It’s a tasty twist on familiar flavors from lemon lime to wild berries to strawberry and more. These sodas contain organic fruit juice, real herbs and spices, live probiotics, are 100% vegan, certified non-GMO, certified kosher and have zero stevia.
Dairy substitutes have seen significant innovation and expansion in recent years. Many companies are continuously developing new ingredients and formulations to create dairy-free and plant-based options that are more appealing in terms of taste, texture, and nutritional profile.
Elari comes from the Yoruba language of West Africa, where the tigernut is grown. It refers to the inner self or “inner seed,” a nod to the tigernut and to the founders who emigrated to the States from Nigeria. Elari is on a mission to inspire mindfulness around healthy living for ourselves, our families, and the planet. The tigernut improves soil quality and replenishes diversity in local systems. Both drought and flood-proof, it is extremely climate-resistant, flourishing where other crops, such as almond, can fall short. Elari partners with farms in Northern Nigeria that follow organic agricultural practices to create a sustainable footprint on local soil and groundwater. They help farmers learn and incorporate natural habitats into their processes, promoting the agricultural self-sufficiency of local communities and improving economies. Together, they honor their heritage while working toward a better tomorrow.
Cultured Foods contain LactoSpore, a spore-forming strain of Bacillus coagulans – an extremely stable and safe probiotic that survives harsh manufacturing, high heat processing, and the journey through the digestive system. The viable spore can germinate once it is safely inside the intestine. One of their products is vEGGS, 100% plant-based egg substitutes for baking, cooking, and egg dishes made from all-natural ingredients. vEGGs is a convenient, non-refrigerated, easy on the budget must-have for vegans, non-vegans, or those with allergies. The vEGGS packaging is plant-based and biodegradable. Plus, the doypacks are made from recyclable plastic. The production of vEGGS requires less water and energy, and thus releases less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Their mission is to produce convenient and sustainable alternatives to foods everyone loves.
AcreMade is built on 40 years of plant-based food expertise and they've developed an egg made from yellow field peas, a nutritious and planet-friendly pulse that fills hungry bellies while fueling a regenerative food system at the same time. Their peas are sourced from domestic growers and not shipped overseas, they do not contain GMOs and their contract growers are banned from using desiccants. They have improved the egg game and unlocked a world of plant-based potential.
Mushroom-based alternative foods have versatility, umami-rich flavor, and essential nutrients, minerals, and fiber. There are a wide range of options that can be incorporated into various culinary dishes.
ShroomEats is a healthy meat alternative burger, made with only six ingredients. It does not include cholesterol, it’s naturally low in fat, yet complete with protein, nutritious, and shamelessly delicious. Meat consumption is the leading cause of heart disease, but many vegan alternatives are highly processed with questionable ingredients – trying to be something they are not. There is a struggle finding healthy food that is delicious, satisfying, sustainable, and cruelty free. That’s why shiitake mushrooms are one of the best resources, having been used for thousands of years for both food and medicine. Continued research is constantly finding amazing qualities on this superfood and the benefits of incorporating them into daily meals. These mushrooms have an umami flavor and hearty texture, and have impressive macro and micronutrients loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Meati is working towards a future where everyone eats well without compromise. Founded in 2017, Meati Foods is working to unlock a more delicious, nutritious, equitable, and sustainable food system for everyone. Their product line features cutlets and steaks made from mushroom root, a whole-food protein cultivated with a modernized version of ancient and natural processes that have helped preserve Earth's ecosystems for millennia. Their food is 95% mushroom root, also known as mycelium. Their ranch is a clean environment, animal-free, and does not require pesticides, growth hormones or antibiotics. You get a serving of complete protein, fiber, iron, vitamin B, and zinc in every bite.
Functional foods with high protein and high fiber provide a significant amount of nutrients that enrich our well-being. Hopefully, we have more functional food options for breakfast, dinner or even a midnight snack so that we are fulfilled anytime we have a craving.
Flourish is reimagining breakfast with high protein, high fiber pancakes, with zero added sugar. They genuinely believe every pancake lover deserves healthy, high-quality food. They’ve carefully considered personal needs and dietary restrictions to craft a diverse range of flavors, including whey-based, plant-based, and more! You can even browse their recipes online to find your next favorite healthy meal inspiration, curated by their in-house recipe team.
Utopihen Farms and SpringCreek Quail Farms both feature quail eggs. When fresh from the farm, quail eggs are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are naturally rich in healthy fats and loads of nutrients, and they don’t contain antibiotics or hormones. They contain one-third more vitamin B12 than chicken eggs and are an excellent source of protein. Foodies and health-conscious eaters across the world agree that quail eggs are good for you.
True Made Foods is a veteran-owned, healthy condiments company. They are on a mission to create a world where people can enjoy their favorite foods without the fallout. They believe we should not have to sacrifice our health to enjoy backyard cookouts and trips to the ballpark. They are revolutionizing America’s iconic condiments – ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, and other hot sauces. No more high fructose corn syrup and unwanted sugar, only real fruits and vegetables, making these condiments keto, gluten-free, vegan, and certified paleo. The result is a naturally delicious flavor without compromise.
Plant Fusion is evolving plant protein with the introduction of compostable packaging and formulas to benefit women’s hormones. What started as a desire to create a better class of nutritional supplements and mushroom + protein powder, has become a common ground where vegans, flexitarians, meat eaters, ketogenic dieters and the rest of the food universe can come together and rally around this fusion of better nutrition and taste that they like to call complete nourishment. The founders are two health foodies who were frustrated with the inability to find protein shakes that were not full of allergens, empty fillers, or overly processed ingredients like whey protein. So, they went on a search for authentic, 100% plant-based, nutrient-dense, allergen-free products that delight the senses.
Using coffee as a vehicle to spread social responsibility is an effective way to support ethical, sustainable, and social practices. Coffee has a significant global presence. It connects millions of farmers, producers, and consumers. Change starts with education and actively supporting initiatives that improve the livelihoods of all those around us. Explorer is cold brew concentrate created by adventure-seeker and risk-taker, Cason Crane, the first openly LGBT and fifth youngest person to climb Mt. Everest and the Seven Summits. It was on his adventures that he discovered the magic of coffee and is now driven to introduce some of the world’s best cold brew coffees to you. There’s a lot that is important to this brand, and sustainability is a top priority. They believe their approach to coffee is one of the most environmentally and socially sustainable, and they are always looking to improve their practices. They also offset all their shipping emissions to ensure less CO2 goes into the atmosphere. Their super concentrated brew results in higher yield per bean – reducing the overall consumption and maximizing their environmental efficiency. They only use organic and fair-trade coffee because that is what’s best for people and the environment. A percentage of every sale is donated as well to charity: water – the world’s leading clean water organization, bringing clean water to those who need it most.
The baby formula shortage was just last year, so it’s reassuring to know that there are more options being created for baby health. Goat’s milk is an alternative to cow’s milk for infants, especially when there are concerns about cow’s milk allergens or lactose intolerance.
Kabrita is the first and only FDA-approved goat milk formula in the U.S. They deliver nourishment and comfort to children and their parents through their naturally easy to digest goat milk formula and goat milk foods. They empower families with a new choice in formula feeding--one that marries the idea of all-natural with the rigor and safety of science. Since goat milk proteins form a gentler curd in the tummy and are broken down faster than cow milk protein, goat milk formula may be an alternative for children with troubles associated with cow milk consumption. Research has also shown that goat milk contains six times the amount of prebiotic oligosaccharides than cow milk. Kabrita USA is 100% women run and led by moms. Their mission is to empower parents to nourish their child with confidence. They strive to add value to their community through a commitment to education, transparency & supportive communication.
NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine is a business-to-business publication. Information on this site should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before making lifestyle changes, including taking a dietary supplement. The opinions expressed by contributors and experts quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher or editors of WholeFoods.